Re: [OEP] Fwd: Re: discussion on part note

At 12:26 +0100 18/02/05, Aldo Gangemi wrote:
>I am forwarding this from an off-line OEP excursion, to be archived.
>For a general overview, and in particular for the transitivity 
>problem, I've just got an interesting paper on part relations from 
>my colleague Laure Vieu:
>Vieu, L. & M. Aurnague (to appear). Part-of Relations, Functionality 
>and Dependence. In: M. Aurnague, M. Hickmann & L. Vieu (eds.), 
>Categorization of Spatial Entities in Language and Cognition. 
>Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
>Laure: is that paper available online?

shortly on the LOA page (!

>>Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2005 01:32:15 +0100
>>To: Pat Hayes <>
>>From: Aldo Gangemi <>
>>Subject: Re: discussion on part note
>>Cc: Christopher Welty <>,, 
>>Uhuh, you are inviting me to a mice party in a giant cheese cake!
>>At 16:50 -0600 17-02-2005, Pat Hayes wrote:
>>>>Also for me Chris: do we move discussion to the list? maybe you 
>>>>can make a compilation and move things there ...
>>>>Concerning part-whole, consider the existing axiomatization and 
>>>>typology (parts, proper parts, components, features, membership, 
>>>>temporal indexing of parthood, transitivity issues, universe 
>>>>restrictions, etc.) in DOLCE and its extended library 
>>>>(DOLCE-Lite-Plus), existing in both FOL and OWL, with a rich 
>>>>documentation at:
>>>Well, *consider* it, but then I would strongly recommend rejecting 
>>>it, on the grounds that the central distinction it bases itself on 
>>>(the perdurant/endurant distinction) has no useful place in a 
>>>working ontology, and in fact is actively harmful to most 
>>>practical part/whole reasoning. Which is a pity, as much of the 
>>>DOLCE structure seems useful and well-thought-out; but this 
>>>useless and harmful distinction runs through it like a fault line 
>>>through a landscape.
>>I could just tell you that a honourable distinction, existing in 
>>many natural languages and much common sense reasoning, cannot be 
>>said to be useless. But I take you earnestly.
>>I think no distinction is harmful *per se*, provided it is explicit 
>>enough to be evaluated for applicability.
>>Premise: DOLCE is not the only way to draw distinctions: we have 
>>built it as an example of an axiomatic ontology with an attempt to 
>>base it on solid grounds, but in our Lab four-dimensionalist (or 
>>n-dimensionalist) ontologies are being investigated and developed 
>>as well.
>>If your main criticism is against 3D ontologies, i.e. those that 
>>assume that no temporal parts of objects can be predicated, e.g. 
>>PatHayesYesterday -PART-OF-> PatHayesAsTemporalWorm), I should say 
>>that it is just a matter of taste rather than harmfulness (not that 
>>aesthetic appreciation cannot guard ourselves from harmfulness, but 
>>some see 4D as cognitively noxious as well!).
>>There are good arguments for the distinction, and other against it. 
>>Most you can express in 4D can be expressed in 4D, and vice-versa: 
>>some cases will be easier to model in one paradigm, others the 
>>And distinctions go far beyond 3D vs 4D ... for example, do you 
>>really think the distinction between objects and events has no room 
>>in 4D?
>>More practically: do you think it's the same part-of relation applied to:
>>  i) PatHayesYesterday -PART-OF-> PatHayesAsTemporalWorm
>>as to:
>>  ii) PatHayesLiverYesterday -PART-OF-> PatHayesYesterday?
>>or even as to:
>>  iii) PatHayesLiverAsTemporalWorm -PART-OF-> PatHayesAsTemporalWorm?
>>If you do not think they are the same relation (in the sense that 
>>its universe is partitioned by appropriate axioms on different 
>>types of entities), what's your criticism about? In DOLCE, you can 
>>talk of PatHayesLife, parts of that life, of being part of Pat 
>>Hayes at time t or forever, etc.
>>If you think they are the same, then you accept that I sensibly say 
>>something like:
>>  iv) PatHayesLiverYesterday -PART-OF-> PatHayesAsTemporalWorm
>>... uhm ... not that one cannot tell that, but this last use of 
>>part-of implies (in 4D) that:
>>  v) PatHayesLiverYesterday -PART-OF-> PatHayesYesterday -PART-OF-> 
>>And this composition of relationships is logically different from 
>>its component relationships, even if you state transitivity on all 
>>uses of part-of, which is not necessarily a good practice.
>>I know this is just the beginning :)
>>>>More precise comments after I read your note carefully.
>>>>At 16:28 -0500 17-02-2005, Christopher Welty wrote:
>>>>>We had an OEP telecon today and had some lively discussion on 
>>>>>the part note.
>>>>>First of all we all agreed it is a good start. Despite numerous 
>>>>>philosophical/ontological issues creeping into the discussion, 
>>>>>we reached a consensus that for the simple note we shouldn't 
>>>>>change it too much, and consider deeper issues for the longer 
>>>>>We discussed for a while specific criticisms to the example, its 
>>>>>general usefulness and correctness (wrt reality).  I suggested a 
>>>>>change to a medical example, for which these criticisms had 
>>>>>ready answers and in particular lay in Alan's expertise - even 
>>>>>more, we could take the examples from actual usage.  In the end 
>>>>>we convinced ourselves that this example was a good place to 
>>>>>start because of its familiarity and general reusability.  Evan 
>>>>>took the action to work on a corrected version of the example 
>>>>>that is accurate wrt the anatomy of cars.  (Evan, be sure to 
>>>>>include the critical issue of unsprung weight).
>>>>>Some specific comments:
>>>>>- It woudl be very useful to mention in this note the 
>>>>>limitations on transivity in OWL DL (no cardinality 
>>>>>restrictions) and perhaps exemplify it.
>>>>>- Brush up the introduction section.  Rephrase "the key thing to 
>>>>>represent about PW relations is that they are transitive", which 
>>>>>seems to strong .  Add a brief discussion to the point that 
>>>>>there are many "kinds" of PW relations and try to describe which 
>>>>>one this note deals with.
>>>>>Also, Deb and perhaps others will send suggested references to add.
>>>>>I am willing to take a pass on it to address these issues.  Is 
>>>>>the editor's draft the latest version?
>>>>>Dr. Christopher A. Welty, Knowledge Structures Group
>>>>>IBM Watson Research Center, 19 Skyline Dr., Hawthorne, NY  10532 
>>>>>Voice: +1 914.784.7055,  IBM T/L: 863.7055, Fax: +1 914.784.7455
>>>>>Email:, Web: 
>>>>Aldo Gangemi
>>>>Research Scientist
>>>>Laboratory for Applied Ontology
>>>>Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technology
>>>>National Research Council (ISTC-CNR)
>>>>Via Nomentana 56, 00161, Roma, Italy
>>>>Tel: +390644161535
>>>>Fax: +390644161513
>>>>!!! please don't use the old
>>>>address, because it is under spam attack
>>>IHMC		(850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973   home
>>>40 South Alcaniz St.	(850)202 4416   office
>>>Pensacola			(850)202 4440   fax
>>>FL 32502			(850)291 0667    cell
>>Aldo Gangemi
>>Research Scientist
>>Laboratory for Applied Ontology
>>Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technology
>>National Research Council (ISTC-CNR)
>>Via Nomentana 56, 00161, Roma, Italy
>>Tel: +390644161535
>>Fax: +390644161513
>>!!! please don't use the old
>>address, because it is under spam attack
>Aldo Gangemi
>Research Scientist
>Laboratory for Applied Ontology
>Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technology
>National Research Council (ISTC-CNR)
>Via Nomentana 56, 00161, Roma, Italy
>Tel: +390644161535
>Fax: +390644161513
>!!! please don't use the old
>address, because it is under spam attack

Received on Monday, 21 February 2005 10:07:48 UTC