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Re: on Use cases/ Web portals

From: Jeff Heflin <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 15:59:48 -0500
Message-ID: <3C9A49C4.B12C32EB@cse.lehigh.edu>
To: Jim Farrugia <jim@spatial.maine.edu>
CC: public-webont-comments@w3.org
Jim,

You raise some good points about that particular paragraph being
ambiguous. Let me try to rephrase it in a way that answers your
questions. If this rephrasing is sufficient, please let me know, so that
we can include it in the next version of the document. If it is
insufficient, let me know which parts are still unclear.

This ontology can provide a terminology for describing content and
inferences sanctioned by the ontology can be used to improve the quality
of search on the portal. For example, an ontology might include
terminology such as "journal paper," "publication," "person," and
"organization." This ontology could include rules that state things such
as "all journal papers are publications" or "the authors of all
publications are people." These rules allow query systems to infer
additional information about journal papers and authors. Thus, a search
engine that is capable of inference can use the rules to return any
"journal papers" when a query asks for "publications" or return the
"author of a journal paper" when a query asks for "persons."

Thanks for your comments.

Jeff Heflin


Jim Farrugia wrote:
> 
> Hi,
> 
> Here are some comments that I hope may be helpful.
> 
> Jim
> 
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> 2 Use cases
> 2.1 Web portals
> Paragraph 3, beginning with the third sentence.
> 
> Original:
> 
> This ontology can provide an expressive terminology for describing content,
> and inferences sanctioned by the ontology can be used to improve the
> quality of search on the portal. For example an ontology can include knowledge
> about the topic of the portal such as "academic papers are written by
> one or more authors, which are people; people have surnames and given
> names and affiliations, which are organizations" and so on. These rules
> might say that the surname, given name, and name of affiliated organization is
> sufficient to unambiguously identify a person in the community. That is the
> sort of inference that an ontology can enable.
> 
> Comments:
> 
> 1. The first sentence above talks about "expressive terminology for describing
> content." The second sentence gives the example of "knowledge about
> the topic of the portal such as academic papers are written by one or
> more authors, which are people;..." This example seems to be talking about
>  more than just "expressive terminology." That is, I sense a mismatch
> between what the first sentence promises and what the second sentence
> delivers by way of example.
> 
> 2. The third sentence starts with "These rules," but it is not clear what
> rules are being referred to. Are the rules being referred to the "knowledge"
> mentioned in the previous sentence? If so, then maybe the second
> sentence could mention (at least parenthetically) that knowledge is
> expressed in rules, or something to that effect. But even with such a
> change in the second sentence, if there is no change in the first sentence,
> there would still be mismatch between the "expressive terminology" of the
> first sentence and the "knowledge" of the second sentence.
> 
> 3. The "These rules" of the third sentence presents another problem. Let's
> suppose that the rules being referred to are the ones expressed in the quoted
> statements in the second sentence (i.e., "academic papers are written by...").
> The third sentence says that these rules "might say that the surname,
> given name, and name of affiliated organization is sufficient to
> unambiguously identify a person in the community." The rules might say
> this, but they don't. So, there is a compounding confusion that builds in
> the reader's mind: the uncertainty about what "These rules" refers to
> is increased when the reader has to try to understand what these rules
> "might" do.
> 
> 4. The last sentence says "That is the sort of inference that an ontology
> can enable." The antecedent for "That" is unclear. It seems that the
> "That" refers to the what the rules might say, namely, that "the surname,
> given name, and name of affiliated organization is sufficient
> to unambiguously identify a person in the community."  But, if so, aren't
> you talking about a rule, not an inference? Can you clear up for me the
> difference between a rule and an inference? Do you see any difference? Also,
> perhaps some additional explanation could be given about "the sort of
> inference that an ontology can enable."
> 
> 5. None of the sentences after the first one above shows directly how
> "inferences sanctioned by the ontology can be used to improve the quality
> of search on the portal."
> 
> 6. I would suggest a rewording of my own that addresses my comments,
> but I can't until I better understand the following: (1) what you mean
> by expressive terminology, knowledge, rules, and inferences; and (2) how
> inferences can be used to improve the quality of a search.
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Thursday, 21 March 2002 15:59:56 GMT

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