W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > May 2005

Re: a look at SW problems

From: Linda <linda@alierra.com>
Date: Fri, 20 May 2005 19:53:53 +0300
Message-ID: <068701c55d5c$8580eac0$0905a8c0@201vitaliy>
To: "Frank Manola" <fmanola@acm.org>
Cc: <semantic-web@w3.org>, <slogan0993@aol.com>
Frank,

I really appreciate your comments. And I like your approach to the universality. It is impossible to know everything as the amount of information in the world is growing faster than anything else... It seems to me that the gap between the amount of information in the world and the amount of information a human mind can store is one of the reasons of the stress we are all subjected to. However, I strongly believe in the well-known "who possesses the information, possesses the world" and I believe that SW is what can help us to reach our personal and social goals in the best way. To me, that's what universality is about, and about unity, of course.

Regarding the Ontologies, this is still the most challenging topic for me, though I have already learnt quite a lot... Now I see that in some way, subconsciously, I was trying to give the Semantic Web some "magic properties" if you see what I mean. Anyway, any code is quite complicated and now I see that the polysemous words is not a problem or at least not such a big problem.

I look forward to the time when SW strengthens its academic technology and gets recognition worldwide and we start using it at our company. 

And for now, I hope to get more information at W3 and have further interesting discussions.

Thanks everyone,

Linda Ridgeway
Marketing and Research Manager
http://www.alierra.com
1-877-835-2635


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Frank Manola 
  To: Linda 
  Cc: semantic-web@w3.org 
  Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 6:56 PM
  Subject: Re: a look at SW problems


  Linda wrote:
  > When I heard of semantic web for the first time, it reminded me the idea 
  > of creating a unique language for the whole world. However, we can see 
  > that people still speak English , Spanish, French and so on...  Then I 
  > was surfing the web for more information and as I got into the thing, I 
  > found the idea really bright, though quite challenging. I believe it has 
  > a bright future as it's not something artificial but is a natural 
  > extension of the current Web - with better defined information, making 
  > it understandable for computers and thus greatly fastening the process 
  > of data exchange.

  I think you're off to a good start here!

  >  
  > Universality is the paramount property of the Web, and I guess the 
  > essential property of the contemporary world. To succeed, we should make 
  > it the basic principle of the research and development in the semantic 
  > web sphere. We should unite the best scientists from all over the world, 
  > and use the phylosophy from life sciences. For example, most researchers 
  > have noticed that the problem reminds of a Godel's theorem in Math: any 
  > system that is complex enough to be useful also encompasses unanswerable 
  > questions, much like sophisticated versions of the basic paradox "This 
  > sentence is false." We know how this has been solved traditionally 
  > within quite a narrow approach of each single paradigm. However, with 
  > all the knowledge we have gathered all over the centuries, we may 
  > overcome this and find new solutions that may be applied universally.

  I think we need to be careful not to carry the "universality" idea too 
  far, though.  This is not to say we shouldn't be looking to advance 
  "universality" (in its various meanings), but sometimes people have the 
  idea that the Semantic Web must be "universal" in certain specific 
  senses in order to be useful and/or successful (as in your comment above 
  about "creating a unique language for the whole world").  I hope no one 
  would argue that the current Web is not successful and useful.  And yet 
  there is lots of information on the Web that a given person won't 
  understand, either because it's not in their native language (or other 
  natural language they understand), or because it's nominally in a 
  language that they understand, but in a subset that they don't 
  understand (e.g., the language of physics, for a non-physicist).  And in 
  many cases that person may never need or want to understand that 
  information (whether they are right or wrong about that is beside the 
  point).  In the same way, the Semantic Web can be hugely useful and 
  successful without being "universal" in, say, the sense that a given 
  piece of software can "understand" (in a meaningful sense of software 
  understanding anything) all the information that is "relevant" (by human 
  criteria) to what it is doing that may exist on the Semantic Web.  Mind 
  you, it would be nice if it could, and obviously we should work in that 
  direction, but I don't see this as a necessary success factor for the 
  Semantic Web, any more than the corresponding capability is for the 
  current Web.

  >  
  > Among the 3 basic components of the semantic web, personally, I see most 
  > difficulties in ontologies. There have always been problems with 
  > defining relationships, sometimes the extentions is different in 
  > different dictionaries. I didn't have a chance to read much about that 
  > and honestly I prefer communicate with people instead of looking for 
  > specific information in a book or serching the web. How can we overcome 
  > the difference of extentions? What are we going to do with polysemous 
  > words? If anybody can give me some information or a link to a 
  > related article, I will appreciate it a lot.
  >  

  There's a lot of literature in related areas.  Plugging search terms 
  such as "ontology integration", "database integration", or 
  "heterogeneous databases" into Google will find a lot of relevant 
  material (as well as the usual irrelevant stuff!).  Certainly the 
  database community has been looking at some of these issues for a long time.

  --Frank
Received on Friday, 20 May 2005 16:54:33 UTC

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