RE: [WNET],[OEP] OntoWordNet. A new large OWL ontology

   I haven't chimed in much recently, but I've been working with WordNet, CYC and various ontologies here at McDonald Bradley for a while. I even made an OWL version of WordNet about a year ago.

   To the point on whether Wordnet is an ontology, I offer my opinion based on this, rather simple definition of ontology (forgetting where I first learned it). ontology=taxonomy with relations.

I see WordNet as something of a lexical ontology. I lacks some of the machine esoteric, existential abstractions that something like CYC has. Mileage varies on the utility of that, IMO.

Insomuch as the various OWL models we use manifest in much the same form (nodes or concepts connected by relations), our WordNet OWL model is every bit identical in nature to our CYC one. In our graphical ontology browser, they have exactly the same structure. That is, a graph (and RDF triples). Hard core ontologists will claim an ontology is a more formalized class/property/abstraction model (like CYC) whereas WordNet dismisses generic abstractions in favor of lexical symbols (i.e. human readble). Personally, I don't find the difference to be terribly salient. Plato basically posited words to be abstract symbols anyway.

What we've found is that regardless of what you call it most ontologies are suitable up to a point before extending, modifying or mapping them to accomplish a goal is necessary. But that is not really a measure of 'ontology-ness', IMO.

Just my thoughts.


Senior Architect
McDonald Bradley

-----Original Message-----
From: on behalf of Uschold, Michael F
Sent: Wed 2/23/2005 1:04 PM
To: Aldo Gangemi;
Subject: RE: [WNET],[OEP] OntoWordNet. A new large OWL ontology
Here are a few thoughts about WordNet and ontologies gathered during
last week's Dagstuhl Workshop on: Machine Learning for the Semantic Web
The use of WN is more and more prevalent these days, especially among
those working with ontologies. 
However, WN is designed as a lexical resource, not an ontology; it was
never intended to be an ontology. 
Anyone who tries to use WN as an ontology quickly discovers that many of
the hyper/hyponymy links are not proper taxonomic links at all.  This
raises the question as to whether and when WN should be used as an
ontology at all.
If you try to use a knife as a can-opener - beware. It sort of works
kinda, but you need to be careful.
I dont have an opinion on this, but thought I'd report on these views
that I learned of.
It would be useful to have something to say on this point in the TF

	-----Original Message-----
	From: Aldo Gangemi [] 
	Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2005 12:35 AM
	Cc: Uschold, Michael F;;;;;;;;;;
	Subject: [WNET],[OEP] OntoWordNet. A new large OWL ontology
	Hi all,

	second message for new [WNET] files.

	This message is about a new version of the WordNet datamodel
that we started modelling months ago. First versions were encoded by
Guus Schreiber and Brian McBride. This version (3) has been enlarged,
commented, and checked after the original WordNet specifications by me.
It's downloadable from:
Extensive documentation from original sources, and about the work
carried out, is contained in the OWL file.



	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 Wednesday, 23 February 2005 18:52:17 UTC