IRe: [unrev-II] Semantic Community Web Portal

From: Eric Armstrong (
Date: Sun Sep 16 2001 - 14:14:14 PDT

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "[unrev-II] Eugene's work: A FAQ-index into an argument"

    Alex Shapiro wrote:

    > I'm happy that you're skeptical. It gives me "job security".


    Actually, I'm glad you're working on graphic representations. There is
    a whole 'nother line of knowledge-formulation using modeling that we
    only briefly discussed on this forum, about a year and a half ago or so.

    As it happens, I love graphics. I'd love good ways to make pictures
    of things, so as to explain them. Navigating an ontology, and visiting
    nodes for explanatory information, may just be a useful area.

    I note, though, that while IBIS has a limited number of "types", the
    are not "self-contained". For example, if you are trying to discern the
    grazing patterns of cow, a "cow" is a self-contained type. One cow is
    pretty much the same as any other cow, and can be defined as a "grazing
    machine", for the purposes of the study. One might make an icon for
    young cows, and maybe another for bulls. But that small number of
    icons would suffice to discern the herd's grazing pattern in an animated


    In contrast, the type "argument for" is not self-contained. There are
    of the type of argument (ad hominum, reducto ad absurdium, etc.), as
    well as specific details of the argument to consider. Knowing that there

    are 23 arguments in favor of a proposition and 1 against does not
    necessarily imply any information. That one against could be a killer.
    it could be minor. Ony evaluating the information-content of the
    makes it possible to tell which.

    The concept of "job" is similar. If the distribution of jobs is the
    information, then a number next to each location would do as well -- or
    a circle with a diameter that was a function of the number of jobs.

    But if the individual job-units contain important distingusihing
    then the icons don't differentiate them. If you had a particular job you

    were interested in, you would be hard pressed to find it from the graphs

    in the example.

    Again, the situation could be improved with different icons for
    types of jobs. But again, one icon of each type would suffice, with a
    number of each. If there 20 icons of a given type, then again one would
    be hard-pressed to find a particular job.

    Graphic tools are useful, and I love them. I once wanted to do animated
    algebra tutorials. (X walks over and bumps off the X on the other side.)

    I believe some do exist now. And I feel sure that the graphics displays
    you are working on will find useful applications. Possibly even in this
    arena, despite my skepticism.

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