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Re: monotonicity [was: Re: On Consensus]

From: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 14:04:37 +0300
Message-ID: <009f01c26483$56aff260$d74416ac@NOE.Nokia.com>
To: "Brian McBride" <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, "ext Graham Klyne" <Graham.Klyne@MIMEsweeper.com>
Cc: "Jeremy Carroll" <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>



[Patrick Stickler, Nokia/Finland, (+358 40) 801 9690, patrick.stickler@nokia.com]


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "ext Graham Klyne" <Graham.Klyne@MIMEsweeper.com>
To: "Brian McBride" <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: "Jeremy Carroll" <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>; <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Sent: 25 September, 2002 13:25
Subject: Re: monotonicity [was: Re: On Consensus]


> 
> Jeremy made some comments about (non-)monotonicity with which I'm not sure 
> I agree.  But I think the thrust here is worth exploring.  To put it bluntly:
> 
>    Would it be acceptable to abandon the goal of monotonicity for uses of 
> untyped literals?
>
> Which I think is along similar lines to what Brian is suggesting here.
> 
> The non-monotonicity I'm contemplating is to assume (default) that untyped 
> literals are strings unless more explicit information is available.
> 
> Given that use of untyped literals seems to correspond to a "scruffy" style 
> of information modelling, and an "unscruffy" equivalent can always be 
> achieved by using bNodes and typed literals (with provision for explicitly 
> unknown typing), it seems worth exploring whether loss of monotonicity for 
> the "scruffy" style is truly harmful.
> 
> I think this at least suggests a migration path from all forms of current 
> usage.

I think it all boils down to whether we want inference engines
to function more like Google, with potentially lots of false
positives which *might* be useful, or like a reasoning engine
where a positive result can be trusted (insofar as the quality
and integrity of the knowledge base) and the inability to obtain
a result simply means more information is needed.

If the former, then non-mon is OK. If the latter, then it's not,
and that includes within the RDF layer as well as between RDF and 
higher layers.

I myself have always presumed that SW agents would exhibit
the latter behavior. Otherwise, where would we find any
semblence of trust or authenticity by which non-trivial
decisions would be made by SW agents on our behalf. If we are to 
have a future where we deploy SW agents to do real-world tasks for 
us, I'd prefer that they wouldn't be guessing.

Patrick
Received on Wednesday, 25 September 2002 07:16:48 EDT

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