verbose and ambiguous

In response to:

Gruber, Thomas R.. (1995) “Toward principles for the design of ontologies used for knowledge sharing?.” International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 43(5-6): 907-928.


Sharman, Raj; Kishore, Rajiv & Ramesh, Ram. (2004) “Computational ontologies and information systems II: formal specification.” The Communications of the Association for Information Systems 14: 1-25.

Gruber’s first case study was a struggle to understand, but having muddled through it, I think I can see the advantages of an ontology for this purpose. To create context, the development of the unit of measure ontology would answer a potential problem in the cutlery: measurements are significant parts of item attributes (the length of a chef’s knife blade, 8″ or 10″), but they can be expressed in different units (English or metric) by different manufacturers. This sort of ontological feature would mean that the retailer doesn’t have to standardize the units when data is entered, but can still retrieve information with a standard metric, yes?

Nicely, the bibliographic case study made a lot more sense to me. However, Gruber failed to define some of the symbols used in the ontologies (at least so far as I could identify. I’m unclear on what =>, <=, and = stands for, and I don’t understand what defining as “if and only if” means. Nor do I understand the meaning of “float” or “double float.” Though I think I understand the general concepts well enough that I can make use of the reading.


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