W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-swbp-wg@w3.org > November 2005

Re: [WN] Endurant Objects?

From: Aldo Gangemi <aldo.gangemi@istc.cnr.it>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 11:36:32 +0200
Message-Id: <p06210221bf8e2d840a9f@[]>
To: Alan Rector <rector@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: "John McClure" <jmcclure@hypergrove.com>, <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>

Hi Alan,

At 7:42 +0000 2-11-2005, Alan Rector wrote:
>Aldo, John
>I am coming in late on this, but I am a bit surprised.
>I thought Perdurant/Occurrent and Endurant/Continuant were of 
>sortals rather than qualities, where the problems are clearly 

Totally agreed. Consider btw that 4-dimensionalists (e.g. in trope 
theory) are closer to John's intuition (but they do not use, to my 
knowlegde, the end/perd terminology).

>This seems an easy distinction to make.  In my biomedical world very 
>few qaualities of anything are truly 'endurant' - i.e. unchangeable.

As a matter of fact, the relation defined in DOLCE between entities 
and qualities, called there "inherence", is temporalized by default 
(such temporalization requires an n-ary pattern to be expressed in 
OWL btw).

>Likewise, I've always thought that the event/process distinction was 
>one of granularity/perspective.  If our temporal mesh is fine enough 
>all events above the subatomic can be redefined as a series of 
>processes.  That's certainly the view of standard texts on the topic 
>such as Davies.

Totally agreed again. This is also the common view from aspectual 
semantics in linguistics (e.g. Dowty).

That's good then; nevertheless, concerning John's issues, it's 
important to separate *terminological* from *conceptual* 
distinctions. If LegalXHTML vocabulary wants to use end/perd, 
event/state and other terms according to John's intended meaning, no 
problem about that, provided that it's possible to interpret it on 
formal grounds.
Consider that LegalXHTML is in OWL-Full, defines a kind of type 
theory, some metaclasses are for grammatical categories, and 
redefines notions like subClass, ISA, etc. This approach complicates 
the discussion, because not only have we to negotiate the intended 
meaning of classes and properties, but also of their formal semantics.


>On 1 Nov 2005, at 22:49, Aldo Gangemi wrote:
>>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 applicable
>>>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 perspective.
>>>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 vocabulary.
>>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., 
>>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
>Alan Rector
>Professor of Medical Informatics
>Department of Computer Science
>University of Manchester
>Manchester M13 9PL, UK
>TEL +44 (0) 161 275 6188/6149
>FAX +44 (0) 161 275 6204


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 Wednesday, 2 November 2005 10:37:09 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 6 January 2015 21:09:45 UTC