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Re: peer-to-peer was Re: Distributed querying on the semantic web

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2004 16:16:57 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <20040424.161657.68558872.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
To: james.lynn@hp.com
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org

From: "Lynn, James (Software Services)" <james.lynn@hp.com>
Subject: RE: peer-to-peer was Re: Distributed querying on the semantic web
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 10:13:40 -0400

> Jeremy Question/Suggestion at end - 
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > Sent: Thursday, April 22, 2004 3:00 PM
> > To: Jonathan Chetwynd
[...]
> > Thus we can identify three levels of centralization in a semantic 
> > architecture:
> > 
> > 1: fully centralized
> >    terms and their meaning are defined by a single world wide 
> > authority.
> > See many standard internet vocabularies for doing X or Y
> > 
> > 2: terms decentralized, meanings per term centralized
> >    anyone can make up a term, but for each term there is a 
> > (potentially 
> > different) central authority that defines its meanings
> > 
> > 3: fully decentralized
> >    anyone can make up a term, anyone can make up a meaning
> > 
> > We know that (1) can work for some applications.
> > We know that (3) works (our life as a society, both natural 
> > language and 
> > other modalities of meaning use this method)
> > 
> > There are many who argue that (2) is the right way for the SemWeb.
> > [Maybe I am going to argue myself into (2), I prefer the 
> > beauty of (3), 
> > but the engineer in me sees the attraction of (2)]
> > 
> > Note that the choice of semantic architecture is orthogonal to the 
> > choice of distributed system architecture - it is possible to 
> > implement 
> > SemArch (3) on a mainframe serving the planet; it is possible to 
> > implement SemArch (1) on thousands or millions of peers 
> > circling the globe.
> 
> How about a hybrid of (2) and (3). One would have the option of availing
> themselves of "the beauty of (3)" while referring to centralized
> definitions as appropriate or convenient. Isn't this what we do in
> technical writing? We make up our own definitions when truly neccesary
> but find it convenient and efficient to make use of definitions from
> previously published papers. 

I've always advocate this approach.  In fact, I believe that the vast
majority of applications/services/agents/... will indeed use the
information provided by a term's coiner.

I also believe that there already is sufficient machinery in the Semantic
Web to support a combination of (2) and (3), namely owl:imports.  Yes, I
would like something better, perhaps to allow for publishers of information
to provide sub-document groupings of information.  Bijan Parsia and I have
a poster paper at WWW2004 on this topic, available at
http://www-db.research.bell-labs.com/user/pfps/publications/meaning.pdf
(unless you read this message soon after it is posted, in which case the
slow web publishing mechanisms I have may not have got around to noticing
it).

> Just my two shillings.
> 
> James

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Received on Saturday, 24 April 2004 16:17:15 GMT

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