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Re: [WN] Endurant Objects?

From: Aldo Gangemi <aldo.gangemi@istc.cnr.it>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 00:49:47 +0200
Message-Id: <p06210220bf8d9184a605@[]>
To: "John McClure" <jmcclure@hypergrove.com>, <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>

Hi John,

At 12:11 -0800 31-10-2005, John McClure wrote:
>Hi Aldo,
>>Concerning endurant and perdurant, they are usually (e.g in DOLCE,
>>http://dolce-semanticweb.org) assumed with the approximate meaning of
>>"object" (endurant) and "process" or "event" (perdurant).
>Hmm, my understanding is that endurant and perdurant are descriptors 
>to qualities and quantities, that is, to *attributes of* resources. A resource
>has endurant and/or perdurant attributes. For example, a person's height is a
>perdurant quantity; a person's eye color is an endurant quality.

Strictly speaking, these examples depend on context:  height changes 
significantly for only part of a person lifecycle, while even eye 
color can change in later phases, let alone in newborns. But this is 
just for general talking.

>Apart from that, events-as-process track to my view also of 
>perdurants. However,
>there is a huge difference between perdurant events and endurant 
>events. (Note:
>I consider an event to be an attribute of the thing to which it occurs, as it
>relates to the 'state' of the resource.)

This use of state and event is a bit peculiar. In system theory (but 
also in engineering, Petri Nets, etc.), it's often assumed that a 
process is constituted of states whose boundaries are events that 
occur (transitions).
In so-called 4-dimensionalist ontologies, events are attributes in 
the sense they are temporal parts of an entity.
BTW, I still miss what it means for events to "endure" or to 
"perdure" ... (after looking at your site) ... ok, I think you catch 
a know difference related to "aspects" in event structure, by which 
we can consider an event as a whole (your "endurant event"), or as a 
composition of parts (your "perdurant event"). But aspects are not 
inherent in the processes you're trying to describe, they come from 
the perspective of the user. E.g., if I went to an auction and got a 
lamp, I can see the auction as a single, non-analyzed whole that 
provided me a lamp, or as a long series of events that allowed me to 
buy a lamp. Therefore, if I'm just interested in the fact that I've 
got a lamp, that distinction is totally irrelevant, while if I'm 
interested in legal consequences, I should assume the second 

>A marriage ceremony is a process; a
>recital of a marriage vow is a one-shot action consisting of no process
>whatsoever. Maybe what needs to be done is to further define what a 'process'
>is, from the DOLCE view?

You seem to assume that an action is atomic, while processes have 
parts. So far so good. I'm only trying to catch the intended meaning 
of your distinctions.

>My own view is that a process is a series of actions
>and subprocesses. An action (which normally occurs in the context of 
>a process)
>has no 'sub-action' and of course no subprocess component.

Consequently to what you said, indeed.

>So, I am concerned about the presumption of a parallel between 'endurant' and
>'object' -- I think it's somewhat misleading if not wrong.

Why concerned? I was trying to compare your use of terms to another one.
There is nothing "wrong" in using terms in a controlled way, if 
appropriate axioms or explanations prevent misunderstanding. For 
example, DOLCE has hundreds of axioms and a lot of documentation that 
attempt at clarifying the intended meaning of terms in its logical 
Of course, if you try to convince anyone to use "cat" in order to 
mean "dog", you may have hard time in talking to people, but this is 
another story.

>As for the larger
>picture, sure, I agree that hooking a controlled, commercialized subset of WN
>back to a transformed WN-ontology can be a good idea, although I'm not sure
>about doing so until the subset is stable.
>BTW, for a view of (the heart of) the Legal XHTML model -- where events are
>prime (by your actions are ye known!) -- please see
>http://www.hypergrove.com/OWL/ and navigate to 1) Resource Model and 2) Event

Interesting. Specially your design pattern for states and qualities. 
Your use of rdf typing to relate conceptual and natural language 
syntactic information is creative, while I don't see the point in 
using metaclasses for end/perd events.
For other approaches and patterns to represent legal reality see also 
the recent "Law and the Semantic Web", R. Benjamins et al., Springer.
Other comments when loading the owl file into some editor (the Event 
file is still loading on Protege after 30 minutes).

>  Our model allows "persons, places, and things" defined by other ontologies
>to be 'pluggable' into the LegalXHTML ontology. For instance, a "Person" in
>another model could subclass LegalXHTML's "ContactableThing" in 
>order to pick up
>Contact-related attributes.

As it is the case for any ontology with some generality ;)

>LegalXHTML aims to package its attributes, as much
>as possible, as perdurant and endurant events. The model published 
>(today) is a
>first big step towards that goal.

More after loading

Aldo Gangemi
Research Scientist
Laboratory for Applied Ontology
Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technology
National Research Council (ISTC-CNR)
Via Nomentana 56, 00161, Roma, Italy
Tel: +390644161535
Fax: +390644161513
Received on Tuesday, 1 November 2005 23:49:53 UTC

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