On Thu, Sep 17, 2009 at 12:19 PM, Kingsley Idehen <kide...@openlinksw.com>wrote:

Schema Last vs. Schema First :-) An RDF virtue that once broadly understood,
> across the more traditional DBMS realms, will work wonders for RDF based
> Linked Data appreciation.

That's the conclusion that I'm coming to.

I've been think of the question of,  "what would Cyc look like if it were
started today?"

Cyc took the "Schema First" approach to the human memome project:  as a
result it put a lot of work into upper and middle ontologies which don't
seem all that useful to many observers.  Despite a great deal of effort put
into avoiding 'representational thorns',  it got caught up.

A modern approach would be to start with a huge amount of data over various
domains and to construct schemas using a mix of statistical inference and
human input.  The role of the upper ontology would be reduced here,
because,  in general,  it isn't always necessary to mesh up two randomly
chosen domains,  say:  "bus schedules",  "anime",  "psychoanalysis",
"particle physics"

Now,  somebody might want to apply the system to study the relationship of
"anime" with "psychoanalysis";  that could be approached by constructing a
metatheory (i) based on those particular domains,  and (ii) conditioned by
the application that the system is being put to,  that is,  "on the bit",
connected via a feedback loop to some means of evaluating the system's
motion towards a goal.

"Representational Thorns" get bypassed here because the system is free to
develop a new representation if an old one fails for a particular task.

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