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Re: Wiki Page: Clarification of BFO Process Definition using a wide variety of use cases

From: Smith, Barry <phismith@buffalo.edu>
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 08:34:06 -0400
To: "Kashyap, Vipul" <VKASHYAP1@PARTNERS.ORG>, "William Bug" <William.Bug@DrexelMed.edu>, <bfo-discuss@googlegroups.com>, <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, <obo-relations@lists.sourceforge.net>
Cc: "Alan March" <alandmarch@gmail.com>, "Boris Hennig" <noreply@borishennig.de>, "Pierre Grenon" <pierre.grenon@ifomis.uni-saarland.de>, <michael.f.uschold@boeing.com>, "Alan Ruttenberg" <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>, "Holger Stenzhorn" <holger.stenzhorn@ifomis.uni-saarland.de>
Message-ID: <E1Hvukv-0006QU-JY@lisa.w3.org>


I think Barry has added me to this thread because of the comments
about my "Complex Procedures" paper. I hope you don't mind when I
post some thoughts about the definitions in the wiki page on processes.

1. Different stages of biological and clinical process can also be
executed by different participants, for instance a nurse and a
doctor, or a male and a female animal. So this should not be made a
defining feature of "computational process" in contrast to the
others two. It should be treated as a general option for all kinds
of processes.

2. It is important that "computational process" is defined as the
execution of a program, and something like this is missing in the
definition of "clinical care process." Not everything that is done
by clinical staff in the context of health care is also a clinical
care process (think of talking, breathing, humming, etc.). What
distinguishes clinical care processes from other kinds of thing that
nurses, doctors etc. do is that they have a point in the context of
health care, and are in some stricter sense part of health care.

I think it should be the general form of all those processes
which are realizations of realizable entities that they can involve
one or more participants.

The differences among such process will then lie in:

(a) The kind of realizable. Some realizables are specifiable in
detail by programs or algorithms, others are less strictly
determined by scripts, rules, or norms (such as human actions or
clinical procedures), and for some there may be no set of rules in
any strict sense, but only a pattern they typically conform to. This
distinction thus depends on the ontology of realizables.

(b) What the point is. This is how one can distinguish clinical
tasks from other tasks, e.g. processes like medical treatment from
other processes that may happen in the same context such as talking,
breathing, humming. The purpose of talking is (usually) not to cure anyone.

I have no idea how a good definition of "biological" process should
look like. The following is only an attempt:

"Biological Process: a realization of a realizable that is part of
the life of some living being."

This is far from perfect, since (1) life might also be a biological
process, which will make it circular - we would need an independent
account of what life is; and (2) not every process in the life of a
living being need be a biological process - we need to say more
about what it is to be "part of the life" of a living being.

Received on Wednesday, 6 June 2007 12:36:55 UTC

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