RE: Issues with XML and Semantic Web ?
BTW to the original poster: a better place to ask this question would be one where the ontology experts hang out. One such list is the Conceptual Graphs list. cg@c... Code lists are a productive place to start. This seems easy, but it isn't although it is the easiest of the problems once one gets past the syntax and terms of the semantic web app itself. Industry lists have been around for years. Getting those into formats that are readily processable is a step in the right direction. Then 'to do what?' Local doesn't always mean 'in our shop'. An industry is a locale of sorts. The mushiness is domain overlap. For instance, we sell systems with jail commissaries. Some of the terminology is local to the 'jail business' but the items sold are items obtainable in most commercial stores. Then there are some items which one would only see in a detention or corrections facility but are nonetheless, items one obtains at the jail. This sorting of the domains if done well can provide good code lists, but then one implements say a dropdown that has members from multiple codelists. Domain overlap (a domain subsuming multiple domains with some common members and slightly different definitions) and domain leakage (a member that is adopted from one domain into another with not so small differences in definition but the assumption of equivalence) are a part of the semantic drift problem. If the semantic web has one very large hurdle, it is the very dynamic nature of meaning with regards to changing intent. Do the best you can but no one can make time or meaning stand still. YMMV. len From: Jeff Rafter [mailto:lists@j...] > 3) Your thoughts on the Complexity of the current ontology expression > languages like OWL, DAML+OIL etc. Actually, in the MISMO (Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization, which is the agreed upon standards body in the United States for Mortgage Technology) working groups this has been coming up quite a bit. In its standards process MISMO maintains a data dictionary of terms that work across the industry, as well as a variety of structures (grouped in process areas and transactions) where these terms are used. It seems like a perfect candidate for a top down approach of semantic description, possibly via OWL. To be honest on a macro level the problem seems tenable-- much like the examples floating around the web of the Wineries and wines, it seems like it would be pretty simple to develop a strategy for describing the data-points, and ultimately the way in which they can/should be used (even on a process/transaction basis). Maybe that is because I mentally skipped some things that were important to understand... But as Michael said, there is a lot of resistance to terminology-- ontology, description logics, KR, etc.-- and we don't have enough experts from that domain (i.e., I am not an expert in that domain). There is also an ingrained need for ROI. Unfortunately, predicting ROI in this space is difficult because of a lack of visible successes. It would help if the media stopped focusing on what-if and started focusing on what-happened. But ultimately it strikes me that the solution is somewhere in between the top-down and bottom-up approach. It would be really great if industry organizations such as MISMO created ontologies for their space and people could interact with them using their own local definitions and mapping them together using equivalence classes. Especially in the mortgage industry, if interfacing with a business partner was simply a matter of identifying like terms, and structure was invisible, then I think we will have made incredible progress. If you can eliminate the need for a programmer who understands the esoteric terms of the industry and enable the business experts to identify terms you will greatly reduce the time and money spent interfacing. Perhaps this is a limited or wrong view of the Semantic Web. But it is a small step.
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