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RE: Where are the semantics in the semantic Web?

From: Shi, Xuan <xshi@GEO.WVU.edu>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 12:35:26 -0500
Message-ID: <D81F456794C18B4DA3E2ABC47DBBEEF2094E4D@onyx.geo.wvu.edu>
To: "'Drew McDermott '" <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>, "'public-sws-ig@w3.org '" <public-sws-ig@w3.org>, "'Jim Hendler '" <hendler@cs.umd.edu>


Is there a serious problem about classifying roads?  I find that very
hard to believe.  I grant that different groups are likely to arrive
at ontologies that carve up the world in ways that overlap at various
unforeseen points.  That's why I've done work in ontology
translation.  Automatic inference of the rules required to translate
between ontologies is a very difficult problem.  But the rules
themselves are not terribly complicated, and in particular seem to be
straightforwardly deductive.  (I'm thinking here of, say, a rule that
translates statements about roads from a North American ontology into
a European one.)  And in any case, organizing and applying translation
rules is a computational problem, not a semantic one.

                                         -- Drew McDermott
                                            Yale University
                                            Computer Science Department

I would not discuss further about Semantic Web issues since some people in
this group may complain for such discussion on SW while I am glad to see we
do have the need for such discussion. Regarding the road classification
issues, I have to say, yes, it's been a problem for a long time. U.S.
Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Census Bureau,
etc. have different classification systems and we GIS users meet the problem
for data transformation, integration, mapping, spatial analysis and
modeling, etc. Another interesting scenario is that the concept of road
system may be different in Germany from that in the other part of Europe.
Thus sharing the meaning of a common object that we are talking about is
difficult, such as the examples of "forest", "swamp", etc. So we need to
build ontology to solve the problem, but still are so far from understanding
the solution as Dr. Hendler said. The way of Semantic Web to set up
inferentail rules is one approach (maybe it's good for the unknown objects)
while standardization may be the other way for semantic interoperability
(maybe it's good for the known objects while we can still use RDF/OWL in
this process). But that's not the end of solution or discussion. For
example, DAML created an ontology of "map" which is published at:
http://www.daml.org/2001/06/map/map-ont . While obviously, it is problematic
in the eyes of GIS professionals, the more difficult task is how to create
an ontology of "mapping" for developing semantic Web services (I am not sure
if there is any ontology of human actions defined by RDF/OWL).

But where are your viewpoints and suggestions to my discussion in

This debate was originated from one proposed framework for the semantic Web
services. It seems you igored my key point for the discussion again
regarding the potential semantic chaos generated by adding semantic
annotations onto WSDL objects and elements. 

Regarding Dr. McDermott's question in 
here is my answer and question again, geocodes the
input place name and returns the lat/lon to the requesters. This Web service
just wrapped the same function of ESRI's "Place Finder Sample Web Service"
http://www.arcwebservices.com/services/v2006/PlaceFinderSample.wsdl thus
these two Web services should have the same service semantics. converts
lat/lon into UTM meters. This Web service wrapped the same function
"ConvertLonLatPtToUtmPt" of Microsoft's TerraService
http://terraservice.net/TerraService.asmx?WSDL thus the same function in
these two Web services should have the same semantics.

How can we add semantic annotations to tell the requesters that the
semantics of such services or functions are the same, while exactly the same
functional interfaces in  and

have different semantics? Are there any potential semantic chaos generated
by adding semantic annotations onto WSDL objects and elements or we should
separate service descriptions from the technology for service development?
Received on Friday, 25 November 2005 17:35:17 UTC

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