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RE: MT for imports (was: Re: Imports Proposal)

From: Smith, Michael K <michael.smith@eds.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 10:51:07 -0600
Message-ID: <B8E84F4D9F65D411803500508BE3221411E82DDA@USPLM207>
To: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>, Jerome.Euzenat@inrialpes.fr
Cc: webont <www-webont-wg@w3.org>


> But suppose I was using the SW for e-commerce 

I don't think this is something we need to worry about.  You may try to PLAN
your negotiation with inadaquate information.  The result will be that in
the course of the ACTUAL negotiation the other party will reply that they
don't sell single pencils.

> My proposal is simply to do what programming languages do

There is a big difference between the semantic web and programming
languages.  If a web page refused to display because one of its links was
bad, we would not have the Web.  Compilers have to be a little more picky.

Vendors will build systems that will leave crumbs behind, so that a
'successful import' (which I am not defining) results in assertions like

 a     [failedImport | successfulImport] g0001
 g0001 document b
 g0001 timestamp "2002-11-14T10:10:04"

From which you can determine whether the information you based your
reasoning on was in any sense complete.  Which gets us into distributed KB
consistency, atomic transactions, and lots of stuff that is out of our

By the way, I basicly go along with your suggested closure of the imports
issue.  I would note that Peter and Jeff crafted some very precise words for
the operational effect of importation and it would seem sensible to use

- Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Hendler [mailto:hendler@cs.umd.edu]
Sent: Thursday, November 14, 2002 8:47 AM
To: Jerome.Euzenat@inrialpes.fr
Cc: webont
Subject: RE: MT for imports (was: Re: Imports Proposal)

Jerome- I understood what you wanted, and I didn't mean nonmon in a 
formal sense.  But suppose I was using the SW for e-commerce and we 
had a situation where

Document 1 says:
  I sell pencils
  pencils are a document2:commodity

Document 2 says:
  Commodity has restriction onproperty "quantity" of numeral 1000.
(i.e. commodities are sold in lots of 1000)

Then if document 2 is down and I negotiate to buy a pencil from 
document 1, when document 2 comes back up, I suddenly find I have to 
pay for 999 more pencils than I wanted.

If we assume that imports is used to mean "My meaning relies on the 
meaning of the other document" in any real sense, then if that 
document is missing, what does the first document mean?

My proposal is simply to do what programming languages do - if I say
  include foo.h
and foo.h can't be found for some reason, the program simply returns 
an error, rather than trying to compile - because you said it needs 
foo.h to run correctly and it knows that means it could possibly 
return erroneous values even if it compiles okay without it.

I actually expect the ontology documents to be relatively robust, so 
I don't think this is something we need to worry about a lot - but I 
think having a strong imports with "graceful degradation" is 
contradictory in settings like ecommerce where real money changes 

Professor James Hendler				  hendler@cs.umd.edu
Director, Semantic Web and Agent Technologies	  301-405-2696
Maryland Information and Network Dynamics Lab.	  301-405-6707 (Fax)
Univ of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742	  240-731-3822 (Cell)
Received on Thursday, 14 November 2002 11:51:23 UTC

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