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GEOWEB 2009, Balisage 2009

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  • david_dodds_2001
    Copyright 2009 David Dodds At the 2007 Extreme Markup Language Conference, now called Balisage, I had the pleasure of giving a presentation called OntoClock,
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 10, 2009
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      Copyright 2009 David Dodds
      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.
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