[Crm-sig] DOLCE and Dimension

martin martin at ics.forth.gr
Wed Nov 28 16:28:56 EET 2007

Dear All,

The following source:

IST Project 2001-33052 WonderWeb:
Ontology Infrastructure for the Semantic Web
WonderWeb Deliverable D18
Ontology Library (final)
Claudio Masolo, Stefano Borgo,
Aldo Gangemi, Nicola Guarino, Alessandro Oltramari_

"3.2.2 Qualities and quality regions
Qualities can be seen as the basic entities we can perceive or measure: 
shapes, colors, sizes, sounds, smells, as well as weights, lengths, 
electrical charges.
. . ‘Quality’ is often used as a synonymous of ‘property’, but this is 
not the case in DOLCE:
qualities are particulars, properties are universals. Qualities inhere 
to entities:
every entity (including qualities themselves) comes with certain 
qualities, which exist as long as the entity exists.18 Within a certain 
ontology, we assume that these qualities belong to a finite set
of quality types (like color, size, smell, etc., corresponding to the
“leaves” of the quality taxonomy shown in Figure 2), and are 
characteristic for (inhere in)specific individuals:
no two particulars can have the same quality, and each quality is
specifically constantly dependent (see below) on the entity it inheres 
in: at any time, a quality can’t be present unless the entity it inheres 
in is also present. So we distinguish between a quality (e.g.,
the color of a specific rose), and its “value” (e.g., a particular shade
of red). The latter is called quale, and describes the position of an 
individual quality within a certain conceptual space (called here 
quality space) [39]. So when we say that two roses have
(exactly) the same color, we mean that their color qualities, which are
distinct, have the same position in the color space, that is they have 
the same color quale.
This distinction between qualities and qualia is inspired by [40] and
the so-called trope theory [9] (with some differences that are not 
discussed here19). Its intuitive rationale is mainly due to the fact 
that natural language – in certain constructs – often seems to make
a similar distinction (Table 2). For instance, in cases 4 and 5 of Table
2, we are not speaking of a certain shade of red, but of something else 
that keeps its identity while its ‘value’ changes. On the other hand, in 
case 6 we are not speaking of qualities, but rather of regions
within quality spaces. The specific shade of red of our rose – its color
quale – is therefore a point (or an atom, mereologically speaking) in 
the color space.20 Each quality type has an associated quality space 
with a specific structure. For example, lengths are usually associated 
to a metric linear space, and colors to a topological 2D space. The 
structure of these spaces reflects our perceptual and cognitive bias: 
this is another important reason for taking the notion of “quale”, as 
used in philosophy of mind, to designate quality regions, which roughly 
correspond to qualitative sensorial experiences of humans.
In this approach, we can explain the relation existing between ‘red’
intended as an adjective (as in “this rose is red”) and ‘red’ intended 
as a noun (as in “red is a color”):
the rose is red because its color is located in the red region within
the color space (more exactly, its color quale is a part of that 
region). Moreover, we can explain the difference between “this rose is 
red” and “the color of this rose is red” by interpreting “red” as
synonymous of red-thing in the first case, and of red-color in the
latter case (Figure 3)."

We may see all Dimensions to belong to value spaces.

And "Space and time locations as special qualities. In our ontology,
space and time locations are considered as individual qualities like 
colors, weights, etc. Their corresponding qualia are called spatial 
(temporal) regions. For example, the spatial location of a physical
object belongs to the quality type space, and its quale is a region in
the geometric space. Similarly for the temporal location of an 
occurrence, whose quale is a region in the temporal space. This allows 
an homogeneous approach that remains neutral about the properties of the 
geometric/temporal space adopted (for instance, one is free to adopt
linear, branching, or even circular time)."

I regard the latter as problematic, as the notion of a distance from 
reference point in absolute space cannot be directly compared with 
values in a value space. Until evidence is found for branching time....




  Dr. Martin Doerr              |  Vox:+30(2810)391625        |
  Principle Researcher          |  Fax:+30(2810)391638        |
                                |  Email: martin at ics.forth.gr |
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