Re: Transaction models; ontological "tools"

"Steven R. Newcomb" <>
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 11:07:39 -0400
From: "Steven R. Newcomb" <>
Message-id: <>
In-reply-to: <> (
Subject: Re: Transaction models; ontological "tools"
Precedence: bulk

> money in satisfaction of the obligation).   The "tool" for modelling this,
> in my view, would be a combination of: A. a logic-based representation-language
> which can define any meaning of a particular data element or value code (some
> candidates are Conceptual Graphs, KIF, HOL or Cyc-EL), and B: a universally
> intelligible set of basic semantic "building-blocks" from which to
> build up the definitions.  The latter depend on the conceptual structure of
> the real world -- what is a CONTAINER, a VESSEL/SHIP, a PAYMENT-DATE,
> a POST-CODE, an ACCOUNT, etc.  Defining and deciding upon the underlying set
> of building blocks is the hard part -- you have to be rather philosophical
> about it, and people have a hard time agreeing on such things.  This
> kind of effort has already been done in the Artificial Intelligence
> field with examples like the Japanese EDR, the Pangloss project, the
> Summary Schemas Model (Roget-based) and the Cyc project.
>     Examining the existing EDI standards EDIFACT and X12, I find lots
> of rich treasure troves of useful concepts, but without any formal
> definitions (hence no way to integrate automatically with similarly
> annotated application programs).  I'm hoping that the BSR (Basic Semantic
> Repository) project has come up with the needed building blocks, but
> I have yet to see the fruits of their latest effort.  I hope it will be
> disclosed soon.
>      [On this list I expressed a few worries about ISO 11179 and the BSR.
> These worries were dismissed as "mis-statements", "stupid" and "idle gossip"
> (though later privately confirmed to me as basically well-founded, by three
> insider sources), so I will just wait and  see whether the BSR is
> suitable for principled, composite semantics for EDI elements and code
> values.  I'm hopeful.]
>      The short answer, though, is that the "tools" you ask about don't
> exist yet as far as I know...

Yet another thing to look at is the work begun by Conventions for the
APplication of HyTime (CApH) activity of the Graphic Communications
Association.  The project explores methodologies for exploiting the
ISO 10744 hypermedia document representation standard (HyTime, based
on SGML), including semantic declarations and assignments.  HyTime's
"activity tracking" feature, which allows arbitrary "owner policies"
to be associated with information, is particularly relevant to
the question, "How can we generalize and enhance EDI?"  One nice thing
about HyTime is that tools for handling HyTime are becoming available.

Pointer to further information:



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