Modal logic (couldBe, willBe, etc), conceptual drift, a lot of the things
you mention here are indeed important to the work of an OHS-like
system. These notions bring to mind the need for what is called
non-monotonic reasoning capability (the ability to backtrack when some fact
changes), and version control -- keeping pointers aligned to appropriate
versions, updating pointers, and so forth. All topics for research,
discussion, and experimentation.
At 05:13 AM 4/1/2001 -0500, you wrote:
>... A quick thought after reviewing the introduction (wish I had time to
>read the full text of all the great articles and papers out there, there's
>just so much info and so little time... sigh)
>Many of the approaches to building ontologies seem to be fixated on a
>'present-tense' description of the nature of things. For instance, his
>graph showing the associationg 'cow gives meat' is not really an accurate
>association, in the sense that no cow (at least none that I know)
>willingly 'give' meat, but the process involves an actual _change_ in the
>nature of the cow. It may be more accurate to say that 'cow + slaughter =
>meat' which is an entirely different relationship, in which the action
>changes the graph entirely by (possibly) reclassifying the cow under the
>relation of 'is-a animal' to 'is food'.
>The issue here obviously is not the slaughter of cows, but how do we
>express the principles by which an entity changes as it is manipulated
>over time? Take for example the association, 'house is red'. But if the
>house is painted, this causes a change in the attribute of the house's
>color form red to, say, green.
>If we have the concept of building knowledge bases with an "SDS-like"
>system as a front end for entering new knowledge, the change of the
>knowledge content over time is an integral part of the system... How do we
>record the relations of cause and effect between actions which have been
>taken over time and the changes in attributes and classifications of the
>entites within the system? It seems this might be integrally bound up
>with some sort of versioning or history within the topic-mapping of the
>It seems there is a lot of interest in topic maps and RDF type
>descriptions for present tense description of the nature of things, but do
>these mechanisms adequately address the integration of history, preserving
>the cause-and-effect which changes the nature of the reality these things
>Just wondering what folks out there are thinking -- (btw, thanks to
>everybody on this list for all the fantastic food for thought over the few
>months i've been lurking)
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