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Re: ANN: The Vehicle Sales Ontology - Cars, Bikes, Boats on the Web of Data - http://purl.org/vso/ns

From: Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 08:51:34 +0200
Cc: Michael F Uschold <uschold@gmail.com>, semantic-web@w3.org
Message-Id: <18F3CB10-8054-410F-8A4D-2400749FC45C@ebusiness-unibw.org>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Hi Michael, Pat:

Thanks for your feedback. As said, the main focus of the ontology are  
areas with short-term business relevance. From my analysis, those are

- New and used car listings
- Car manufacturers' vehicle specifications
- Rental car offers
- (Rather generic) rental offers for recreational vehicles, like  
bikes, boats, etc.

I am happy to change the structure of the water vehicles part, but  
only if there are at least two additional data sources and a total of  
10,000 models or offers exposed on the basis of that change, or one  
deployed (!) application that will depend on the change.

Some of you may know that I am a big fan of clean modeling in general  
and many aspects of OntoClean in general, but ontological correctness  
is only one of many characteristics of a good ontology, unless impact  
and practical relevance are not considered relevant.

I agree with all of Michael's trade-offs, but again, the VSO ontology  
does not say that a Kayak is not a boat. It just says that a kayak  
does not have to be considered a boat by every individual that want to  
commit to the ontology. It is perfectly fine to make your kayak a  
vso:Boat, since there are no disjointness axioms between kayaks and  
boats in the ontology.

As a side comment to the community (not to you personally): The  
reputation of the Semantic Web movement would be a whole lot better if  
any senior research in the field had tried to actually build at least  
one non-toy ontology (of any size). With non-toy I mean:

1. Consistent
2. Deployed under a permanent URI
3. HTML documentation
4. Tool support for creating and consuming respective data

We do currently have only 8 - 10, maybe 20 serious Web ontologies but  
 > 1,000 papers on the Semantic Web. ;-)


On 09.09.2010, at 06:09, Pat Hayes wrote:

> On Sep 8, 2010, at 4:26 PM, Michael F Uschold wrote:
>> There are various tradeoffs:
>> 	 Conceptual simplicity of the ontology,
>> 		 for easy understandabilty
>> 		 for ease of use
>> 	 Alignment with common sense
>> 		 for easy understandabilty
>> 		 to avoid repelling potential users
>> 	 Ontological correctness which should correlate with 2. but may  
>> be at odds with 1.
>> 		 to align with common sense
>> 		 to increase correctness and scope of usability
>> 		 more correct can often mean more complex
>> 	 Keeping things nice for inference engines
>> 		 to improve functionality in an application
>> 	 Keeping things nice for [semantic] web developers and programmers
>> 		 to encourage use
>> IMHO it is dangerous to stray far from common sense - it is too  
>> expensive in scaring users away by getting surprising and incorrect  
>> behavior in applications.
>> IMHO catering too much to the whims of inference engines and making  
>> life easy for web developers often results in an unfortunate amount  
>> of messiness in an ontology.
>> On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 11:36 PM, Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org 
>> > wrote:
>> Hi Michael,
>> Thanks for the feedback! I chose to consider Kayaks as a special  
>> kind of watercraft in order to exclude them from the domain of all  
>> properties associated with having a motor, because to my knowledge,  
>> kayaks are extremely rarely powered by an engine (other than e.g.  
>> canoes, which occasionally have small electric or combustion  
>> engines).
>> This seems to be trading off ontologically correctness and  
>> alignment with common sense for simplicity and making things nice  
>> for web programmers and inference engines. I am all in favor of  
>> simplicity to encourage use, but I think it is dangerous to be too  
>> out of alignment with common sense - which says a kayak is a boat.
>> By simply also making kayak a subclass of boat, one would recommend  
>> (*) a lot of properties that 99.9% of the kayaks in the world don't  
>> have (engine displacement etc.), which will irritate potential  
>> adopters.
>> Otherwise, I would have needed rather "ontology expert" classes  
>> like "motorizableWaterVehicle" etc. This would also require complex  
>> class definitions for the range / domain definitions, which cause  
>> practical problems in many pure RDF and RDFS environments (e.g.  
>> resolving unionOf without an OWL reasoner is a pain for developers).
>> You seem to be using the term "boat" to mean "motorizable water  
>> vehicle".   I agree that "motorizable water vehicle" is not very  
>> natural or simple, even if it is ontologically correct.
> Um... don't the (natural) categories of powered boat, sailboat and  
> rowboat capture the needed distinctions here quite adequately? I  
> have no idea whether a kayak is usually called a rowing boat, but it  
> clearly belongs in a natural class of boats propelled by arm muscles  
> holding a paddle or oar. BTW, there are, or once were, sea-going  
> ships in all these three categories.
> Pat Hayes
>> I agree that there can be domain and range issues.  I always cringe  
>> at examples like this where we cater to the whims of the language  
>> and the reasonsers at the cost of common sense.
>> You have thought about it longer than I, but intuition and  
>> experience suggests there is likely a way to keep things reasonably  
>> simple and also aligned with common sense.
>> So it was really just a decision for bringing order to the domains  
>> and ranges of typical properties.
>> I hope this modeling compromise is acceptable for all kayakers in  
>> the world.
>> Martin
>> (*) I am well aware of the specific semantics of rdfs:range and  
>> rdfs:domain ;-)
>> (**) I know that you know that I am not saying that a kayak is not  
>> a boat but just that a kayak does not always need to be a regular  
>> boat for everybody ;-)
>> On 30.08.2010, at 20:36, Michael F Uschold wrote:
>> Overall this ontology is just fine, highly suitable for its  
>> intended purpose.  I do have one [hopefully] minor concern. Why is  
>> a kayak not a kind of a boat? The classification in this ontology  
>> goes like this:
>>         Watercraft
>>                 Boat
>>                 Kayak
>>                 Ship
>> The source of this (IHMO) mistake may be in the WIkipedia entry for  
>> Watercraft:
>> However, there are a number of craft which many people would  
>> consider neither a ship nor a boat, such as:canoes, kayaks, rafts,  
>> barges, catamarans, hydrofoils, windsurfers, surfboards (when used  
>> as a paddle board), jet skis, underwater robots, seaplanes, and  
>> torpedoes.
>> Contradictorily, the opening words in the definition of kayak in  
>> Wikipedia clearly state that a kayak is a boat:
>> A kayak (sometimes generalised as a canoe) is a small human-powered  
>> boat that traditionally has a covered deck, and one or more  
>> cockpits, each seating one paddler who strokes a double-bladed  
>> paddle.
>> I have been a kayaker for 35 years, and every kayaker I know thinks  
>> and speaks of their kayak as a kind of boat. In the US, most  
>> whitewater kayakers consider themselves boaters.
>> What competency question justifies this classification?
>> What is an example of a kayak that is categorically not a boat?
>> Michael
>> On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 10:22 AM, Martin Hepp <martin.hepp@ebusiness-unibw.org 
>> > wrote:
>> Dear all:
>> I am happy to announce the first mature release of the Vehicle  
>> Sales Ontology [1], a GoodRelations-compliant [2,3] Web vocabulary  
>> for
>> - Cars,
>> - Bikes,
>> - Boats,
>> - etc.
>> on the Web of Data.
>> It can be used by car listing sites, bike or canoe rental services  
>> and the like.
>> In combination with
>> - http://purl.org/goodrelations/v1#owns and
>> - http://purl.org/goodrelations/v1#seeks ,
>> it is also possible to expose ownership ("I own a Volkswagen Golf")  
>> as part of online identity data or purchasing interest ("I am  
>> looking for a canoe").
>> The ontology recommends DBPedia resource URIs as predefined  
>> qualitative values as much as possible.
>> Any feedback is very welcome.
>> Best wishes
>> Martin
>> [1] http://purl.org/vso/ns
>> [2] http://purl.org/goodrelations/v1
>> [3] http://www.ebusiness-unibw.org/wiki/ 
>> Own_GoodRelations_Vocabularies
>> --------------------------------------------------------
>> martin hepp
>> e-mail:  mhepp@computer.org
>> www:     http://www.heppnetz.de/
>> skype:   mfhepp
>> twitter: mfhepp
>> Check out GoodRelations for E-Commerce on the Web of Linked Data!
>> =================================================================
>> * Project Main Page: http://purl.org/goodrelations/
>> * Quickstart Guide for Developers: http://bit.ly/quickstart4gr
>> * Vocabulary Reference: http://purl.org/goodrelations/v1
>> * Developer's Wiki: http://www.ebusiness-unibw.org/wiki/GoodRelations
>> * Examples: http://bit.ly/cookbook4gr
>> * Presentations: http://bit.ly/grtalks
>> * Videos: http://bit.ly/grvideos
>> -- 
>> Michael Uschold, PhD
>>   LinkedIn: http://tr.im/limfu
>>   Skype: UscholdM
>> -- 
>> Michael Uschold, PhD
>>    LinkedIn: http://tr.im/limfu
>>    Skype: UscholdM
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Received on Thursday, 9 September 2010 06:52:08 UTC

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