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Re: process to discover and adopt/adapt relationships

From: Semantics-ProjectParadigm <metadataportals@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 19:18:28 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <902137.72671.qm@web45510.mail.sp1.yahoo.com>
To: Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, John Graybeal <graybeal@mbari.org>
In an earlier thread I suggested using the template approach, which uses basic templates and components to build large complex systems.

I am personally preparing a paper outlining this idea borrowing from the great design in nature, .i.e. RNA, DNA enzymes and proteins and the way these replicate duplicate and build large complex proteins from simple building blocks and amino acids.

Think of an ontology as a complex protein and reverse engineer, that is in essence how we could model the process of tags and base ontologies.

Milton Ponson
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--- On Wed, 3/11/09, John Graybeal <graybeal@mbari.org> wrote:

From: John Graybeal <graybeal@mbari.org>
Subject: process to discover and adopt/adapt relationships
To: "Semantic Web" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Date: Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 1:39 AM

I have a question of 'best practice' (uh oh).

When you need an ontology for a purpose (like creating a controlled set of terms to describe a domain area, let's say for authoritatively populating a drop-down list), there are two stages of work: (1) Find what exists. [2] If what exists doesn't fit the need, subset or expand it.

For step [1], I go to Watson and Swoogle and Google-('.owl' only), enter some appropriate search terms, and try to weed through the morass of sources that result, eliminating mail lists and other irrelevancies.

What else should I be doing to have a reasonable shot at finding the almost perfect, already existing ontology?

[2] Now, inevitably, there are many ontologies that have some piece of what I want, and a few that have way more than what I want.  Now what?  I can (a) piece together parts of each ontology (means importing them all?), (b) use one of the mother-of-all-ontologies or vocabularies (cyc, wordnet, others?) as is (means importing the whole thing?), (c) create a new ontology that associates concepts to those in other ontologies (either sameAs or more subtle relationships), or (d) some combination of the above.

It looks to me like if I want to provide a specific list of terms, that don't overlap, have clear definitions, are unambiguous, and fill the domain space, I will almost always have to create that entire list on my own (then I can map it to other concepts if I want to be a good boy).

Even if I find a very solid ontology that meets these criteria, inevitably it has more or fewer concepts than I want to show the users of my ontology. So presenting just the right variation of the ontology requires...another ontology.  (I guess extension can be done by importing, and adding the few extra terms. But subsetting seems awkward, unless one can import and _deprecate_ a few terms?)

Is there something fundamental I've missed in the best practices and technologies that people are using for this use case?  Or are we inevitably in a world full of duplications, possibly with some extensions and specializations?

John

--------------
John Graybeal   <mailto:graybeal@mbari.org>  -- 831-775-1956
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Marine Metadata Interoperability Project: http://marinemetadata.org
Received on Wednesday, 11 March 2009 02:19:10 GMT

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