Ontologies (CCAT or otherwise) for Science, Argumentation

Daniel D Suthers <suthers+@pitt.edu>
Message-id: <Qj7zgZC8XZwyM1YaZg@pitt.edu>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 1995 13:04:21 -0500 (EST)
From: Daniel D Suthers <suthers+@pitt.edu>
To: cg@cs.umn.edu, srkb@cs.umbc.edu, wisdom@mcs.com
Subject: Ontologies (CCAT or otherwise) for Science, Argumentation
CC: sforza2+@pitt.edu
Sender: owner-srkb@cs.umbc.edu
Precedence: bulk

Pending funding currently under consideration, we may soon begin work in
ontologies for scientific argumentation, in support of shareable
documents for educational applications.(1) 

My preliminary thoughts are that the ontologies we will need will be
separable into:
   * Argumentation concepts (e.g., Toulmin structures and RST might be sources)
   * Scientific reasoning concepts (e.g., theory, hypothesis, empirical

We will also need concepts from various science domains (e.g., right now
we have students work with a problem for evolutionary theory, the
HIV/AIDS debate surrounding Duesberg, the KT extinctions, and arguments
about continental drift around Wegner's time) --  but given the
magnitude of the task of constructing relevant ontologies for these, we
will use ad-hoc representations for these(2) unless something is

This email is a request to be added to any relevant discussion lists,
and an invitation for those interested in the same to contact me.
(Perhaps some work in Physics and Law is relevant?)


1. We have students diagram the claims made by scientific theories,
relevant empirical observations, and the various support and conflict
relations involved. They compare theories, seek information to resolve
issues, etc., these activities being supported by an on-demand
"advisor". The tools currently require running a big lisp image, but are
being rewritten to be widely available on a client-server basis via more
ubiquitous tools. The ontologies will form the basis on which the tools
process user documents.

2. Or no represenatations at all. Our tools are being designed to work
based on the argumentation/science content alone; much of the domain
content is in uninterpreted plain text. 

Dan Suthers            	| Learning Research & Development Center
suthers+@pitt.edu      	| University of Pittsburgh
(412) 624-7036 voice	| 3939 O'Hara Street
(412) 624-9149 fax	| Pittsburgh, PA 15260
(412) 363-3992 home     | http://www.pitt.edu/~suthers