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RE: Issues with XML and Semantic Web ?

  • To: "Jeff Rafter" <lists@j...>, <xml-dev@l...>
  • Subject: RE: Issues with XML and Semantic Web ?
  • From: "Chiusano Joseph" <chiusano_joseph@b...>
  • Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 23:01:17 -0500
  • Thread-index: AcTGhjWI8iONwzHoT22B9Vwx1AVYAAAUuocg
  • Thread-topic: Issues with XML and Semantic Web ?

jeff rafter mismo
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeff Rafter [mailto:lists@j...] 
> Sent: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 12:58 PM
> To: xml-dev@l...
> Subject: Re:  Issues with XML and Semantic Web ?
> > 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 

I have begun to see the value of this within the US federal government
space. The federal government is extremely data-rich, and agencies want
to share information to save money, earn efficiencies, and potentially
increase overall data quality (through elimination of redundant, but
possibly inconsistent, data sources). But in order to determine what
information can be shared, it is first necessary to identify what
information (or types of information) are available *to* share.
Ontologies and taxonomies are, I believe, wonderful mechanisms by which
to accomplish this. 

In addition to identifying opportunities for information sharing, these
artifacts can also identify opportunities for federated queries (perhaps
using Enterprise Information Integration - EII). Consider a hypothetical
situation in which 2 agencies have arrest information for an individual
- but one has it on a domestic basis, and another on an international
basis. A federated query between these two data sources - which can be
determined by comparing their ontologies and taxonomies - can yield an
arrest record for a given individual on an international basis.

I have found that in educating unfamiliar folks on these artifacts, it
works best to use examples within their own domain. Familiary with their
own data and concepts greatly eases the mental transition.

Kind Regards,
Joseph Chiusano
Booz Allen Hamilton
Strategy and Technology Consultants to the World
> 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.
> All the best,
> Jeff Rafter
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