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Re: WebOnt General Requirements Subgroup - Initial E-mail

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 14:48:22 -0600
Message-Id: <p05101034b83abddd80ec@[]>
To: Jeff Heflin <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>
Cc: Deborah McGuinness <dlm@ksl.stanford.edu>, ned.smith@intel.com, jeremy_carroll@hp.com, phayes@ai.uwf.edu, connolly@w3.org, jos.deroo.jd@belgium.agfa.com, herman.ter.horst@philips.com, hendler@cs.umd.edu, www-archive@w3.org
>Thanks, your arguments have convinced me. In fact, I now think the
>multi-user issues and difference and merging are closely related to
>requirements I had listed.
>Everyone, I think it would be helpful if we can try to identify how the
>various candidate requirements (original list from Jim, Deborah's list,
>my list) are related. Here is my first cut at such a mapping:
>Jeff's			Deborah's		Original list
>-------------------	--------------------	-------------------
>shared meaning		multi-user
>ontology reuse		extensible
>ontology evolution	versioning		versioning
>interoperability	diff and merge		domain mapping
>inconsistency					inconsistency
>scalability		scalability		large ontologies
>user-friendly		ease of use
>data persistence
>			security
>			XML interfaces
>			internationalization
>						ontology-based search
>						ontology querying
>Although this table only shows Deborah's "multiple users" requirement
>mapped to my "shared meaning" requirement, I think it also maps to my
>"ontology reuse" and "ontology evolution" requirements.
>Everyone, I'd like you to look at this table and decide if you agree
>with my mappings.

Sorry, I know we are in a hurry, but I have to ask for clarification. 
Could we have just a word or two about what these very cryptic terms 
are intended to mean? "Shared meaning" for example could mean 
anything from the sociology of semiotics to some language feature for 
referring to a reference ontology, or anything in between.  I have 
trouble seeing the exact intended difference between 'ontology reuse' 
and 'ontology evolution' (presumably, re-use is supposed to mean more 
than just 'use more than once without change', right?).

I would add simple expressiveness. Seems to me that the most basic 
requirement of any ontology language is expressiveness, and that 
DAML+OIL miserably fails to provide enough of it.  I wonder also if 
issues like being able to convey proofs for subsequent checking, and 
the associated requirement that they stay checkable (one might call 
it monotonicity of verifiability), should be thought of as a 

>Right now, this indicates that we have 13
>  The next step is to decide if we want to collapse two or
>more into single requirements. Also, take a hard look and decide if you
>think all of these are actual requirements for us. Personally, I think
>"ontology-based search" and "ontology querying" might be use cases
>instead of requirements, and fairly broad use cases at that. I don't see
>how one could create an ontology language that doesn't support search
>and querying,

? How about DAML+OIL, for example?

>so I'm not sure anything is gained by making these
>explicit. As always, I'd like to have a group debate on the issue.
>Finally, once we've identified what our requirements are, I'd like to
>come to agreement on what their names should be. The table above
>proposes two and sometimes three different names for the same
>requirement. My goal is to have a requirements list by tomorrow, so that
>we can begin working on rough drafts of each requirement for our
>Thursday telecon.
>Deborah McGuinness wrote:
>>  sorry for the slow response.
>>  in terms of requirements for ontology languages based on use 
>>cases, given that we are to come up
>>  with things that emerge across many (expected) use cases, i still 
>>would claim that the three issues
>>  in question below fit.
>>  first multi-user issues - i expect many use cases to include:
>>  1- multiple users modifying background ontologies
>>  2 - multiple users viewing background ontologies
>>  3 - multiple users using background ontologies that possibly will be updated
>>  given this, i think it is important that there is some support for 
>>allowing multiple users to
>  > (re)use ontologies that others may change, browse ontologies that 
>are evolving, extend ontologies
>>  (that others may be extending), and all of this may need to be 
>>done by multiple people
>>  simultaneously.

OK, but what *features* are needed to support this? One might after 
all respond that once ontologies are on web sites and have URIs, all 
this will just kind of happen , pretty much by itself, although in a 
rather disorganized way perhaps.  That is, those ontologies will in 
fact get changed, be re-used, get extended, and so on, much in the 
way that HTML web pages point to one another. What else needs to be 
said or done about this? (Im sure the question has an answer, but Id 
like to see a sketch of what it is :-)

>  >
>>  second security mgmt - once more than one person is using 
>>knowledge that is evolving, it is
>>  important to be able to specify who can
>>  1 - view information
>  > 2 - modify information
>  > also, particularly for govt applications, it becomes important to 
>allow levels of granularity that
>>  people (like generals vs. civilians) can see.   some levels of 
>>specification may be classified
>>  about tanks  but general information about tanks may be unclassified.

Doesnt this presuppose a level of security in web transactions that 
does not yet exist? The web provides no way (beyond conventional file 
protection schemes) to even allow anyone to modify information, and 
the only security over viewing is of the all-or-nothing kind embodied 
in https. So what else is there to be said about this topic here?

>  >
>>  third difference and merging -
>>  i expect many use cases to include using either an upper level 
>>ontology that might need extension
>>  or multiple ontologies.
>>  given this, it is important to be able to find out how one term 
>>definition differs from another
>>  definition and also to support putting definitions together.

This presupposes that there are clear notions of 'definition' 
available. As far as I can see, neither RDF nor DAML provides such a 
notion, so what do you have in mind here?

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Received on Monday, 10 December 2001 15:48:26 UTC

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