At the 2007 Extreme Markup Language Conference, now

called Balisage, I had the pleasure of giving a

presentation called 'OntoClock, The Difference Between

Having Ontological Knowledge and Knowing It'.

The presentation was about the OntoClock system, a proof

of concept collection of XML technologies working together

in one system or program. OntoClock was an SVG animation

of an analog wall clock, the sweep second hand 'driven' by

the computer system clock circuitry of the laptop the

program was running on. The point of the OntoClock demo

was not simply that an analog clock SVG animation could

correctly translate dynamic digital time values to the

correct angles for the three clock hands but that the

SVG metadata element (of who I am the author) could

gainfully contain multiple kinds of metadata relating

both to the visual aspects of SVG output but also to

nonvisual (eg human cognitive ontological) aspects

simultaneously. The OntoClock SVG file contained the

NASA JPL Semantic Web Environmental Technology

Time-Ontology with some added content from myself.

Using a reasoner program , such as Jena, the ontology of

time could be related to the motions and (implied) time

values depicted by OntoClock's three clock hands.

By relating sequences of values of particular OntoClock

program variables and position and change of position

(ie 'motion') of the SVG animated clock hands a

[BACON-like (Pat Langley, Herbert Simon)] discovery

program could through 'observation' (such as might be

done via a Valgrind type monitor) discover that "change

of time" 'caused' [concomitant or correlated] 'change of

location' of animated clock hands! Using a semantic version

of Call Stack/Valgrind the system was able to detect

not only that it _had_ knowledge of time (the OWL

ontology in the SVG metadata element) but also that it

(the system) detected it discovered its usage and meaning

[by virtue of the reasoner]. In an ontological sense the

OntoClock understood not only what time 'is' but also

that the SVG animation depicts it 'occurring'!

This might be said to be a kind of metaphorical

understanding of time, in the sense of 'passage of time

' represented by 'movement in space'.

In the period 2008 to August 2009 the OntoClock

capabilities have been expanded to include use of the

metadata system MathML. During the last week of

July 2009 I gave a half-day workshop at Geoweb 2009

where, in part, I explained that by including MathML

content in the metadata element of an SVG based

Building Information Modelling (BIM) illustration of

a building (eg a house room) and by linking/associating

(by means of URI RDF) ontological knowledge of

mathematics (via NASA JPL SWEET numerics.owl)

the SVG illustration of the room provided not only

picture, that is visible display info, but also ontological

knowledge about mathematical concepts and (MathML

based) equations showing what numerical processing

to perform.

Instead of merely providing a compiled / 'binary'

function which DOES the calculation 'when its start

button is pushed', by providing the MathML

representation of the equations or mathematical

processing involved, it is possible for the computer

to apply / perform reasoning (via Jena, and the

like) on the mathematical concepts embodied in /

represented by the equations depicted in the

MathML. Links from the MathML, such as via its

annotation element, to the mathematical

concepts ontology numerics.owl permit reasoning

about mathematical concepts identified in the

MathML equations representation, such as shown

in my SVG XML BIM example at Geoweb 2009.

I showed an example of an SVG illustration which had

multiple types of metadata, including MathML with

associations to relevant mathematical concepts in

numeric.owl. Applying a reasoning program (Jena)

allows the computer to make inferences about the

mathematical concepts as present in the equation /

formula depicted in the MathML. The computer can,

for example, recognize that a certain mathematical

symbolic subpattern in an equation represents the

concept of second derivative. It is possible to

depict calculations used in (BIM and other)

modelling by means of their conceptual terms, such as

second derivative, or heat design type xyz.

That allows conceptual terms, such as

second derivative, Daubechies wavelet and so on,

to be used both in human visually operated design

programs (CAD, Arch, etc) and also in programmatically

based planning programs.

I also showed SVG based BIM building illustration

where the SVG meta data element content included a

building ontology (in OWL). A reasoner program

could infer the floors were part of a building, as are

walls, doors and windows, but the latter two occur in

walls not ceiling or floors (ordinarily, but with

architectural design based exceptions, such as

dormer (windows) and skylights).

When the computer has (access to) ontological knowledge

of buildings / architecture and also ontological

knowledge about space (eg space.owl) and

time (eg time.owl , and others) it can have this knowledge

associated with mathematical descriptions involved

in modelling heat design, stress and loads, pedestrian

and other traffic, even a field-modeled western version

of Feng Shui / aesthetics / Hall's Personal Space

calculations it can analyze building designs not only by

the nuts and bolts CAD/CAM approach, such as

finite element analysis, but also conceptually,

for example, knowing (ontologically) about stylistic

and pragmatic required features (at the conceptual

(terminological) level the computer can then evaluate how

well an architectural description /design addresses or

satisfies those required conceptual level features. A

simple example of 'self-propelled' architectural design

'validation' or 'verification' is to have the computer

analyze / review a structural description of a building

and check it for 'completeness' and 'correctness'

according to the knowledge in the ontology (of buildings

(, time, space, numerics, etc)).

The very beginnings of such computer activity are

already in use in computer gaming where an ontology is

used to be sure all of the required visible things of a

room, house or scene are present. This performs far

greater attention to detail / analysis than is done by

a human who does 'continuity' in motion picture film

making endeavours. Scenegraphs are often used to do

this sort of thing (in graphics productions) but

scenegraphs (traditionally) must be populated by hand

by humans. An ontologically-based validation can populate

the scenegraph programmatically, obviating humans in

this arena.