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Re: [OPEN] and/or [PORT] : a practical question

From: Aldo Gangemi <a.gangemi@istc.cnr.it>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 19:41:52 +0100
Message-Id: <p06002045bc878300e753@[]>
To: welty@us.ibm.com
Cc: jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com, bernard.vatant@mondeca.com, horrocks@cs.man.ac.uk, public-swbp-wg@w3.org, public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
As I said in a message that hasn't been forwarded to the list (yet?), 
I agree on the dangerousness of mixing up concepts and topics.

>Chris wrote on Wed, 24 Mar 2004 12:59:04 -0500
>  People just mismodel their worlds, I hope we can offer some advice on
>both how to do some of these things and how NOT to do it.
>Anyway, your analysis exposed some important misconceptions, espcially
>regarding so-called "subject hierarchies" and class hierarchies.  I've
>written a paper or two about the problem, in this one:
>[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0169-023X(99)90021-6] I basically show that
>subject taxonomies are actually "part"onomies, or more precisely spatial
>containment,  not subclass (in fact, etymologically, "subject" means to
>throw under, "topic" is a region, and "about" means near).  Some of the

Chris' papers are a milestone in this area (a few bucks, please!), 
and the topological approach he takes is in accordance with ways of 
conceptualizing cultural spaces (or "knowledge contexts") in 
semiotics, linguistics, and anthropology.

BTW, consider the analogy between topics as spaces, and namespaces 
... and the kinship between "knowledge contexts" and "formal 
contexts". I am going to suggest that a topic (or subject in a more 
restricted sense) is an "abbreviated" namespace or knowledge context. 
Topics work perfectly with humans, who use them to build conceptual 
spaces, but they work very poorly with machines, which have no 
context to build those spaces. Solutions are being envisaged (C-OWL 
being one of them), but the matter needs real thinking, not just 
shortcuts. Indeed, I think the success of the Semantic Web partly 
relies on a clear understanding of these issues.

>initial problems of representing subject taxonomies in DLs are discussed
>in a paper in the first FOIS conference, which may be hard to find.  I
>can't seem to find a softcopy myself.

It seems that I am the only one that owns several copies of those proceedings!


Aldo Gangemi
Research Scientist
Laboratory for Applied Ontology, ISTC-CNR
Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies
(Laboratorio di Ontologia Applicata,
Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione,
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche)
Viale Marx 15, 00137
Roma Italy
+3906.824737 (fax)
Received on Wednesday, 24 March 2004 13:51:06 EST

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