RE: [SE] Comments on Draft Note


No problem at all . I was just tired after a long flight. Im in the SWIG
today. Lets meet up....

Phil Tetlow
Senior Consultant
IBM Business Consulting Services
Mobile. (+44) 7740 923328

             "Uschold, Michael                                             
             <michael.f.uschol                                          To 
   >             Phil Tetlow/UK/IBM@IBMGB            
             28/02/2005 08:10                                              
                                       RE: [SE] Comments on Draft Note     

I stroungly recommend that you forward this series to the list - unless
you really want something off the record. Your comments seemed quite
appropriate for general discussion from my perspective.

On OWL: I think that it is the whole purpose of the WG to give advice on
how to use OWL.
I wonder what the rest of the group thinks?


-----Original Message-----
From: Phil Tetlow []
Sent: Sunday, February 27, 2005 2:31 PM
To: Uschold, Michael F
Subject: Re: [SE] Comments on Draft Note

Mike, if you don't mind, some humble opinions from me...?

I started out writing this for the whole SWBP to see, but then thought
it better to send it directly. After a long flight, and all
that......Hope to see you tomorrow?

Thanks for your early comments. Our (SWTF) ambition is that, hopefully,
we can add some more substantial shape to this note over the f2f week
and this may mean some substantial changes. As such, I wholeheartedly
agree with your point about the note needing more focus. As discussed,
the initial aim, was to set a direction for debate and then ad more
specific material through joint discussion and (I trust) agreement.

Three initial thoughts, however,

1.    On your comment - 'Frequently, it is mentioned that formal
specifications offer the possibility of complete lack of ambiguity.
IMHO, this is very misleading, and a common misunderstanding. We should
not promulgate it.'

      Of course are quite correct (in your very wise opinion!), but the
      point about any method, formal or not, is surely that it is merely
      implement. As such, like most implements, any method can be used
      poorly and for completely the wrong job. Outlining tool potential,
      'attempted' here, is never a guarantee of understanding, uptake or
      quality of practice, but we can all live in hope!! ;0)

      So, I guess that we should have thought more carefully about our
      target audience. My personal assumption in writing this text was
      it would primarily be picked up by practitioners with some
      in methods theory and application. As is usual, I stand corrected.
      Obviously you have raised a very valid point for even the
      so I think it would indeed be wise to add some material similar to
      that you have quoted - thanks.

2.    Yes, I absolutely agree, the introduction and overall style is
poor. Any additional help would be appreciated.

3.    I must confess that I have thought hard about making this note
specifically relate to W3C technologies like OWL, but have personally
pulled back from this. I see no problem with listing OWL as a related
technology, but am concerned about, for example, providing examples
using OWL. This is because.

a.    I think that ODA is more an approach to technical architecture,
rather a specific statement on language usage. For much the same reason
I was reluctant to specially refer to UML tools, like ERD, but was
persuaded by the excellent contributions of others from the TF.
b.    The ODM has already covered similar ground and concluded that UML
OWL are distinct enough to require different metamodels. This appears to
be a contentious issue and I'm am currently more in tune with the idea
of some serious work around UML class diagrams to make the two
metamodels fit - This is one for use to take up with Grady directly I
c.    The field of Semantic Web languages still appears to be moving
Do we really think it wise use specific OWL syntax in such a note, so
early in the debate about the overlap of Software Engineering and the
Semantic Web? I guess the only pragmatic answer is yes, but some debate
first would be useful.

I'm sure that the next week will be an exciting time and looks forward
to much lively debate over many beers!

Kind Regards

Phil Tetlow
Senior Consultant
IBM Business Consulting Services
Mobile. (+44) 7740 923328

             "Uschold, Michael


   >             <>

             Sent by:

                                       [SE] Comments on Draft Note

             26/02/2005 07:32


Thanks to Phil for getting something out the door for all of us to look
at. There are plenty of interesting ideas and points, which IMHO need to
be brought into much clearer focus. When I read it,  I hardly recognized
it from the prior notes and discussions. Something seemed missing.

The note says little if anything about 'ontology-driven architectures'.

Perhaps we can agree on such things as:
* intended audience for this note
* what are the specific objectives for a given reader?
* what specific points should the reader go away with?
* can we identify some specific needs, requirements, potential benefits
that persons in the intended audience will have?
* can we structure the note according to how to meet these requirements,
make the benefits happen?
* an outline of the note with a sentence or two describing what we will
say in each major section.
* are we going to give some specific advice?
* are we going to illustrate any general points with examples?
* how does the note relate to OWL, specifically?

Once we get agreement on these things, writing the note should be much

As it stands, the note is very generic, abstract, and high level, it
lacks any particular relevance to OWL. Also, there are lots of very long
sentences that could be split up to add clarity.

Here are some specific comments:

Frequently, it is mentioned that formal specifications offer the
possibilty of complete lack of ambiguity. IMHO, this is very misleading,
and a common misunderstanding. We should not promulgate it. Here is a
paragraph I recently wrote in another context addrssing this:

It is often blithely assumed that representing the semantics explicitly
and formally, removes all ambiguity in meaning, thus enabling machines
to be programmed to automatically discover the meaning and behave
appropriately.  Such claims are very misleading, or just plain false.
For example, terms defined in a logic-based representation language with
a model-theoretic semantics are highly ambiguous (in that there are many
possible models).  Adding more axioms can rule out more and more models,
however for many concepts, such as 'human being' or 'car' there are
fuzzy boundaries. It will never be possible to add enough axioms to
stamp out all ambiguity. Even if you could, it is not likely to be
useful to have many dozens or hundreds of axioms for each concept - how
would they be used?

What we can say, it that formal representations HELP to remove

No clear objectives, disjointed.

2.1 This was jarring, there needs to be a gentler introduction to the
overall content of the note, and outline. Then each piece will naturally
follow on, and the reader will expect them. Perhaps we can use the "say
what you are going to say; say it; say what you said" structure for the
2.2: by 'tooling use" do you mean use of tools?

3: Need introduction spiel to talk eabout the three ideas in general,
then elaborate.

Organize the benefits. For example,
Ease of formal specification supports rigorous classification and
identification. It also supports knowledge assertins and inferencing.

if we number the bullets from 1-6, the following links exist.
4 -> 2 -> 5
       2 -> 1
4 -> 3 -> 1
Where the semantic of the linke is: supports, facilitates, helps bring

3.1: too vague, need examples.

3.3: too wordy, abstract and jargony. What is the specific
importance/relevance of the relational model in this context? Need

4. what is the intended message for this section?

5. Isseus: these are the standard ones. Do we have anything specific to
say about them for our particular purposes?

Received on Monday, 28 February 2005 13:21:03 UTC