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RE: Rich semantics and expressiveness

From: Hans Teijgeler <hans.teijgeler@quicknet.nl>
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2007 14:06:01 +0100
To: "'Adrian Walker'" <adriandwalker@gmail.com>
Cc: "'SW-forum'" <semantic-web@w3.org>, "West, Matthew" <matthew.west@shell.com>
Message-ID: <000001c75d94$b536a9f0$6c7ba8c0@hans>
Hi Adrian,
I see that you will have a meeting with Matthew West next Thursday. Let him
convince you.
As English is your native tongue you cannot make the shift to a paradigm
that you don't understand a single word of English. That's why you now want
to achieve interoperability by means of executable English. Not very helpful
if only your computer understands English (does it?).
I agree with you that harmonization of terms is useful, and for that reason
communities work on dictionaries. We do that too. But that is only a


From: Adrian Walker [mailto:adriandwalker@gmail.com] 
Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2007 13:44
To: Hans Teijgeler; SW-forum
Subject: Re: Rich semantics and expressiveness

Hans --

You wrote...Can anybody enlighten me, at least by pointing to some useful

There has been some related discussion on


IMHO, that discussion explores the problem, but does not point to a likely
solution, because of the concerns you raised.

Again IMHO, the most hopeful approach to the problem is to raise the
interoperability concerns to the level of executable English.  Only then
will folks be able to bridge the "semantics" embedded in diverse data
intensive applications.  After all, in non-SW situations, the way in which
systems are harmonized after things like a corporate merger, is for people
to discuss the semantics in English (or Dutch, etc).  That leads to
documents that are handed to programmers, who interpret the semantics as
best they can.  A better way is to bridge the semantic gap by making the
English findings executable, and hence testable over sample data.

As you may know, [1,2,3] explore this further.

There will be a presentation and phone in discussion about this on Thursday
8th of March.  The discussion is open to all, anywhere in the world.  The
language will be English.  The link is


 Apologies to folks who have seen all this before.

                                           -- Adrian


[2]  Internet Business Logic 
      A Wiki for Executable Open Vocabulary English
      Online at HYPERLINK
"http://www.reengineeringllc.com"www.reengineeringllc.com    Shared use is


Adrian Walker

On 3/3/07, Hans Teijgeler <HYPERLINK
"mailto:hans.teijgeler@quicknet.nl"hans.teijgeler@quicknet.nl> wrote: 

In this context I would like to bring up something that keeps puzzling me.
The W3C Semantic Web Activity Statement [1] starts with:
"The goal of the Semantic Web initiative is as broad as that of the Web: to
create a universal medium for the exchange of data. It is envisaged to
smoothly interconnect personal information management, enterprise
application integration, and the global sharing of commercial, scientific
and cultural data. Facilities to put machine-understandable data on the Web
are quickly becoming a high priority for many organizations, individuals and
This is great, and it is what we strive for. But it is puzzling how this can
ever be achieved without a universal, generic, data-driven model and
standard data to drive that model. What I see happening is that everybody
can and often does invent instances of owl:Class and owl:ObjectProperty
on-the-fly, and then seems to expect that DL will be the band-aid that
solves all integration problems. In order to assist the reasoners all sorts
of qualifications are added (re OWL1.1), but to me it seems that when this
is done, actually a (rather private) data model is created again.
Above statement envisages the "smooth interconnection" of a plethora of
totally different application domains. That is wise, because we live in one
integrated universe (domain), and nobody can dictate where one subdomain
stops and the other begins. Hence the need for a universal model as a common
denominator. But it is striking that the word "interconnection" was used,
rather than "integration". Interconnection reminds me of EAI [2], so
hub-based or point-to-point, where Semantic Web integration (as I understand
it) involves a web-based distributed data base.
Keeping in mind that, as I wrote before in this thread, application systems
store a lot of implicit data (or actually don't store them), the direct
mapping of their data to the SW formats will cause more problems than its
solves. They are based on their own proprietary data model, and these are
unintelligible for other, equally proprietary, data models.
The thing puzzling me is how the SW community can see what I cannot see, and
that is how on earth you can achieve what your Activity Statement says,
without such a standard generic data model and derived standard reference
data (taxonomy and ontology). But perhaps not many SW-ers bother about the
need of universal integration, and are happily operating within their own
subdomain, such as FOAF.
Can anybody enlighten me, at least by pointing to some useful links?
PS The above does not mean that I have no faith in the SW. On the contrary,
I preach the SW gospel. But I just want to understand where it is moving to.
[1] HYPERLINK "http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Activity"
Hans Teijgeler
ISO 15926 specialist
+31-72-509 2005
HYPERLINK "http://www.infowebml.ws/" \nwww.InfowebML.ws 
HYPERLINK "mailto:hans.teijgeler@quicknet.nl" \nhans.teijgeler@quicknet.nl

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Received on Saturday, 3 March 2007 13:18:57 UTC

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