Saturday, 8 January 2011

Ontology. For a common language? Discerning between context-tied and context-free.

In John Holland's book of 'emergence, from chaos to order' there is something that fits my current streak of thoughts, and though haphazard I feel compelled in contemplating about it, in fear I would loose sight of the track it opens up.

In page 241-242, is mentioned

"In modifying the starting conditions, and in deciding which phenomena are critical or characteristic, insight and taste are indispensable. In the study of emergence, interdisciplinary comparisons are a critical aid in developing these two traits. As I 've emphasized in several places, interdisciplinary comparisons allow us to differentiate the incidental from the essential. When we look for the same phenomena in different contexts, we can separate features that always present from features that are tied to context. Moreover, what is hidden in one context may be obvious in another. Both aspects offer great help in the construction of models of emergence."

The incidental which is context-tied and do not confer any weight in elucidating the rules applied for every phenomenon under the emergence regime and the essential, which is context-free and bears relevance to universal laws emergence adheres to. The constant attempt to discern from all the information phenomena provide to the essential and steer away from the information that its presence appears trivial and it is not crucial in our understanding of the phenomenon itself. Emergence governs every phenomenon and its deeper understanding leads to worthwhile applications in explaining any phenomenon to ourselves.

Without this knowledge we feel lost, overwhelmed unable to function in an appropriate manner.

systems .. agents ... units ... variables and parameters ... environment ... self-organising ... emergent. The systems created by systems ... evolving .. self-organised. Agent based systems, become the agents of other systems, expanding in space. Agents of systems, are systems themselves.

Human individuals agents of societies. Human individuals systems themselves. Poly-systemic as comprised of many systems.

system-subsystem-instance separation

Experimental techniques in low-temperature physics By Guy Kendall White, Philip J. Meeson

"Most properties of materials are categorised in terms of the phonon system, the electron system and the spin system (i.e. the nuclear or electronic magnetic moments). Since spin and magnetic moment are closely related in quantum mechanics, we will use the terms interchangeably.
These different subsystems, although intimately mixed together in any one material, can be separated in the imagination and analysed as independent systems.

"Consider for example the separation of the phonon system from the electron system in a metal. This proceeds from the knowledge that the phonon system is 'heavy' arising from the motion of ions in the lattice whilst electrons are light. The mass difference (and differing statistics) influences the available energy levels in each system and ultimately limits the flow of momentum and energy between the two systems. This 'adiabatic' or Born-Oppenheimer approximation regards the two subsystems as separate but interacting via an electron-phonon interaction. In this particular case of a metal, for instance, phonons dominate the high-temperature heat capacity whilst electrons dominate the low-temperature heat capacity; however the electron-phonon interaction ensures that the electrons and phonons are in good thermal equilibrium at all temperatures for most practical purposes. This is because the coupling is in fact relatively strong, and at low or high temperature one or the other system has a relatively small heat capacity. In the intermediate regime thermal contact is still good, but subtle effects due to non-equilibrium may be discerned."

This paper describes a mechanism for defining ontologies that are portable over representation systems.

In that context, an ontology is a specification used for making ontological commitments.
"The formal definition of ontological commitment is given below. For pragmetic reasons, we choose to write an ontology as a set of definitions of formal vocabulary. Although this isn't the only way to specify a conceptualization, it has some nice properties for knowledge sharing among AI software (e.g., semantics independent of reader and context). Practically, an ontological commitment is an agreement to use a vocabulary (i.e., ask queries and make assertions) in a way that is consistent (but not complete) with respect to the theory specified by an ontology. We build agents that commit to ontologies. We design ontologies so we can share knowledge with and among these agents."

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