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Re: Weak semantic links [was: semantic dissonance in uniprot]

From: Adrian Walker <adriandwalker@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 16:02:59 -0400
Message-ID: <1e89d6a40903281302n475dd331xef50c960f5f55562@mail.gmail.com>
To: "John F. Madden MD, PhD" <john.madden@duke.edu>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
John --

You wrote...

*The second problem, I think, could only be helped by keeping these
assertions "inside-the-fence" of the community that had any use for them.
But this is a problem, because the semantic web isn't supposed to have any
fences, i.e. "anybody can say anything about anything". What to do?*

What to do is -- add two semantic dimensions to the current
tagged-data-centric approach.

Sorry if that sounds stark.  Here's what it's intended to mean.

The problem you describe, and several others, can at least be mitigated, and
maybe solved by the following approach.  The idea is that *three kinds* of
semantics can be made to work together in one reasoning system.  They are

*Semantics 1:*  Data semantics.  Tagged RDF and similar data

*Semantics 2:*  A model theory or similar saying what it should in principle
be possible to derive from any set of assertions and axioms.

*Semantics3:*  The meaning of open vocabulary English sentences, and how
such sentences can be combined to give meaning to a new sentence.

Bringing Semantics 1,2, and 3 together in one system has a nice side effect
-- the system can generate step-by-step English explanations of any results
that it finds.

So, when you write a 'weak' semantic link in executable English, you say so
with warning phrases such as

 *according to the British Medical Journal ...., however this is disputed by
the AMA*

If the reasoning that leads to a result uses this weak semantic link, then
the link shows up in the English explanation of the result.

It's not a perfect solution to the semantic web problem that you pose, but
it does go a long way to closing the semantic loop between authors of (weak)
semantic links and people who use the links -- that is, towards removing the
need for fences on the semantic web.

There's a system with some examples online at the site below that
illustrates the approach.  there's also an overview paper [1].

Apologies if you have seen this before, and thanks for comments.

                                                    -- Adrian

[1]
www.reengineeringllc.com/A_Wiki_for_Business_Rules_in_Open_Vocabulary_Executable_English.pdf


Internet Business Logic
A Wiki and SOA Endpoint for Executable Open Vocabulary English over SQL and
RDF
Online at www.reengineeringllc.com    Shared use is *free*

Adrian Walker
Reengineering



On Sat, Mar 28, 2009 at 2:54 PM, John F. Madden MD, PhD <
john.madden@duke.edu> wrote:

> Pat,
>
>  I think its fine for the SWeb to include 'weak' semantic links that don't
>> (yet?) have tight definitions that can support machine inference, but still
>> convey useful information to users and maybe even tool developers. (I know
>> saying this runs the risk of opening the old 'social meaning' can of worms,
>> but those worms aren't going to go away :-)
>>
>>
> If you're willing to run with this a bit, I'd be curious about your
> thoughts. Turns out, this theme has been popping up in HCLS a fair amount
> recently.
>
> Sometimes, it arises in the context of knowledge-capture, viz.,  how do you
> get experts who are not ontology-savvy to disgorge their knowledge in an
> ontologically useful way? Here, you might resort to loose semantics because
> the skill of the modelers does not support the precision that is desired.
>  In other words, the knowledge is actually there and could in principle
> could be modeled more elaborately, but demanding precision yields
> diminishing returns because amateurish modeling errors proliferate.
>
> Other times it arises in the context of garden-variety uncertainty: there
> is no ripe knowledge to be harvested, just a bunch of hunches and
> intuitions. But for a particular community, these hunches and intuitions
> might have value. (Usually, they don't have value--and may even be toxic, in
> the sense of "large doses may kill you"--for the world-at-large, because
> intuitions by their nature rely heavily on background/contextual
> understanding. I guess, is one aspect of 'social meaning'.)
>
> Anyway, the former problem (seems to me) is a human-engineering problem. If
> we could figure out cleverer, more assistive modeling tools and better
> educational techniques for ontology training, we might be able to fix it.
>
> The second problem, I think, could only be helped by keeping these
> assertions "inside-the-fence" of the community that had any use for them.
> But this is a problem, because the semantic web isn't supposed to have any
> fences, i.e. "anybody can say anything about anything". What to do?
>
> I've been hoping that Named Graphs would solve this problem. I'm curious if
> you think NG's can support this use case of segregating potentially toxic
> 'knowledge' on the SW.
>
> The other solution I can think of is the solution that enterprises use for
> privacy: set up private webs, intranets, yadda yadda. Which seems scary.
>
> John
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
Received on Saturday, 28 March 2009 20:03:34 UTC

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