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Re: Cross-ontologies reasoning

From: Francis McCabe <fgm@fla.fujitsu.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 2003 22:43:57 -0800
Message-Id: <3968DC4A-2F93-11D8-B068-000A95DC494A@fla.fujitsu.com>
Cc: public-sws-ig@w3.org
To: Drew McDermott <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>

Actually, a more realistic scenario is that there are missing relations 
and missing concepts  between the two ontologies.
Think about a office planner's chair ontology, compared to a 
carpenter's version.
On the other hand, if you are an office planner, and you want to ask a 
carpenter about getting some chairs, you stand a chance of 
communicating that ...

On Dec 15, 2003, at 7:00 PM, Drew McDermott wrote:

>    [Francis McCabe]
>       Notwithstanding the technologies being discussed, *translation*
>    between ontologies is about as tractable in the general case as 
> mapping
>    between English and Japanese.
> This assessment is overly pessimistic.  We're not talking about
> translating Japanese literature into English.  In most cases the
> differences between ontologies fall into categories such as these:
> * One ontology represents a concept as a class, the other as a property
> * One ontology makes fine distinctions about a concept; the other uses
>   a broader brush.
> * One ontology uses a predicate with n arguments where the other uses
>   a similar predicate with n+1.  The missing argument must be deleted
>   or inferred somehow.
> * and so forth
> Translating back and forth can be done by straightforward deductions.
> Perhaps you meant merely to say that the deductions would end up
> consuming exponential amounts of time.  (Which is _not_ the problem
> with translating between two natural languages, such as English and
> Japanese!)  You may be right, but it's not obvious.
> Or maybe you meant to say that the translation rules could not be
> generated automatically.  I agree with you there.
> -- 
>                                    -- Drew McDermott
>                                       Yale Computer Science Department
Received on Tuesday, 16 December 2003 01:44:12 UTC

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