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Re: Goal for "a priori"

From: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Apr 2002 11:52:28 -0500
To: Christopher Ferris <chris.ferris@sun.com>
Cc: Mark Baker <distobj@acm.org>, www-ws-arch@w3.org
Message-ID: <20020402115228.A32744@www.markbaker.ca>
Hey Chris-not-the-chair,

On Mon, Apr 01, 2002 at 11:33:04PM -0500, Christopher Ferris wrote:
> <HatOff>
> Mark,
> The phrase "without third party agreement" is a little
> puzzling. What exactly does this mean in this context.

I think it means that the architecture should not require that parties
have to visit a common third party in order to be able to communicate.

I've seen UDDI used in this way; that one party must go to a UDDI
registry to get the information necessary to access another.

More recently, people have adopted the convention of placing the WSDL
for a Web service on the end of a GET on the URI for that Web service.
That is an excellent idea that we should encourage as best practice,
IMO, since it means that all you need is a URI, and no third party, to
get started.

> An automated resource is a very different story though. Without
> shared knowledge, understanding and language, it is quite
> a difficult proposition to achieve the same degree of
> functionality that we see on the web today when the consumer
> is a human, with a rather sophisticated inference engine
> at their disposal. Most software lacks this last critical
> feature, so there is bound to be a need for *some* degree
> of 'a priori' knowledge.

Most definitely.

If I knew the meaning of one French word, and was given a French
dictionary, the number of new words that I could learn is not going to
increase.  But if I knew 10 words, and those words were chosen carefully
such that many other definitions used them (a "sub language of
definition", you could say), then I could likely learn the entire French
language.  AFAIK, the same holds for all knowledge, whether grokked by
human or machine.

But even before you get to this point, you've got to have a degree of
a priori agreement that permits this knowledge to be accessed and
manipulated over a network.  Something that permits one to lookup words
in a dictionary, or in the case of a manipulable knowledge store, to
store some piece of knowledge, or to produce a new piece of knowledge as
a function of some others.

It's unclear to me to which our charter is referring, but I believe this
to be roughly the intent.

Mark Baker, Chief Science Officer, Planetfred, Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA.      mbaker@planetfred.com
http://www.markbaker.ca   http://www.planetfred.com
Received on Tuesday, 2 April 2002 11:46:54 UTC

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