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RE: Semantic Web and First Order Logic

  • To: 'Miles Sabin' <miles@m...>, xml-dev@l...
  • Subject: RE: Semantic Web and First Order Logic
  • From: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@i...>
  • Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 08:41:26 -0600

first order logic decidability
Can you tell me why decidability was given that 
level of importance?  This is what I meant by 
"over-engineered" when I could have said "over-specified".

There is a paper from TimBL on the issue of FOL 
and the SemWeb at


which I have trouble following not being well-trained 
or just not able to determine his conclusions.  Dan 
Connoly comments on it elsewhere.  At first, I thought 
it the case that the notion was to not require FOL 
so that other logic systems could be used as needed, 
or as in the spirit of HTML, to make initial fielding 
easy and get some mind share.  Your arguments make 
me unsure because requiring decidability would seemingly 
make it harder and cut the SemWeb away 
from uptake of where the majority of the world's 
business semantics reside:  relational databases 
with client or server based business rules and logic 
in the form of code libraries.   This would appear 
to limit the role of the semweb to being merely 
metadata about web pages, and that isn't that useful.
So that can't be right.


From: Miles Sabin [mailto:miles@m...]

And this is where the constraint that Len was complaining about bites: 
the base-level logical frameworks being considered for the SW insist on 
decidability, and that excludes many practically useful, tho' formally 
undecidable first-order theories.


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