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Re: on Use cases/ Web portals

From: Jim Farrugia <jim@spatial.maine.edu>
Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2002 10:13:53 -0500 (EST)
To: Jeff Heflin <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>
cc: public-webont-comments@w3.org, Jim Farrugia <jim@spatial.maine.edu>
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.3.91.1020322100935.27924A-100000@nasa.spatial.maine.edu>
Jeff,

Thanks for your reply. 

Below are some additional comments and questions.

Thanks,

Jim

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeff,

Thanks for your reply.

Your reworked version clears up the issues in my first three comments. 
It also resolves some of the issues of my fourth and fifth comments.   

The remaining concerns I have are about: (1) the idea of improving 
the quality of search results, and (2) the example inferences you provide.

The following comments address these issues.

1. I would suggest something along the following lines as an 
   alternative to your first sentence. (The idea for me would be, say, 
   to mention both terminology and rules first, then say that once 
   terminology and rules are in place, inferences can be made;
   and these inferences can somehow "enhance" search results. 
   I think once you start saying "improve the quality of search" 
   you're almost obligated to talk about information-retrieval 
   measures like recall and precision, even if only to contrast your 
   notion of improved search quality with conventional benchmarks of
   retrieval effectiveness. I'm not sure whether you would want 
   to go down that path with this example, though I think it could
   be very interesting.  The question marks below indicate my own 
   uncertainty about the wording that I'm suggesting.)

  This ontology can provide a terminology for describing content,
  as well as rules that ??describe relationships among pieces of this
  content??. Given suitable terminology and rules, an ontology allows
  certain inferences to be made. These inferences can, in turn, allow
  users to obtain search results from the portal that are difficult 
  to obtain from conventional retrieval systems.

2. Your next-to-last sentence says that the rules "allow query systems 
   to infer additional information about journal papers and authors," and
   your last sentence suggests (if I understand it right) that a search 
   engine could return [instances of] journal papers when a query asks for 
   [instance of] publications. 

   I have some questions about this.

   First, what is the additional information that is being inferred about 
   journal papers? Is it that any instance of "journal paper" is 
   also an instance of "publication"?  If so, isn't this information 
   something something that is not "new," but rather already present 
   in the rule "all journal articles are publications"? If not, what is 
   an example of the additional information being inferred about journal papers?

3. Your last sentence suggests to me that the search engine, in returning
   "journal papers" when a query asks for "publications," is making some
   kind of inference in order to provide these results. 

   I have some questions about this as well.

   What inferences are being made, and how do these inferences relate 
   to the rule "all journal articles are publications"? Specifically, 
   do you mean by inference something different than the rule (implication?) 
   that "If X is a journal article, then X is a publication"?  
   The reason I ask is that I am confused about how, in the scenario you 
   lay out, inferences are different from rules (which to me seem to be 
   implications). 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


On Thu, 21 Mar 2002, Jeff Heflin wrote:

> 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 Friday, 22 March 2002 10:18:35 GMT

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