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Re: Any reason for ontology reuse?

From: Martijn van der Plaat <martijn@profec.nl>
Date: Sun, 5 Dec 2010 11:13:40 +0100
Message-ID: <AANLkTi=ftE=CV4EWvkwT63hupqQCuU9iVVfTA7dSL6Xw@mail.gmail.com>
To: ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program <metadataportals@yahoo.com>
Cc: Percy Enrique Rivera Salas <privera.salas@gmail.com>, public-lod@w3.org, Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Hi all,

As a master student Information Sciences at the VU Amsterdam and interested
in LOD (and SemWeb as a whole) I recently started reading this mailinglist.
The first discussion I tried to follow was the "is 303 really necessary?"
Topic initiated by Ian Davis. Well, after response nr. 10^2 I was totally
confused and almost decided to unsubscribe!
OK, now back on topic. I like both the explanation from Toby and Martin. But
the problem of knowing the popularity of the *whole* ontology, mentioned
somewhere in the comments, is IMO not interesting since in most cases a
data-publisher will use only parts of the ontology.
Also I dont believe in the added NL analogy by claiming that publishing
ideas in more than one type of ontology is a good thing. Why? Eg. The fact
that more and more datapublishers are using GoodRelations is already a great
development, imagine that every commercial sector is introducing their own
ontology, except the inherited ontologies of in this case GR. I dont believe
in automated ontology alignment technologies from this point of view. Maybe
translating *instances* of a certain popular ontology to your own language
is a better analogy?

What I personally miss in the current linked data development is a service
where I can search existing properties/classes when publishing structured
data. Sometimes it takes 5/10min to find (1) the right ontology and (2) the
right property/class, or in worst case I end up with nothing, but this is
maybe a discussion for an other thread.

Martijn van der Plaat

Op 4 dec 2010 21:30 schreef "ProjectParadigm-ICT-Program" <

Dear Martin,

Ad Rule 1. Is true if we can assume the builder of the ontology has built
something which is good according to some measurable criteria. For this we
have standards and procedures to arrive at standardized sets. We cannot be
sloppy when building ontologies e.g. for civil engineering, aerospace,
pharmacy, medicine, biodiversity or defense technologies, so why should we
then allow sloppy ontologies for most other fields?

Ad Rule 2. More popular and better quality yes , more popular but probably
of less quality no. But who makes the judgment calls? The collective of
users is never a good judge.

Rules 3 and 4 presuppose that somehow the person building his own ontology
or who must pick one from those available has the tools to determine which
is best, or how to make a good ontology.

Knowledge and information depend on accurate, for scientific reasons
unambiguous recording in natural language, which requires accurate
terminology, definitions etc.

The same rigid structures that dictate natural language vocabularies an
dictionaries have to apply to ontology engineering as well.

I can safely assume that most of the subscribers to our lists have the
intuitive skills to know good from bad ontologies and what is the right
practical approach to building a good ontology, but when semantic
technologies go mainstream, a lot of people will join the fray who don't, so
somewhere along the line some standardization and formal procedures must be

Dictionaries exist for a reason, and they are made based on corpora and
lexicological tools by specialized linguists, and for a good reason,
according to standards and standardized procedures for arriving at such.

And since ontologies are structured mirror images of natural language
domains it is inevitable and inescapable that good standard ontologies
should reflect this as well.

Like in many fields of science and engineering, good rules of thumb are
always created by specialists from the same fields who can reduce many
rules, standards, based on expert experience to a few rules.

It is this innate ability to create rules of thumb that must be captured in
procedures for ontology engineering.

No easy task, but not impossible, and not without standards and methodology,
but as bare-bones as possible, because languages are dynamic and flexible
and ever evolving.

Milton Ponson
GSM: +297 747 8280
PO Box 1154, Oranjestad
Aruba, Dutch Caribbean
Project Paradigm: A structured approach to bringing the tools for
sustainable development to all stakeholders worldwide by creating ICT tools
for NGOs worldwide and: providing online access to web sites and
repositories of data and information for sustainable development

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--- On *Sat, 12/4/10, Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>* wrote:

From: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
Subject: Re: Any reason for ontology reuse?
To: "Toby Inkster" <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Cc: "Percy Enrique Rivera Salas" <privera.salas@gmail.com>,
public-lod@w3.org, "Semantic Web" <semantic-web@w3.org>
Date: Saturday, December 4, 2010, 1:07 PM

> Simple rules:
> 1. It is better to use an existing ontology than inventing your own.
> 2. It ...
Received on Sunday, 5 December 2010 21:46:08 UTC

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