c.e.s.ore at edd.uio.no
Mon Mar 28 16:34:07 EEST 2005
I have read some of the stuff on the SUO pages and have compiled a few
I checked the web-pages of the SUO. My first impression is that the people
behind SUO are computer scientists and that their work is based on/heavily
influenced by the mathematical field "Category Theory" (CT). This is not
surprising since CT is generalised algebra. When I worked as a theoretical
computer scientist (until 1990) CT was used by people doing proof theory
and making proof systems and thus in cognitive science and AI. CT had its
golden age around 1970 when it was almost an industrial production of
CT-papers. CT can be extremely abstract and hard to understand for
non-mathematician. The book shown at one of the SUO page "Categories for
the working mathematician" is meant to be an introduction to the field, but
is more like a reference book for the advanced level.
CT is in itself interesting and well suited as a language to describe
logics, type theories and apparently ontologies seen as mathematical
On the SUO and related pages there are mostly papers and presentations of
general ontological concepts, systems, lattice theory and category theory
stuff. The purpose of SUO is:
"This standard will specify an upper ontology that will enable computers to
utilize it for applications such as data interoperability, information
search and retrieval, automated inferencing, and natural language
processing. An ontology is similar to a dictionary or glossary, but with
greater detail and structure that enables computers to process its content.
An ontology consists of a set of concepts, axioms, and relationships that
describe a domain of interest. An upper ontology is limited to concepts
that are meta, generic, abstract and philosophical, and therefore are
general enough to address (at a high level) a broad range of domain areas.
Concepts specific to given domains will not be included; however, this
standard will provide a structure and a set of general concepts upon which
domain ontologies (e.g. medical, financial, engineering, etc.) could be
CIDOC CRM is presented as a domain specific ontology both at page iii in
the introduction of the standard and according to the above definitions.
Hwever, the scope of CRM is the reference information of museum object a
rather wide domain.
It may be possible to generalise CRM a little by stripping of some of the
more museum specific classes and generalise some of the museum specific
scope notes. CRM is "general enough to address (at a high level) a broad
range of domain areas". Thus on may say that it is an upper ontology
according to the rather vague definition given by SUO above.
I guess it should be possible to formulate (an adjusted) CRM in terms of
Category Theory. But such formalization will perhaps just be an exercise.
At 11:59 23.03.2005, martin wrote:
>I just heard about this message from the SUO (Standard Upper Ontology) team:
>...We know that making serious progress on a broadly acceptable common upper
>ontology (I prefer "default upper ontology" -- the most widely used ontology
>that one uses for interoperability purposes when you don't have any good
>for using something else), would require a collaborative effort that would be
>expensive. I estimated 3 million dollars two years ago; it would probably be
>more now. But without that project, we might still be able to do something
>useful on this list ...
>So far, we have been considerably cheaper. Nevertheless, it would be
>someone could devote time to compare the CRM with SUO.
> Dr. Martin Doerr | Vox:+30(2810)391625 |
> Principle Researcher | Fax:+30(2810)391638 |
> | Email: martin at ics.forth.gr |
> Center for Cultural Informatics |
> Information Systems Laboratory |
> Institute of Computer Science |
> Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH) |
> Vassilika Vouton,P.O.Box1385,GR71110 Heraklion,Crete,Greece |
> Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl |
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