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Re: "what is an ontology?" stuff in requirements abstract/intro

From: Jeff Heflin <heflin@cse.lehigh.edu>
Date: Sat, 16 Feb 2002 15:49:23 -0500
Message-ID: <3C6EC5D3.539A2C20@cse.lehigh.edu>
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
CC: www-webont-wg@w3.org

Most of these comments appear to be improvements, so we'll incoroprate
them into the document. I'll work on a rewording of "the problems with
lack of semantics in XML" to describe specific problems for specific


Dan Connolly wrote:
> Our requirements document is going to
> be the first exposure that some folks
> get to our work; I can imagine
> it showing up in Robin Cover's XML
> new stuff; he'll probably grab the abstract:
> "This document specifies goals, requirements, and usage scenarios for
> the OWL web ontology language."
> I can imagine xml-dev/www-talk folks saying, "er..
> gee, thanks; now what's an ontology
> language?"
> That's elaborated later in the document; let's
> see if there's some text to grab... yes:
>   Put simply, an ontology is just a set of
>   standard vocabularly terms along with some
>   formal definitions of the terms.
> Lightly edited:
>   An ontology is vocabularly of terms along
>   with some formal definitions of the terms.
> I'd like another sentence that gives a short
> list of examples:
>         the yahoo hierarchy
>         kindom/phylum/class sorts of biological
>                 taxonomies
>         product categorization: menswear vs.
>                 sporting goods vs. perishables
> Or maybe a few buzzwords from our use cases would
> be better: Portals, image collections, site
> management, Intelligent Agents.
> Oh... please flesh out the TOC. Please make sure
> all the buzzwords are in there!
> Hmm... about the intro in general...
>   The W3C has chartered a Web Ontology working group (WebOnt)
>   to develop a language which extends the semantic reach of
>   current XML and RDF meta-data efforts.
> I prefer to think that the chartering isn't the cause of
> our work; it's one of the effects. Presumably W3C chartered
> this work because folks think it's useful. What is it
> that folks think is useful?
> The three examples I gave above are the sorts of things
> I expect that our audience will be familiar with which
> motivate our work. I'd suggest starting there.
>   The term ontology may be unfamiliar to many readers of
>   this document.
> That seems superfluous. I suggest striking it.
>   This notion of ontologies comes from Artificial Intelligence,
>   where ontologies are used to allow heterogeneous systems to
>   exchange and reason with information.
> I'd suggest either citing specific work in this area
> or striking the reference to Artificial Intelligence.
>   One of the problems with using ordinary XML is that the
>   elements and attributes defined by DTDs or XML Schemas do
>   not have any semantics associated with them;
> I think a lot of folks in our audience see the lack
> of semantics in XML as a feature, not a problem.
> Even myself: I don't see a lack of semantics in XML
> as a problem with XML, any more than the lack
> of semantics in s-expressions or binary trees
> is a problem.
> I'm not sure what to suggest as a replacement, other than
> going right into use cases: "Consider the problem
> of exchanging parts catalogs between suppliers...".
> Maybe copying some stuff from the Web Portal
> use case into the introductory material would be
> straightforward?
> http://km.aifb.uni-karlsruhe.de/owl/
> Web Ontology Requirements
> W3C Working Draft Feb 7, 2002 1:30 pm
> --
> Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Saturday, 16 February 2002 15:49:27 UTC

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