re: standardization of semantics

"John H. Gennari" <>
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 1994 16:04:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: "John H. Gennari" <>
Subject: re: standardization of semantics
To: "Matthew L. Ginsberg" <>
In-reply-to: <>
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On Mon, 15 Aug 94 15:51:36 PDT, Matthew L. Ginsberg wrote:

> I know of
> *no* fielded AI application that uses any of these methods, although
> it is obviously possible some small efforts have escaped my attention.
> I know of no significant efforts *at all* that use KIF, with the
> exception of a couple of single-scientist research acgtivities.  Why
> is there this rush to standardize on things that aren't even in actual
> use?

	Hmmm. I'm probably just a foot soldier in this high-powered war of
semantic standardizations, but this seemed like a strong bunch of statements.
There is a fairly large group of people that use Ontolingua - a syntactic
wrapper for KIF, written by Tom Gruber. It might not be an example of a
"fielded AI application", but about 30 researchers around the world used an
ontolingua specification of an Elevator configuration problem (Based on Sandra
Marcus's VT work) as the basis for comparative work in knowledge-acquisition
environments. This is known as the Sisyphus-2 experiment, and the results are
written up in the Banff '94 Knowledge-Acquisition Workshop proceedings - we're
also working on a special-issue journal publication (IJHCS) of these results.

I believe there are a number of other engineering efforts that use Ontolingua
as well, although I'd have to ask Tom Gruber or Richard Fikes for details.

At the risk of asking an open-ended, leading question, what alternatives to
KIF/Ontolingua are available for specifying the shared semantics of some set
of knowledge bases?

-John Gennari

Knowledge Systems Lab,