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Re: Rich semantics and expressiveness

From: Azamat Abdoullaev <abdoul@cytanet.com.cy>
Date: Sat, 3 Mar 2007 15:54:49 +0200
Message-ID: <000e01c75d9b$832b3730$030aa8c0@az00evbfog6nhh>
To: "Hans Teijgeler" <hans.teijgeler@quicknet.nl>
Cc: "Chiara Carlino" <chiaracarlino@epistematica.com>, <semantic-web@w3.org>
Hi, Hans,

You again tossing rousing comments aiming to shake up the complacent SW communities, measuring the success by a multitude of conferences, symposia, and workshops. Indeed, ''...it is puzzling how (a universal medium for the exchange of data) can ever be achieved without a universal, generic, data-driven model and standard data to drive that model''. 

We suggested on several occasions both on this and other listings http://www.eis.com.cy/E-forums.pdf:
 ''without a common standard ontology as a common code of meanings and rules, there is no base and foundation for the whole enterprise of ontological semantic technology, or intelligent applications.  For creating knowledge machines with the built-in [open world] common ontology framework [context, mechanical soul] necessitates a single code of fundamental standards, principles, rules, and laws, suggesting a broad, integrated model of things in the world.'' 

Accordingly, without common ontological groundwork, only formal logical or pure semantic or mathematical or linguistic approach to the SW enterprise would be incomplete or even misleading. Lack of such understanding is a major obstacle to the success of large ontological projects as the semantic web, SUO, etc.

What we need to finally realize is that the standard ontology, the conceptual basis of the Semantic Web, is to be built as a integrated account of reality and realities with their fundamental interrelationships; for it concerns with the entity-relation types in the world at the first place. At the second, it studies how the realities (the world things) relate to the concepts and associations in the mind, to the coded representations and structures in machines, and to the words and sentences. 

So, to give the direct answer to your troubling concerns, basing on the wrong assumptions,  we are enthusiastically moving to the same impasse, as it had been experienced by the smart AI folks, but with more enormous financial losses and ensueing public disillusions in the postmodern science and technology.


Azamat Abdoullaev

----- Original Message ----- 

  From: Hans Teijgeler 
  To: SW-forum 
  Cc: West, Matthew 
  Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2007 12:19 PM
  Subject: RE: Rich semantics and expressiveness


  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 communities."

  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] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Activity
  [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enterprise_Application_Integration

  Hans Teijgeler
  ISO 15926 specialist
  +31-72-509 2005

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Received on Saturday, 3 March 2007 13:55:12 UTC

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