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Re: Why do you want to do that?

From: Denny Vrandečić <dvr@aifb.uni-karlsruhe.de>
Date: Tue, 12 Aug 2008 18:24:31 +0200
Message-ID: <48A1B93F.1030705@aifb.uni-karlsruhe.de>
To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
CC: "Richard H. McCullough" <rhm@pioneerca.com>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, Semantic Web at W3C <semantic-web@w3.org>, KR-language <KR-language@YahooGroups.com>

Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
> The problem I see with having answers depend on goals is that in this
> vision of the Semantic Web the are many goals. If representations are to
> be chosen according to goal, then how is the whole thing supposed to
> hang together?

I assume (hope!) that the goals rarely lead to conflicting
representations but rather stress one aspect of a specific
representation more than another (so an ontologies about eagles will
look different for a zoo, a biological lab, and a government office for
wildlife preservation).  In the cases were they do indeed lead to
conflicting representations we will need to apply some mapping,
repairing, or selection preprocessing.

> There is the view of the Semantic Web technology stack as just some
> other technology stack - another J2EE or CORBA, and there is the view of
> the Semantic Web as an entity like the Web. What you say about goals is
> more appropriate for the former. For the latter I would suggest that
> coming to agreement  (and learning how to come to agreement) on matters
> such as this is important.

Coming to a wide agreement certainly increases the value of the result
tremendously (alas, increasing the cost for coming to this agreement as
well). Tim Berners-Lee comes to my mind for stressing this point in his
ISWC 2005 keynote [1]. It increases interop, integration, and leads to a
better life (slight overstatement).

But -- it is not necessary. The Semantic Web is not building the one big
ontology for everyone, but rather allows for a plurality of meaning,
using a common specification like RDF.

Still, you tackle an important question -- how to actually come to a
wide agreement? I guess it's up to adoption, quality, luck, and politics.


[1] <http://www.w3.org/2005/Talks/1110-iswc-tbl/> around slide 17
Received on Tuesday, 12 August 2008 16:25:09 UTC

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