Ontolog Forum

Session Synthesis
Duration 1.5 hour
Date/Time Apr 04 2018 16:00 GMT
9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT
5:00pm BST/6:00pm CST
Convener KenBaclawski

Ontology Summit 2018 Synthesis Session 2

This will session will extend and refine the major issues and open problems listed on OntologySummit2018/Synthesis


The discussion will follow the order of the issues, unless there is a consensus to change the order.

Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 04-April-2018
  • Start Time: 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EDT / 6:00pm CST / 5:00pm BST / 1600 UTC
  • Expected Call Duration: ~1.5 hours
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  • This session, like all other Ontolog events, is open to the public. Information relating to this session is shared on this wiki page.
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[12:18] RaviSharma: Ravi Notes: Gary Berg Cross Summarized that Context can be studied in the perspective of lightweight RDF and more complete OKN (Cyc) approach

[12:18] Ram D. Sriram: Ken: I don't think you are able to hear me. Do we have a telecon tomorrow afternoon at noon?

[12:19] KenBaclawski: @Ram D. Sriram: Yes, we will have a meeting tomorrow at noon as usual.

[12:20] RaviSharma: Gary Says that medium way or evolutionary path and deeper semantic meaning of context would be valuable / desirable.

[12:23] RaviSharma: Notes: Sowa briefed on Amer Philosophy Soc meeting - recalled context can change in middle of sentence happens often, it can not be called RDF only but more general such as microtheory, Logic, multiple version of logic, etc CL, OWL is not designed to handle context, basic idea is that context is constantly changing.

[12:24] Mark Underwood: Rinky-dink is obviously a technical term in this context

[12:25] janet singer: Related to teeny-tiny

[12:25] MikeBennett: Surely RDF and OWL are merely serializations of some logics, not the logic themselves?

[12:25] Gary Berg-Cross: Rinky dink for special purposes...

[12:25] RaviSharma: Notes: Gary said that RDF is useful, John says OK but lightweight version of logic are complex, versioning for a purpose is sometimes useful, but general purpose Logic can be simpler.

[12:27] MikeBennett: It would help to have a screen view of what part of the thing we are looking at, so we can find it more easily.

[12:27] Gary Berg-Cross: Gary said that some people think that RDF is useful as a lightweight method and that he would like to test this idea for OKN.

[12:27] John Sowa: The version I just summarized is general and simple.

[12:28] John Sowa: If you want it to be formal, just choose any formal notation you prefer.

[12:28] RaviSharma: Notes: Cory says some corrections needed to web post, we saw several methods of specifying context, also had shown need for making context explicit and mechanisms (references) for specifying context.

[12:28] BobbinTeegarden: Why is a diagram not considered another 'language' or way of expressing context? It is a (maybe the only) way to outline a whole, multidimensional context in one shot, simultaneously, with all relationships at once. The diagram as another 'language'?

[12:30] MikeBennett: @Bobbin that depends on whether the diagram elements make any explicit commitment as to what they stand for. Hence diagrams in some formalism like UML, OntoUML, OWL Viz etc. are more useful than mere drawings, as they have a formalism.

[12:30] MikeBennett: Cory says: Separate the semantics from the representation language.

[12:30] Ram D. Sriram: @Ken: I am logging off as I need to get on to another telecon (too many overlapping today)

[12:31] RaviSharma: we will miss your inputs Ram!

[12:31] Jim Disbrow: Neither RDF nor OWL allow reflexive operators, which could (and should) be used in English to help individuals and groups understand there exists a pathway of their personal responsibility (e.g., when discussing climate change).

[12:32] Gary Berg-Cross: @Vinh I already discussed our ideas for a workgroup at the Symposium. There is also a small writeup on this at

[12:34] RaviSharma: Notes: Cory says context changes based on reader, John says it is a fact.

[12:37] Gary Berg-Cross: I think what people may also be thinking as contextual change being "dangerous" that it gets too complicated for their simple models and modes of talking about it not just their "applications."

[12:39] MikeBennett: See [12:28]

[12:40] CoryCasanave: re: "Cory says context changes based on reader" - not exactly, the reader has a perspective (which may be a kind of context) that selects what "text" are applicable to an act of interpretation of some other "text" (text being a generalization of anything observable). The text selected are the context for the interpretation. Without the interpreter, the context have no meaning.

[12:41] CoryCasanave: As per John, what "text" is used for interpretation changes.

[12:43] Ram D. Sriram: @Ravi: Still trying to multitask. It is the level of abstraction. Diagrams can be mapped to formal representations. For example, the string diagram in Category Theory provides a visual way of representing processes.

[12:44] John Sowa: I agree with Bobbin. There is no fundamental difference between a graph-based notation(diagram) and a linear notation.

[12:44] janet singer: In Warfield's ISM a model exchange isomorphism can be set up between relations in statements, in diagrams, and in matrices

[12:44] John Sowa: Any diagram can be mapped to a linear form.

[12:44] TerryLongstreth: My Bluejeans keeps crashing. I'll try to reinstall.

[12:44] Mark Underwood: @Jim so noted with interest

[12:48] RaviSharma: Ravi's Comments included the case for many applications that use visuals and analytics such as earth science images, or data distributions in statistical sense. John said, it is Ok and says these can be linearised, Gary said there is a theory behind the depictions, yes true but an image in near infrared false color would show moisture and waterbodies giving us a context, so would Spectra identify specific elements and molecules, etc.

[12:49] Mark Underwood: @Janet (offtopic) are you familiar with work by Edward Huang at George Mason? He's presenting to WMA INCOSE next week on Semantic Testbed for Inference enterprise modeling, and has a primary use case of insider threat

[12:49] CoryCasanave:

[12:49] KenBaclawski: Mike, add problems to the synthesis page that Cory cited.

[12:50] RaviSharma: Janet, Bobbin, Jim and Mike as well Gary contributed to these aspects, Jim asks about how these can be translated to English for better textual description (meaningful).

[12:50] janet singer: @Mark no I

[12:51] janet singer: hadn't heard of him. Thanks, will look into that

[12:52] RaviSharma: Notes: Gary and Mike - Chemical nd biological, discussed ontology models, microtheories, organizations, domains, organizations, etc broad ontologies but they have context.

[12:52] RaviSharma: @Janet - thanks for correction.

[12:53] Ram D. Sriram: @JohnSowa: Agree with you on CYC micro theories.

[12:56] RaviSharma: Notes: John said specialized versions such as biochemistry defined through microtheories include contexts, constant flow of contexts discussed in this summit, microtheories are subset for starting context, application will make context etc, learning mechanism for context.

[12:56] TerryLongstreth: Sowa (paraphrased): Everyone of us has an individual context that is constantly changing.

[12:58] MikeBennett: We are seeing 2 treatments of context here: the 'Language games' aspect of how we use or understand a given ontology (we bring context) and the matter of whether a given ontology, which makes certain contextual information explicit, still has some implicit context in which it is to be understood. Neither of these considerations excludes the other I think.

[12:59] RaviSharma: Ravi wants to say that context can be also understood as defining scope of any subsequent domain activities such as models, databases, visuals, or just stories about an Epic.

[13:00] MikeBennett: John says the microtheories themselves are independent of any given context.

[13:00] Ram D. Sriram: @ALL: John Sowa has a point here. I think he summarized the notion of the context in one sentence

[13:01] RaviSharma: @ram - thanks, yes representing processes are important for context and thanks for depicting diagrams in a representation.

[13:01] MikeBennett: That implies that presumably each microtheory (when taken along with any other ontologies it references) must include the roles, temporality and other contextual kinds of ontology statement. Is that true?

[13:01] Ram D. Sriram: @JohnSowa: May be there is an ontology of contexts we can use

[13:02] Gary Berg-Cross: This discussion should be applied to the synthesis section which says:

Ontology of Context (3C)

There is no ontology of context. JackRing (3C1)

PatHayes has a simple classification of contexts. (3C2)

There are four kinds of context in linguistics: the text or discourse; the situation; common background knowledge; and the intentions of the participants. JohnSowa in (3C3)

Another classification of contexts: Actual, Modal, and Intentional Contexts. JohnSowa in (3C4)

There are contexts for agents and contexts for text. ToddSchneider (3C5)

This is a fundamental research problem. (3C6)

[13:04] Gary Berg-Cross: In light of our discussion what do we say about the Synthesis problem: Context as Ontology?

[13:06] RaviSharma: Ravi Says, based on our discussion and John's emphasis, certainly context is a dynamic notion (e.g. complex events) constantly improving our understanding of problem or domain at hand. I have also said that initial scope definition before entering application or domain is essential starting point of setting and defining context, including NLP.

[13:06] Mark Underwood: @Ravi - has the (agile) stories/epics orthodoxy you touch on been covered here? Elsewhere?

[13:07] MikeBennett: @Ken [12:49] - done, please refresh. Added a note under ontology of Context, as (2C7).

[13:08] John Sowa: Ram, we need to have a theory of contexts in general and an open-ended list of special cases and variations.

[13:08] RaviSharma: @Mark, I also mentioned them in my summaries pages, e.g. first time patient registration, Mortgage application, etc, tax filing persons basic data, name age joint, address, etc. is a context.

[13:09] John Sowa: But I would avoid overusing the word 'ontology'. Every ontology is a theory or a collection of theories.

[13:10] John Sowa: But I would hesitate to say that every theory is an ontology.

[13:11] John Sowa: For example, some theories are about logic, some are metalevel theories about how to combine logic and ontology.

[13:11] Gary Berg-Cross: The OKN sessions could put synthesis drafts here:

[13:11] John Sowa: And some theories are about methods of reasoning that use logic, ontology, and contexts.

[13:12] RaviSharma: Notes: ontology of context ? Ken classification of context?

[13:12] John Sowa: If we call all theories ontologies, it makes the word 'ontology' meaningless or redundant.

[13:13] TerryLongstreth: Somebody said it (fascinates me): every element of an ontology draws context from the rest of that ontology

[13:13] MikeBennett: Contexts can be one of any number of kinds of thing, but we found it helpful to classify them in terms of 'The Ws' Who What When Where Why hoW.

[13:14] Gary Berg-Cross: We can talk about conceptual distinctions we make about contexts, such as real world situational vs conversational situations or background knowledge....

[13:14] MikeBennett: @Terry that was me.

[13:15] RaviSharma: @Gary - thanks.

[13:15] Mark Underwood: @Ravi, OK, will check there. Perhaps a fertile area for connecting to agile practitioners, though one fears product owners are not well equipped to work with ontologies. But agile represents a framework of contexts for developers - hence the possible connection

[13:18] MikeBennett: Where was that handy table? It's not on the Synthesis page or the main Summit 2018 page.

[13:19] Gary Berg-Cross: @Mike See

[13:20] MikeBennett: ^^ Found it.

[13:22] John Sowa: Mike, I would emphasize the inheritance paths among microtheories. Every microtheory inherits *all* the axioms and definitions of every microtheory in the path up to and including the TLO.

[13:24] John Sowa: But no microtheory inherits from its siblings or cousins. Anything in a neighboring path may be added, but only if it does not create a conflict.

[13:24] MikeBennett: @John thanks. I had previously thought these microtheories were intended to be self contained and with an implicit context. As I now understand these are more like what in FIBO we call Modules. Users can select a module e.g. for Bonds and this inherits the stuff you need all the way to the TLO for these.

[13:25] MikeBennett: (except in FIBO there isn't strictly a TLO but there once was)

[13:26] John Sowa: The reason why people use lattices is that the paths in a lattice show *every* safe option for inheritance -- including options from cousins.

[13:26] Gary Berg-Cross: We will have a challenge in the communique on Conclusions and Recommendations....

[13:26] TerryLongstreth: @mike13:25 - sounds like you have many TLOs which vary by context

[13:26] RaviSharma: Notes: Cory and Ken agreed to Ravi's suggestion to summarize or create ontology of 3.1 to 3.17 problems on synthesis page. Cory suggested two new blogs for overall views.

[13:27] Gary Berg-Cross: In the past we have also had a sub-section on "Challenge Problems."

[13:27] MikeBennett: @Terry no, in FIBO we had a basic TLO based on the top level of the KR Lattice, but this was deprecated for formal release so it's only implied. I would do things differently and keep (and extend) the TLO. For a simple matter like business this doesn't seem to cause inconsistencies but if we had to bio and physics as well this would be a challenge I think.

[13:28] John Sowa: I have to leave at 1:30

[13:29] RaviSharma: next two weeks on communique'

[13:29] Mark Underwood: Must exit, thanks for the thoughtful work, all

[13:31] RaviSharma: Notes: Peirce referenced by John drilling down, environ influenced learning and adaptation? Gave examples of quasi mind, thresholds in semiosis, how far down can you go?

[13:31] TerryLongstreth: I was being facetious, but I think the idea has relevance. 2 Ontology development efforts needn't start with the same TLO to be eventually joined or cooperatively merged

[13:31] RaviSharma: Thanks Ken

[13:31] Jim Disbrow: thanks Ken & Ravi

[13:32] RaviSharma: thanks Jim


Video Recording

Summary of Domain Specific Needs of Context Session 1 (Jan 24 2018) and Session 2 (Jan 31, 2018) are summarized by Ravi Sharma in A Powerpoint and also PDF file here on this Synthesis Session 2 Page OntologySummit2018_ResearchSummary Slides in pdf format Slides in ppt format

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