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Re: model-theoretic semantics for DAML-ONT

From: Richard Fikes <fikes@KSL.Stanford.EDU>
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 10:12:57 -0800
Message-ID: <3A1423A9.81B0E5A2@ksl.stanford.edu>
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
CC: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
> I put together a draft of a model-theoretic semantics for DAML-ONT as a
> counterpoint to the axiomatic semantics recently submitted to this list.
> Comments are welcome.

I am pleased to see a start on another description of a semantics for
DAML-ONT.  This initial description seems to be rather informal and
incomplete in important ways.  I encourage you to make it more formal
and more complete by covering all of the DAML-ONT spec.

A couple more general comments come to mind:

The same points that you have made about the axiomatic semantics
requiring the reader to understand the syntax and semantics of KIF can
also be made here.  That is, you have used set theory (which one?),
symbols such as "<=", terms such as "disjoint", "=", etc. without
defining them or providing references to the definitions you intend.

Many of the statements in the semantics (e.g., the ones about
restrictions and qualifications) seem to be English prose statements of
the axioms that are in the axiomatic semantics.  Is there some reason to
prefer the informal prose statements over the formal axioms?

It seems you have avoided using constructs like "holds" primarily by
stating the properties of the various DAML-ONT terms and constructs in
English.  How is that better? 

I look forward to the next version of this semantics which I hope will
be more formal and more complete.

More importantly, I hope that these two semantic descriptions of
DAML-ONT will continue to bring to the surface issues in the design of
DAML-ONT that need further attention and clarification, and thereby
support the DAML-ONT community.  

Received on Thursday, 16 November 2000 13:13:05 UTC

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