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RE: Wordnet TF

From: Aldo Gangemi <aldo.gangemi@istc.cnr.it>
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2005 04:04:03 +0200
Message-Id: <p0621020abf8883c15926@[]>
To: "John McClure" <jmcclure@hypergrove.com>, "Jeremy Carroll" <jjc@hpl.hp.com>, <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>

Hi John,

comments inside

At 15:39 -0700 28-10-2005, John McClure wrote:
>Though WN is a deeply substantive resource, we ultimately determined that WN's
>synsets were too informal to be a basis for a commercial ontology.

Correct, synsets are lexical entries, not logical classes. In order 
to use it as a full-fledged ontology, WN needs a non-trivial 
transform (see TF site for documentation).

>At the same
>time, Legal XHTML is designing its ontology based on WN entries. For instance,
>events defined by LegalXHTML are classified as either endurant or perdurant
>events (acts v activities) -- we look to WN for definitions of both acts and
>activities and for hints about their relations and constraints.

Could you please explain a bit more the difference between "endurant 
event" and "perdurant event"?
Also the difference between act and activity is not granted. WN takes 
activity as a hyponym of act, but most of their senses do not 

>Acts and activities fit into a larger economic model. An economy is 
>composed of
>sectors, sub-sectors, industry groups, industries, and firms. Firms 
>are composed
>of business processes, as required for the manufacture and delivery 
>of goods and
>services. Business processes are composed of activities, which are composed of

Ah ok, you want to define a partonomy of events within an overall 
economy (the maximal whole encompassing all economically-relevant 
acts, right?).

>With this in mind, a careful design using WN terms bridges between 
>the qualities
>it defines (e.g., Endowable), past-participles it defines (e.g., 
>Endowed), acts
>that it defines (e.g., EndowmentAct) and processes that it defines (e.g.,
>EndowmentActivity). This design ensures, for example, that whenever some
>property of EndowmentAct is associated with an Endowable, then 
>incidentally one
>can determine that the Endowable is indeed Endowed. By distinguishing an
>activity whose 'calendar' includes an EndowmentAct (in addition to other
>activities and actions), from the specific act of Endowment, one can identify
>those Endowables that may be Endowed from Endowables that are 
>Endowed, and from
>Endowables that are not Endowed. Further, it should be equally incidental that
>all Endowed resources are, by definition, Endowable resources.
>Unfortunately, WN includes neither economic models nor endurant and perdurant
>meanings of its terms, critical problems that cannot be overcome by its
>translation to OWL. In short, while Wordnet provides a comprehensive 
>view of its vocabulary terms, it is unsuitable for rigorous commercial

WN is a general-purpose resource. There exist domains that are 
assigned to word senses, including some that are economy-oriented. 
But even with those, WN is not ideally suited to any domain in 
particular, if a detailed ontology is required. WN can be used for 
general-purpose projects, as well as for drafting a preliminary 
vocabulary for a domain.
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). You seem to 
intend something else. If WN uses your criteria for hyponymy, or can 
be transformed to fit your criteria, is not something you can 
reasonably expect :). On the other hand, I'm convinced that, once you 
clarify the intended meaning of your criteria, it should be easier to 
reuse parts of WN for your ontology, e.g. by using OntoWordNet, which 
is an OWL transform of WN, linked to DOLCE.

Thanks for interest

>John McClure
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
>>[mailto:public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Jeremy Carroll
>>Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:27 AM
>>To: public-swbp-wg@w3.org
>>Subject: Wordnet TF
>>After having expressed a personal lack of enthusiasm for the Wordnet
>>Task Force at Monday's telecon, I have discussed this situation with
>  >colleagues.
>>The task force has broadly the following jobs to do in phase 1:
>>    1. define a mapping relating Wordnet and Owl and possibly SKOS
>>    2. build consensus for that mapping amongst the several groups who
>>have built their own
>>    3. build support with the wordnet authors to adopt, distribute and
>>maintain the mapping
>>    4. possibly develop and deploy a service making Wordnet in RDF
>>available on the web
>>We believe that the Wordnet in RDF/Owl is important and would like to
>>ensure that it is completed successfully, but we are aware that time for
>>the WG is running out.  We suggest that we should take a realistic view
>>of what can be accomplished within the lifetime of the WG.  Then two
>>questions arise:
>>    - is that a useful standalone contribution
>>    - how do we get the work completed after SWBP shuts down
>>A further point that came up in our discussion is some recent work at
>>the Univ. of Chile, inspired by some of the early drafts of the Wordnet TF:
>>This is an additional group that figures under point 2 above.
>>[[Msg copied by bcc to agraves at dcc.uchile.cl to avoid adding to
>>Alvaro's spam]]


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 Saturday, 29 October 2005 02:04:22 UTC

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