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Re: DAML-ONT: the case for closedness

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 15:44:18 -0500
Message-Id: <v0421010db6111633ed76@[]>
To: Jerome.Euzenat@inrialpes.fr (Je'ro^me Euzenat)
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Jerome.Euzenat writes:

>	as mentionned by James Hendler, the language has been given 
>an open character which follows the open character of the web. That 
>is: anyone can add new information about a class. This complies with 
>the DL vision taken in OIL.
>	However, it could be nice to allow users to close the meaning 
>of a name so that no one can add to it.

Well, seems to me that there is little point arguing about whether or 
not it would be nice, because it is impossible. Once some content is 
published on the web, there is absolutely no way to prevent someone 
else from referring to it and maybe 'adding' to it on their website.

> This would be useful, for ontology designers to state what a name 
>exactly means and to allow refinements (through subclassing) but no 
>modification (through asserting).

The best we could do would be to have a restricted inference mode 
which would refuse to recognize (or anyway to refuse to accept) any 
assertional modifications which do not have the imprimateur of the 
originating source. But we cannot guarantee that someone or something 
will not draw a conclusion which uses resources other than those we 

The real challenge (for me) is to somehow make sense of these ideas 
of 'authorization' and 'source' and integrate them into the semantic 
theory.  A public ontology is a different kind of thing from a 
private ontology, in much the same way that speech differs from 
thought, and its theory of meaning will need to be extended to cope 
with the social aspects involved.

Pat Hayes

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Received on Monday, 16 October 2000 16:41:20 UTC

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