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[Fwd: W3C Web Ontology WG: Content Interoperability Use Case discussion]

From: Leo Obrst <lobrst@mitre.org>
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2001 10:17:00 -0500
Message-ID: <3C1774EC.4F3D639D@mitre.org>
To: Raphael Volz <volz@fzi.de>
CC: www-archive@w3.org

Our current mode is to also cc the www-archive@w3.org on our email, to
keep a record. Here's my message from Monday.

Dr. Leo Obrst		The MITRE Corporation
mailto:lobrst@mitre.org Intelligent Information Management/Exploitation
Voice: 703-883-6770	7515 Colshire Drive, M/S W640
Fax: 703-883-1379       McLean, VA 22102-7508, USA

attached mail follows:


Welcome! I have condensed what I saw mentioned concerning content
interoperability so far and list it below. As you can see, these are
very sketchy working points so far. 

Let's send mail among our group to try to elaborate the use case, define
our terms, e.g., is "content interoperability" the same as "semantic
interoperability". I noticed in Jim Hendler's more recent message, that
he weakened/loosened the use case to be simply "Interoperability",
something I think we need to address immediately. I personally prefer
"content interoperability" as our focus, and largely equate this with
"semantic interoperability". But let me know what you all think.

1) USE CASE: Content Interoperability (a/k/a/ agent markup) (compiled
from WOWG messages)

- RDF has advantage over XML in allowing easy merging of content found
on different sites/resources, and the use of the combined sources.
DAML+OIL may offer additional advantage. Use cases include linking of
databases (DB schemas), coupling data to  pages, linking instance data
to ontologies.  Also allows linking of  ontology to ontology for mapping
of vocabulary, etc. In general, the issue of semantic mapping. 

- Adapation of content to user/device. The content exists in some form
(ontology), and needs to be translated to another form (ontology) for
use by a different user or device. 

- Finally, the notion of condradiction/inconsistencies: when we
integrate heterogeneous content, then we need a means for detecting and
resolving inconsistencies.

2) This is a message I sent out recently to the X318-news@nist.gov
group, who are interested in terminology standards, among other things,
suggesting one definition of "semantic interoperability". Specifically
the requester was working on the draft ISO standard on Requirements for
Electronic Health Records Architecture and referred to the 11179/3
standard which defined semantic interoperability as (paraphrased):
"ensuring that the receiver understands the data as intended by the
sender" -- which I do not like at all. One obvious issue is whether the
semantics will be machine intepretable or just a human agreement (as
most standards up to now have been).

My reply:
We did a study of semantic interoperability in 1999 and defined it (from
the perspective of interoperating object-based systems) in our paper: 
       Obrst, L., G. Whittaker, A. Meng. Semantic Interoperability via
Context Interpretation, submitted to Context-99, Trento, Italy, April,
1999, invited poster session.
A related and shorter paper is:
       Obrst, L., G. Whittaker, A. Meng. Semantic Context for Object
Exchange, AAAI Workshop on Context in AAI Applications, Orlando, FL,
July 19, 1999.

>From the 1st paper:
Semantic interoperability is defined as the enablement of software
systems ... to interoperate at a level in which the exchange of
information is at the enterprise [or community] level. This means each
system (or object of a system) can map from its own conceptual model to
the conceptual model of other systems, thereby ensuring that the meaning
of their information is transmitted, accepted, understood, and used
across the enterprise [or community]. We argue that the primary way by
which semantic interoperability can be realized is by defining a notion
of context which includes the object to be exchanged and its internal
state, its interpretation with respect to both the source and the target
system object models, and the particular use of and intent for the
object in both the source and target systems.


ps. I suggest we archive these as Dan has suggested, by cc-ing
Or should we just post our discussions to the general list:
www-webont-wg@w3.org? Another alternative is to investigate and create a
special Yahoo group (but also archive to the above). What do people

Dr. Leo Obrst		The MITRE Corporation
mailto:lobrst@mitre.org Intelligent Information Management/Exploitation
Voice: 703-883-6770	7515 Colshire Drive, M/S W640
Fax: 703-883-1379       McLean, VA 22102-7508, USA
Received on Wednesday, 12 December 2001 10:17:42 UTC

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