SWAO:Conference Call 20210201

Number 86
Duration 1 hour60 minute
3,600 second
0.0417 day
Date/Time February 01 2021 19:00 GMT
11:00am PST/2:00pm EST
7:00pm GMT/8:00pm CET
Convener Mike Bennett

IAOA Semantic Web Applied Ontology (SWAO) SIG

Meetings are normally on the first Monday of the month at 2pm Eastern Time.


  • Latest post for the IAOA website
  • Ontology Articulation Guidelines
    • Brief introductory comments
    • Free-form Discussion
  • Housekeeping
  • AoB
  • Next Meeting


IAOA Website Post

Latest post for the IAOA website

See iaoa.org


Do we need to make any changes to this?


Ontology Articulation Guidelines

TS: What do we have in mind by 'articulation'?

ToddSchneider: Events cause change??

End result (for something put on wiki) versus what we said we would do today to work toward that result.

ToddSchneider: Articulation =def. the action of putting into words an idea or feeling of a specified type

End result is some kind of 'Guidelines'

Do we agree on what we mean by 'guidelines' e.g. for ontology development or for something else?

e.g. best practices?

But if best practices, then for what purpose

e.g. use, development, evolution etc.

See also the ongoing thread on the Ontolog Forum on ontology development methods, with references to various papers ad methodologies

Also there's the 2013 Ontology Summit on a related topic.

That was Ontology Evaluation across the Ontology Lifecycle.

TS: Has everyone looked at the survey that Gary sent around on the 'sweet' things. That might be a starting point to look at some of the aspects.

Where: Ontolog Forum. Recently - see around 29 Jan.

This as specific to the Sweet ontology (formerly NASA)

This is on BioPortal but with its own GitHub site.

Andrea Westerinen: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdH48fAZ1iQePvcHT5Wj2zLfkamNt5sHVqaDR76pqK8q7k9XA/viewform

This lists a bunch of criteria that might be useful for framing or an outline for this thing we want to articulate about guidelines, or ontology development, or evaluation. Includes obvious ones like whether you have basic language definitions.

TS: Ontologies can be used as a kind of interface between machines and humans.

The first list of questions on the SWEET survey is not really 'semantic resources' but potential purposes of a semantic resource. Some of the given answers are not even that, e.g. provenance.

May also be conflating different parts of the lifecycle. So it is a bit of a grab bag.

Has several aspects that might be useful to this conversation.

In particular the focus on 'semantics resources' in general.

Natural language definitions versus 'multi language support' as a feature of some resource.

TS: in terms of Human Machine interface: how you understand the symbols coming out of the computer.

AW: Meanwhile the SWEET thing is beyond multi-language, covering also multi vocabulary.

If an ontology is going to be used by people whose natural language is not English, it may be helpful to have equivalent definitions that are not English.

There is a distinction here, as to whether the different languages are provided because it is the end goal of the deliverable, versus when the definition is intended as documentation of an ontology as an application.

Andrea Westerinen: Translation versus localisation

Though it is sometimes difficult to draw the limits between translation and localisation, in general localisation addresses significant, non-textual components of products or services. In addition to translation (and, therefore, grammar and spelling issues that vary from place to place where the same language is spoken), the localisation process might include adapting graphics; adopting local currencies; using proper format for date and time, addresses, and phone numbers applicable to the location; the choices of colours; cultural references; and many other details, including rethinking the physical structure of a product. All these changes aim to recognise local sensitivities, avoid conflict with local culture, customs, common habits, and enter the local market by merging into its needs and desires. For example, localisation aims to offer country-specific websites of the same company or different editions of a book depending on where it is published. It must be kept in mind that a political entity such as a country is not the same as a language or culture; even in countries where there exists a substantially identical relationship between a language and a political entity, there are almost certainly multiple cultures and multiple minority languages even if the minority languages are spoken by transient populations. For instance, Japan's national language is Japanese and is the primary language for over 99% of the population, but the country also recognises 11 languages officially, others are spoken by transient populations, and others are spoken as second or other languages.

Is it the case that an NL definition is the same for both scenarios?

This seems like an important question, whether or not we figured out the answer yet.

The above quote is from Wikipedia.

The distinction between translation and localization is relevant to the above topic. Localization is about how you localize the application for SemWeb applications.

MB has slides - will provide a shorter version for this topic

AW can post an article on the use of upper ontologies and whether they help with harmonizing ontologies.

See also Track A Claudio Mozello presentation.

There are still differences in view on the usability of TLOs

Ontological Stance.

Also the question of how they would be used.

The paper mentioned above is a survey so it will help us see what the prevalence of views is on that.

This will also have implications based on the development methods.

Ken Baclawski: What do you think of CEDAR (https://metadatacenter.org/)?

ToddSchneider: Haven't heard of 'CEDAR'.

The SWEET Ontology (or the SWEET files, however we happen to characterize them) refers to CEDAR.

SWEET has a lot of IRIs but but no definition.

That relies on the user relying on their intended definition of the NL terms.

There are recommendations in CEDAR of how you format the IRI.

ToddSchneider: Have to go.

AW: That's like saying you can name something and the name never changes. You never want to pick a name and say for all time that that's the name of something.

Andrea Westerinen: Exactly, my name changed several times with different marriages.

Andrea Westerinen: For hardware, is your computer named by the external asset tag? The computer processors? The serial number on the motherboard?

Andrea Westerinen: Digital twin?

Andrea Westerinen: Archetypes?

Andrea Westerinen: I would talk about "possible worlds"


Possible worlds: What people care about is future, or possible world you are describing given the data you have

Andrea Westerinen: Possible worlds can be based on evidence, interpretation, the future and its scenarios, ...

What about designs? risks? Some of these fall foul of Realism but that may depend on how Realism is framed so there may be variants on that.

So Realism v Conceptualism needs to be talked about in any conversation about TLOs - you can't just accept or reject TLO without that conversation.

Ontology Summit discussion

Would like to see some more original insights in some of the Summit presentations.

TLOs are a key part of this conversation

AW wants to talk about the 6Ws - has some slides for this (for the Summit).



Next Meeting

AW Can do deeper extension of those slides for this session next month.

MB will do the same.

Next meeting 01 March (TBC)

If not, will be the 8th. TBC


  • ToddSchneider
  • Ken Baclawski
  • Andrea R. Westerinen (Bbn)
  • Mike Bennett

Next Meetings

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Previous Meetings

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