Re: Ontology for EDI (was Frames...)

"Peter Clark" <>
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re: Ontology for EDI (was Frames...)
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 1994 14:04:51 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Peter Clark" <>
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Pat Hayes writes...
> Is a fitted carpet IN a room or PART OF the room? How about the paint 
> on the wall? How can I write axioms (or something) which say, "I don't car
> about this issue", without either saying nothing, or using impossibly
> large disjunctions?

Well, are the disjunctions so large? It seems that you are wanting to 
work at a more abstract level, using (and axiomitizing) more abstract
relations eg. InOrPartOf ("FixtureOf" say) to describe the
relation between a room and a carpet. The large disjunctions only
come in when you try to push the level of detail, and expand
the abstract description into a more detailed version (which
specifies whether the carpet is IN or PART-OF the room). But if you 
don't really care whether the carpet's IN or PART-OF, then there's no 
reason to push down to this level and those "impossibly large disjunctions"
could be avoided. If you did ask "Is the carpet part of
the room?" hopefully your theorem prover would bomb out saying
"I don't know" when it hits all those disjunctions....
which seems to be exactly what you're wanting.

After all, PART-OF can itself be viewed as an abstract vague
..., you don't seem worried about which of these relations
apply. There's no intrinsic reason to fix at the PART-OF 
level of abstraction; I don't see why you feel "forced" to work
at the IN and PART-OF level if you don't care about it. 

Best wishes, 


Peter Clark                             Dept of Computer Science
email:            University of Texas at Austin
phone:  (512) 471-9574                  Austin, Texas, 78712
fax:    (512) 471-8885			USA