Interesting thoughts, Eric.
Which reminds me:
It seems that an ontology might not, itself, be considered a modeling
language for the *processes* going on 'out there'. Rather, an ontology
sets the syntax and semantics for the vocabulary being used to model
processes. A particularly valuable process modeling language, in my
experience, is Qualitative Process Theory, as created by Ken Forbus for his
dissertation at MIT. Google those two entities (QPT and Forbus) and be
prepared for some interesting reading.
At 05:22 PM 4/2/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>Matt Placek wrote:
> > Many of the approaches to building ontologies seem to be fixated on a
> > 'present-tense' description of the nature of things.
>Great question. It strikes me that you are asking about how to model
>a state change in the context of an ontology. Lets take water and
> water + heat => hot water
> water + sufficient heat => steam
> water - heat => cold water
> water - sufficient heat => ice
>Hmmm. That example introduces yet another issue: amountOf.
>Simply adding heat to water does not predict which state
>change occurs -- the result depends on the previous state
>and the amount of heat.
>But leaving the issues of quantity aside, for the moment,
>your question revolved around a simpler state change:
> cow + slaughter => food
>Here there is time-based complexity, because once the
>slaughter association occurs, the cow object ceases to
>exist and the food object comes into being!
>One way to model that in an ontology might be to come
>up with a single thing that is BOTH a cow and food.
>Let's call it "bag o'protein".
>We might now be able to model "bag o'protein" has
>having one or more states (cow or food), and model
>the transitions from one state to the next.
>On the other hand, using an ontology to do that modeling
>is probably the wrong tool for the job. But it sure as
>heck is an interesting question! (I look forward to other
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