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RE: Wordnet TF

From: John McClure <jmcclure@hypergrove.com>
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2005 15:39:12 -0700
To: "Jeremy Carroll" <jjc@hpl.hp.com>, <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <MGEEIEEKKOMOLNHJAHMKMEDDDPAA.jmcclure@hypergrove.com>

Though WN is a deeply substantive resource, we ultimately determined that WN's
synsets were too informal to be a basis for a commercial ontology. At the same
time, Legal XHTML is designing its ontology based on WN entries. For instance,
events defined by LegalXHTML are classified as either endurant or perdurant
events (acts v activities) -- we look to WN for definitions of both acts and
activities and for hints about their relations and constraints.

Acts and activities fit into a larger economic model. An economy is composed of
sectors, sub-sectors, industry groups, industries, and firms. Firms are composed
of business processes, as required for the manufacture and delivery of goods and
services. Business processes are composed of activities, which are composed of

With this in mind, a careful design using WN terms bridges between the qualities
it defines (e.g., Endowable), past-participles it defines (e.g., Endowed), acts
that it defines (e.g., EndowmentAct) and processes that it defines (e.g.,
EndowmentActivity). This design ensures, for example, that whenever some
property of EndowmentAct is associated with an Endowable, then incidentally one
can determine that the Endowable is indeed Endowed. By distinguishing an
activity whose 'calendar' includes an EndowmentAct (in addition to other
activities and actions), from the specific act of Endowment, one can identify
those Endowables that may be Endowed from Endowables that are Endowed, and from
Endowables that are not Endowed. Further, it should be equally incidental that
all Endowed resources are, by definition, Endowable resources.

Unfortunately, WN includes neither economic models nor endurant and perdurant
meanings of its terms, critical problems that cannot be overcome by its
translation to OWL. In short, while Wordnet provides a comprehensive linguistic
view of its vocabulary terms, it is unsuitable for rigorous commercial

John McClure

>-----Original Message-----
>From: public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
>[mailto:public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Jeremy Carroll
>Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:27 AM
>To: public-swbp-wg@w3.org
>Subject: Wordnet TF
>After having expressed a personal lack of enthusiasm for the Wordnet
>Task Force at Monday's telecon, I have discussed this situation with
>The task force has broadly the following jobs to do in phase 1:
>   1. define a mapping relating Wordnet and Owl and possibly SKOS
>   2. build consensus for that mapping amongst the several groups who
>have built their own
>   3. build support with the wordnet authors to adopt, distribute and
>maintain the mapping
>   4. possibly develop and deploy a service making Wordnet in RDF
>available on the web
>We believe that the Wordnet in RDF/Owl is important and would like to
>ensure that it is completed successfully, but we are aware that time for
>the WG is running out.  We suggest that we should take a realistic view
>of what can be accomplished within the lifetime of the WG.  Then two
>questions arise:
>   - is that a useful standalone contribution
>   - how do we get the work completed after SWBP shuts down
>A further point that came up in our discussion is some recent work at
>the Univ. of Chile, inspired by some of the early drafts of the Wordnet TF:
>This is an additional group that figures under point 2 above.
>[[Msg copied by bcc to agraves at dcc.uchile.cl to avoid adding to
>Alvaro's spam]]
Received on Friday, 28 October 2005 22:37:06 UTC

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