New WG member - introduction

Hello all

Jim sent me today the notification of my acceptation as a member of this
WG. I know, this is *very very* late, and the celebration is almost over,
but honest, although I've been following closely the development of OWL
since the very beginning, I could not ask for formal participation to the
WG before, due first to delays in Mondeca's decision to become a W3C
member, and then waiting for the official extension of SW Activity period.
So, in fact, I feel this introduction as long overdue.

Quick background: I'm 50, graduated in Maths from ENSET (France) back in
'75. Have taught Maths, and a bit of Astronomy popularization, until the
mid '90s. Shifted then to (what I did not know yet to be) Knowledge
Engineering. That's what is on my visit card today, anyway, even if I'm not
completely sure of what it means.

I've been working as Senior Consultant for Mondeca since the end of Y2K,
and started participating in the Topic Maps XTM Authoring Group by the same
date. Since 2001, I've been chairing the OASIS Technical Committee on
Published Subjects.

My interest in WebOnt participation came through my involvment in Topic
Maps, and the issues of their semantic foundation and interoperability with
other semantic standards. Along with teams in graph theory (EHESS and
LABRI), I've conducted research towards a mathematical model for TM, based
on hypergraph structure.

Moreover, current R&D in my company is aimed at integration of ontologies
in its software, to constrain and control TM Knowlegde Bases, and of course
OWL is on everyday's menu one way or another. I'm then focused as well on
implementation, deployment and integration, interoperability issues as on
language design itself - being well aware that this aspect is almost over

Two particular points I would be interested to work about:

- Interoperability of OWL identifiers with other ways of identification of
"subjects" (including Published Subjects), across languages, systems,
applications. Finding ways to make sure that all actors in a system
"conversation" have the same notion of "what the subject is" seems to me
THE central issue. As a matter of fact, I felt it as a major issue already
when I was teaching maths, and well, this is maybe my "idée fixe".

- Interoperability of OWL with Topic Maps. My current line of thought being
that TM model should be expressed as an explicit kind of ontology, set on
some clean and exchangeable semantics, and stop pretend being an "ontology
agnostic" specification. I've made some proposals in that direction,
without much feedback so far - this viewpoint has not been very popular in
TM community.

Well, I guess that's all for today. I'm sure to learn many things here, and
I hope to bring about a few.


Bernard Vatant
Senior Consultant
Knowledge Engineering
Mondeca -

Received on Friday, 18 July 2003 16:58:26 UTC