Re: Ontology Meeting

doug (
Thu, 02 Oct 1997 15:59:16 -0400

Many of you know that I am in complete agreement with everything Nicola
However I think that occasional 1/2 or 1 day meetings will not give us
the speed of progress we might be capable of. I think we need to start
using current "groupware" technology (not email, since we need access to
shared documents; even a newgroup would be better) to meet continuously
online. Note the constant exchange of messages in the cg group as a
primitive example of online cooperation.

To expedite this, I have been developing a system, DocKMan, but it is
still not ready to unleash on innocent people due to Java bugs.
(warning: use Java only with antidepressants) I now think this is only
weeks away, but I have been overly optimistic before. When it is
available, I intend to try to coordinate discussion of fundamental
issues, using ideas from whoever wishes to contribute. John and Nicola
are my leading suspects: we need to resolve their and many more
differences. That is the name of the game.

So while occasional meetings are still necessary, progress will be much
faster once we learn to use some of these wonderful tools we read about
every day in the paper.

Doug Skuce

Nicola Guarino wrote:

> >In the past a small theory group has met after the main meeting. I
> >believe there is still interest in doing this. I'll contact the
> >usual suspects about the agenda - if anyone has suggestions, please
> >call (or e-mail) me. (408-463-4021 or
> Dear Bob,
> as you know, I have attended with great interest and
> (reasonable)
> satisfaction the latest ANSI ontology meetings, but I am now wondering
> whether it is worth while continuing affording the related costs in
> terms
> of time and money without some concrete project management supported
> by
> suitable fundings.
> I have the feeling that the (scarce) economical and human
> resources
> related to this "Reference Ontology" effort are now concentrating on
> using
> "brute force" in order to i) get a reasonable coverage, and ii)
> establish
> useful alignment relationships between existing ontologies. I am
> convinced
> that a patient and systematic theoretical effort and a serious attempt
> to
> reach an agreement on fundamental theoretical distinctions are both
> unavoidable in order to achieve a real useful result.
> I am also convinced that such theoretical effort is *feasible*
> (i.e., it has good chances of success) given the present status of
> scientific (especially philosophical) research in the field, but it is
> not
> clear to me whether people belonging to this "Ontostd" group really
> share
> this feeling.
> If there is a *real* interest in trying to make some progress
> in
> agreeing on basic theoretical distinctions, I will be happy to afford
> this
> trip (and even more happy if somebody is willing to offer some
> monetary
> contribution...), and contribute to the organization of a full-day
> session
> on theoretical issues, hopefully not limited to a few people. My own
> contribution could be a deeply revised version of my paper "Some
> organizing
> principles for a unified top-level ontology", which includes an
> top-level
> ontology consisting of about 100 basic concepts.
> I would also be happy to establish a link between this ANSI
> initiative and the conference on Formal Ontology in Information
> Systems we
> are organizing in Trento, Italy (
> This
> broad-scope conference could be a good opportunity for augmenting the
> visibility of this ANSI initiative, and maybe we can discuss of the
> modality of such a link in the first day of the ontology meeting.
> Cheers,
> -- Nicola
> ---------------------------------
> Nicola Guarino
> National Research Council phone: +39 49 8295751
> LADSEB-CNR fax: +39 49 8295778
> Corso Stati Uniti, 4 email:
> I-35127 Padova
> Italy
> (*** UPDATED 3 Sept, 1997 ***)