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RE: Re[1] DAML-ONT: the case for closedness

From: Jim Hendler <jhendler@darpa.mil>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000 09:20:11 -0400
Message-Id: <v04220818b619e82ad76c@[]>
To: Jerome.Euzenat@inrialpes.fr (Je'ro^me Euzenat), "Hart, Lewis" <lhart@grci.com>, Pierre-Antoine CHAMPIN <pachampi@caramail.com>, Jeff Heflin <heflin@cs.umd.edu>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org, "Emery, Pat" <pemery@grci.com>
I've been reading this carefully, and I understand the issue well, 
but I still think people are missing some of the import of being on 
the web and the web URI solutions.

In my web page, when I anchor my assertions to an ontology I am 
"pointing" (via url reference) to the ontology that I choose to use. 
So, if I say on my page that I sell computers, I can specify which 
computers I mean - so I can say (forgive me, but I'll use Predicate, 
rather than RDF notation):

  Sells(*me*, BigOnt:computer)  where bigOnt is the appropriate reference.
I can also say
  Sells(*me*, badont:computer)

in each case I've explicitely pointed to the ontological commitment I 
wish to make.  I may not know all the ramifications of that, but I do 
have the ability to express.  So, if something funny happens on my 
site, I complain to some guru, and he says "oh, use BigOnt rather 
than badont."

  Far as I can tell, once I'm explicitely pointing at an ontological 
reference, only the folks who control that ontology can make the 

  This has interesting effects - in SHOE, for example, we insist rules 
live on ontology pages (i.e. if you want to express your own rule, 
you must define it somewhere and then point at that URI as your 
ontological commitment).

  Now, in my view, this means that some of the closure issues (the 
trust/authority ones) become "non logic" issues - that is, the 
control over who can change bigOnt becomes an issue outside of the 
logic of bigOnt -- the owners can "close" the ontology simply by 
putting it somewhere no one else can write to.  Anyone who points at 
their ontology directly can then be assured that it is "closed" to 
unauthorized change

  In short we create a market in which better (or at least more useful 
or maybe just better marketed) ontologies get more use and thus 
become the standards.

Don't know about you, but I'd prefer to sell 
USComputerManufacturers.Ont:Computers than 
FlyByNightOntologyCorp:computers, but it is my choice, and you're 
free to go the other way (and some enterprising dot-ont company might 
decide to create a new ontology which includes the equivalent 
statement between the two that still other users may choose)

Dr. James Hendler		jhendler@darpa.mil
Chief Scientist, DARPA/ISO	703-696-2238 (phone)
3701 N. Fairfax Dr.		703-696-2201 (Fax)
Arlington, VA 22203		http://www.cs.umd.edu/~hendler
Received on Monday, 23 October 2000 09:20:55 UTC

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