Re: Ontological EDI & Wittgenstein (Scott M. Dickson)
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Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 14:22:48 -0800
To: (Fritz Lehmann)
From: (Scott M. Dickson)
Subject: Re: Ontological EDI & Wittgenstein
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Fritz Lehman wrote:
>     Yeah, I thought about possible exceptions to the  mutual
>exclusion of BARGE and SUBURB; that's why I said "we can agree
>completely that  no barge ... is a suburb"  rather than "No
>barge can be a suburb."

Or, we might not agree.  The question is, do we have to?

>Practical business transactions
>have an advantage in that they deal with the world as it is.

Some transactions deal with things that may or may not occur in the future.
Business transactions deal with the world as it is, was, or may be.

> [... stuff about barges and suburbs ...]

One could probably deduce from a standard taxonomy for EDI that "barge" can
be a unit of measure while "suburb" cannot.  One can easily think of
measuring in terms of barges of something (like coal), but not measuring in
terms of suburbs.
A deeper taxonomy would recognize that anything that can contain or carry
something could be used as a unit of measure, although in English we often
add the suffix -load or -full to indicate this as in truckload, shipload or

>A part of town could NOT be a physical measurement unit.
>With "ontological EDI", the _computer_ would know this, not
>just the human users.

This is true, but we aren't likely to have the full ontology for a while.
A sufficiently deep taxonomy should keep us going for some time and will
help with the ontology work.

Scott M. Dickson