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Re: Cross-ontologies reasoning

From: Jeff Lansing <jeff@polexis.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2003 09:38:50 -0800
Message-ID: <3FDF432A.5010702@polexis.com>
To: public-sws-ig@w3.org

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
Yes, and so forth. Going so forth, we see that also:
* One ontology takes one point of view on how the world should be 
divided up into concepts, while the other takes a quite different point 
of view. Just guessing here, but I suspect that if you compare the DOLCE 
ontology with the top level of SUO you would see this kind of thing 
going on.

*  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.
Received on Tuesday, 16 December 2003 12:39:49 UTC

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