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[protege-owl] Ontology Vs Semantic Networks

Juan Federico Sequeda Sanclemente juanfederico at gmail.com
Sun Apr 22 06:46:52 PDT 2007


Just a point maybe a bit off topic, but I was discussing with Alex Garcia
about what an ontology is. As Victor says, he also agrees that concepts are
in our head and if I am not wrong, Barry Smith has a paper on that. But if
you read most papers about ontologies, most authors state that it is a set
of concepts... or not only concepts but of terms that can be concepts,
relations, instances in conjunction with the restrictions. So is this a
misconception of most authors of what an ontology really is?

On 4/22/07, Victor Manuel <vmgcastellanos at yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> Ontologies are hard to define, some definitions maight indeed put them as
> closely related those for semantic networks. For those within the AI
> community the context in which the ontology is going to be used largely
> influences the definition of the term; at a glance, an ontology represents a
> view of the world with the set of concepts and relations amongst them, all
> of these defined with respect to the domain of interest. Some scholars
> redefine the term in an effort to capture an absolute view of the world. For
> instance, John F. Sowa (Sowa 2000a) defines an ontology as:
>  "The study of existence, of all kind of things (abstract and concrete)
> that make up the world"
>
> Uschold et al (Uschold and Gruninger 1996) describe an ontology as
>
> "A vocabulary of terms and some specification of their meaning"
>
> I understand ontologies as:  "Ontology is an incomplete, formal
> classification of types of information structured by relationships defined
> by a domain of knowledge's vocabulary and by the canonical formulations of
> its theories"
>
> My definition for ontologies is highly related to computer science.
> however, it brings together some key elements from more philosophy-related
> definitions.
>
> A semantic network might be defined as a DAG in which you relate concepts
> not types of information -first difference. Please not here that for
> ontologies you should be careful when using the term concept, as concepts
> are in our heads, they are subjective representations of the reality. For
> all the rest, IMHO both share a lot in common, depending on the definition
> you have for Ontos, and SN. The definition for both of them is highly
> dependent on the intended  "use".
>
> Hope this helps.
>
> *James Taylor <james.jim.taylor at gmail.com >* wrote:
>
> Hello,
>
> What are the most fundamental differences/similarities between ontologies
> and semantic networks.
>
> I would appreciate any comments or references explaining that.
>
> Thanks.
>
> Regards,
> Jim
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-- 
Juan Sequeda
Research Assistant
Dept. of Computer Science
University of Texas at Austin
http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~jsequeda <http://www.cs.utexas.edu/%7Ejsequeda>
jsequeda at cs.utexas.edu
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