Some questions (and a new ontology) (Andre Valente)
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Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 20:36:57 +0000
From: (Andre Valente)
Message-id: <>
To: ontolingua@HPP.Stanford.EDU,
Subject: Some questions (and a new ontology)
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As part of my PhD thesis, I am developing an ontology of legal
knowledge. I am presently finishing an ontolingua version of this
ontology, which am more than willing to share when it is ready e.g. by
adding it to the repository at Stanford. However, this is very much a
one-man effort in my department, and although I have had lots of
discussion about the contents of the ontology with my thesis advisors
I do not have anyone to discuss the codification in Ontolingua/KIF.
That is why I would like to pose some questions which perhaps somebody
may be able to help me with:

a) To make the ontolingua specification pass through the
cross-reference mechanism is not much of a problem, but I am having
trouble trying to make some specifications in KIF, particularly when
it is necessary to make meta-level references (and I have many). As a
consequence, many definitions are actually incomplete, i.e. there are
aspects I wanted to define but did not know how. The KIF reference
manual is nice but it is not really meant for this. The question is,
sort of issue?

b) I need to include (by the nature of the domain) at least two
ontologies which have probably been already developed somewhere else:
one for time and one for organizations. In addition, it would be very
nice if I could find some ontology on causality, but I can live
without this one for the moment. In the Stanford repository I found a
nice small ontology of time (as part of the "Job Assignment Problems"
ontology by T.Hama, M.Hori, and Y.Nakamura) which served me well, but
nothing for organizations or causality. Is there anybody out there
which has something I could reuse?  Alternatively, is there anybody
interested in a partnership to develop an ontology of organizations?
(It should be relatively simple.)

There are many other issues about this ontology which I would like to
discuss later on. Law is a fascinating field for "ontological
engineering" because it has a very strong commonsense flavour (BTW,
what is the right list to make this sort of discussion?).

Thanks in advance,

Andre Valente (
University of Amsterdam