Tag Archives: ontology

Emergent versus Imposed Boundaries

When organizing large quantities of resources and information in the digital world… putting things into groups, determining what goes where and assigning boundaries, it can be helpful to look at the real world for lessons learned.  Imposing boundaries in unnatural locations is bound to fail sooner or later, the results can be disastrous taking generations to overcome.

Take for example Southern Africa. Oceans, mountains, deserts, vegetation and other natural features determined where people lived and worked.

 

Physical Geography and Natural Vegetation
from Exploring Africa at Michigan State University 

Over time, people settled in various areas surrounded by their culture. Learning the best ways to be productive based on the conditions in their area – whether it was a jungle with vast resources or a desert with very few. 

From Africa Expat

Ancient people such as the Shona in modern day Zimbabwe congregated and stuck together in different areas.  Many of these languages and traditions continue today. But these curving, natural, and emergent boundaries don’t match boundaries imposed from outside cultures.

From Wikimedia Commons

Occasionally, an imposed boundary may coincide with a natural boundary such as a river.  More often though, imposed boundaries are designed to work within larger more global schemes, without paying enough attention to the local impact.

From Wikimedia Commons

Anyone can see where arbitrarily drawing lines has gotten us today.  What can be learned from history to avoid similar situations in the fresh, clean, brand new digital world where ideas and information are still patterning out and have no where in particular to belong except where they are emerging as “next to something else” or arranged for convenient, all encompassing, upper level views

Linked Open Data, Colored, as of March 2009

What about situations where digital terrain and intellectual data boundaries are being purposefully laid out. For example Master Web of Science, mapofscience.com and Places & Spaces where navigating the data is like exploring uncharted territory, and Katy Borner and collaborators seek to enable the discovery of new worlds while also marking territories inhabited by unknown monsters.


The difference in the semantic world versus the physical world should be that the digital world has no constraints like rivers or mountains. Eventually all of the layout can be determined.  Attention does need to be paid to where cultures are emerging, and how this can benefit everyone both globally and locally.

 Not only watch how the semantic web is emerging, but to direct it’s flow in productive ways, geared for people in different areas that may vary widely in their density and resources, rather than as one empire. Because that only causes trouble in the long run.

Layout Algorithm, NYU

Data Mining at Information and Visualization

Random Layout Algorithm at Cell System Markup Language (CSML) an XML format for modeling, visualizing and simulating biopathways.

The advantage of paying attention to this is, reaching an appropriate balance between random emergence and directed flow will ultimately serve end users and programmers better than any other option, and the solutions will last for a long time.


Communities of Practice at NASA

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Single Point of Failure

Duane Nickull Senior Standards Strategist for Adobe Systems set forth a set of goals on Ontolog Forum
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Start thinking about the 2008 Ontology Summit

+ Free public API’s where organizations with folksonomies (tag clouds often represent these), can link terms in their folksonomies to disambiguate words like “Washington” which may have several meanings.

+ a system architecture with no single point of failure and a flexible service oriented approach to creating a platform for ontology work on the web.

+some artifacts to explain in simple lay terms, how to use the ontology and how to reference items in it from taxonomies and folksonomies with simple context and event declarations.

+ a strong thrust of work on context.

…which lit a fire of discussion over the term context.

Implementing Duane Nickull’s stated goals would benefit the general public in a number of ways. But there are unanswered questions for example: What is meant by a single point?

SinglePoint

Single Point Perspective by Mark Reeves

 

What system features fail and how can the single points of such failures be diffused to enable functional workarounds on the fly?

Diffuse

The behavior of a perfectly diffuse, or Lambertian, surface is described with the help of this figure by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) in their remote sensing tutorial.

 

Duane Nickull states the following in response “Single point of failure in (Service Oriented and System) Architecture is a concept whereby one component has the power to render a larger set of components useless if it fails. When architecting ebXML, the W3C Web Services Architecture and the United Nations architecture, we employed multiple failsafes such as a federation of registries instead of a single registry repository since the single one represented a potential point of failure. Even if we employed multiple registry-repositories and syndicated master records from one, the one represented a single point of failure. Instead, all these architectures use a system of high water marks and federation (much like DNS for the internet) to guarantee no single point of failure can bring the entire infrastructure down”


SCIP, meaning the Stanford Computer Industry Project, reports “major computer industry problems such as interoperability, systems errors and project failures are in large part software problems.”

collapse

Collapse the Light into Earth by ~EvidenceE~

 

The other SCIP, meaning Specifications Consultants in Independent Practice, has lively discussions about failures. Everything from a wood floor product failing in adhesion, to windows not passing performance tests, to buildings falling down and exit doors failing to operate during an emergency. What emergencies are caused by the single point of failure in a system architecture?

systemcollapse

System Collapse by isbsh

 

In the real world, people get trapped in a nightclub fire and exit devices are not only invented, they are required by building codes and local laws. Where do ontology users get trapped?

Trapped

Day 30: Trapped Inside a Migraine by Susan and her 5d’s

Who maintains the system of building codes and laws to avoid system wide failures caused by single points in semantic space? In the case of an exit door in physical space, the point of failure is the unfortunate fact there is only one way out, the opening might be too narrow, and untrained people do not know how to operate the locks or control the flow.

Locks in Hugh Moore Park 6 by Mareboy

Locks in Hugh Moore Park 6 by Mareboy

The Construction Specification Institute CSI has a discussion forum on Code Interpretation and Failures. Because building the physical world is already an established process, the roles of contractor, architect and engineer are defined. Are the only architects designing “system architecture with no single point of failure and a flexible service oriented approach to creating a platform for ontology work on the web” actually engineers? Who are the Contractors and Owners of these semantic spaces and designs?

design

Palais de congres de Montreal 2 by Cocolinda

The CSI discussion on code interpretation and failures include contractors points of view “with a lot less time to research the code requirements than the Architect and the Engineer that already have the contract to produce construction documents, would it not be the proper thing to just list the requirements , instead of putting the responsibility on all the bidders to research code requirements which only one bidder will be successful?”

 

Architects designing systems without single points of failure are researching which code requirements? Common Logic? Conceptual Graphs? ISO Standards? Yet, outside of failures to communicate which could be caused by crossed wires between originators and interpreters for a million reasons – what are the current worse case scenarios? What fails, falls down, breaks and blocks the path of progress? What checklists are used to contract the Architects, Engineers, and Contractors for large scale public projects? What construction documents are available to end users as if the plans, specifications, and warranties were in the hands of a condo board, comprised of lawyers, waiting for their windows to leak?

leak

Its Time to Break Up by Nobel4

 

 

What are the warranties against failure? Failure of what? Adhesion? Not passing performance testing? Emergency response or instantaneous reconfiguration, opening up, structural disappearance or collapse to allow large scale escape during an emergency? Has the digital age faced these emergencies yet?

 

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OntoDimensions

Template for discourse about ontologies, rather than a conceptual model of them (10PC). Created by PeterBrown, DeniseBedford, JimDisbrow, JackTeller and SusanTurnbull (10RW) at the Population Session Breakout Group at OntologSummit2007.

OntoDim2 [Figure 1: Ontology Dimensions Map] (10OD)

PeterBrown: ….taking on board comments from our working group and others regarding Gestalt….including checking/modifying it against the prose of the Summit communiqu?

Q: How many dimensions might one be able to run along and compare at the same time? What would that look like?

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Ontoforms

SUO
This is an image from the Standard Upper Ontology Working Group (SUO WG) Also shown as Fig. 3 in Accuracy&Aesthetic director Kenneth Field‘s upcoming publication “Ontologies, Categories, Folksonomies: An Organised Language of Sound” to be published in the fall and copyrighted by Organised Sound, an International Journal of Music and Technology, Cambridge Journals.
Ken is interested in aesthetic outcomes of the structures and coined the new term “Ontoform” while stating “I’m after living/conscious ‘ontoforms’ that float invisibly in our environment until you put on your x-ray specs.”

ontoform
sumo-1.36classes

sumo-1.36classes, KennethFields

Debbie is beginning to collect images like the ones above simply to examine standard upper ontologies as forms, functions, and overall designs. The purpose is to devise a method of making ontoforms, designs, and functions more beautiful and locally driven by treating them like building designs communicated through drawings, measurements, models, and special means of specifying.

pic_v13_st10_1

Emerging Complexity and Cellular Automata, Wolfram Science

dripping

From Simon’s Computing Stuff: The Dripping Rail rule is a 1D CA rule which is simply an averaging over neighbours and an increment. This module shows the time progression of the CA.

dripping springs

Dripping Springs by Kevin Caron

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