Message 12230 of the SUO list

Subject: Re: SUO: Multi-Source Ontology (MSO) Draft Ballot Question
Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:29:02
From: Philippe Martin
In-reply-to: msg12228 by Adam Pease (also answered by msg12229 of John Sowa)


> I'm puzzled by this product and its description.  It appears to 
> contain some terms from SUMO, but not their axioms, so I'm not clear
> to what extent an integration is in progress.

I meant that I am currently inserting those terms and most of their
associated axioms. Give me about 2 more weeks for the SUMO.
My only problem is time (as I am now also looking for a job).

Then, what would be interesting is that certain persons check the
links I have set between categories from different ontologies.
E.g. Stefano could check my links from DOLCE categories to
other categories. Matthew West is checking my links from categories
of the LIS. Every validated link would help to access/retrieve and
define/understand/re-use the linked categories. Rejected links would
also help the understanding of the categories if I store these 
"mistakes" (the wrong links) within comments.

I represent many of the axioms in FT (a simple and normalizing notation
For Taxonomies), e.g.
(i) axioms using the relations instance, subclass and equal are
represented via the links ^, < and =,
(ii) those using disjoint and partitionare represented via {..}, {(...)},
(iii) those using domain, range, OneToOneFunction, ... are represented
via relation signatures (which may include templates and cardinalities).
A grammar of FT is at

More complex axioms require another notation. I could represent them in
FCG (the native formalism used in WebKB-2) or extend my import and export
procedures to the KIF and ontological primitives used in the SUMO.
However, it is unlikely that the SUO will adopt FCG, and WebKB-2 will not
exploit the SUMO axioms in FCG for constraint checking. (WebKB-2 is 
mainly intended to support Natural Language representation and knowledge
normalization+sharing+retrieval, it is not a general inference engine).
Hence, in the short term, I do not think I'll include complex axioms
from SUMO.
On the other hand, if there is a need for it, I can propose the browsing
or export of the content of WebKB-2 into the KIF and ontological primitives
used in the SUMO. CGIF and RDF+DAML+OIL can already be used for displaying
the taxonomy.

> Without many of the links already in WordNet

Do you refer to the verb/ajective/adverb-related parts of WordNet?
Adding these parts to the MSO of WebKB-2 is a medium-term goal.

> or the logical relations in SUMO, how does this proposal address 
> the need for inference stated in the SUO charter?

Your general inference engine can still use the complex SUMO axioms
(most of which are usually hard-coded in inference engines) plus
others from the MSO of WebKB-2.

> SUMO has already been linked to WordNet. If the WordNet linguistic
> hierarchy has been "corrected", then it may well be that many of the
> links from SUMO to a changed version of WordNet will no longer be valid.

The removal of inconsistencies (e.g. violated exclusion links) or
redundancies (e.g. redundant subtype, member, part links) and the
modification of mis-used links (e.g. subtype links used instead of
locationOf links) can only be beneficial. (For a listing of the
updates, see

Yes, the meanings of some WordNet categories have been precised
to correct confusions or via the adding of a (much needed)
structured top-level. However, I have avoided changing these
category meanings as much as possible (1.5 pages of my article at is devoted to that point,
and for example explain why I have not r-ecategorized the intermixed
categories for attributes and measures of WordNet under the
exclusive types dolce#quality and dolce#region, i.e. as qualities or
quality values).

It is unlikely that those changes will affect the links you refer to
between SUMO and WordNet, but when they do, this will be for the better.

> Since SUMO itself is a full version with axioms, what are the purported
> benefits of this work over SUMO?

All that has been added (links to and between categories from other
non-completely overlapping ontologies) and corrected or extended (mainly
the noun-related part of WordNet).
However, there are no additional explicit total definitions of primitive
categories, and hence currently, from a certain logical viewpoint, the
ontology itself (not WebKB-2) brings nothing.

> Does this proposal contain any content not already in SUMO or WordNet?

Every category, link or graph that has a source/creator different from
"sumo" and "wn" (and excluding categories for some domain ontologies).
Compared to the number of categories and links in WordNet, that is not
a large number but then the same thing can be said about the number of
classes and relations in SUMO.