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New Definitions for 'Semantic Web Rule Based Systems' ?

Many of the potential obstacles to adoption of the Semantic Web are similar if not identical to the prbblems faced by rule-based systems in the late 1980s. Therefore, the business rules methodology may be a good guide for development of the Semantic Web.

First, some basic principles.

It's About Reasoning, Not About Computers

This entire section contains very few mentions of computers or discussions about about computer implementations or, even worse, about the 'best' computer languages. The following sections are far more concerned with the subject of how people reason about the world and things in the world than it is about computers. I think that 'reasoning' is the proper level of inquiry for 'rule based systems', rather than focusing too much on the technical considerations which too often come to dominate and obscure the underlying issue of how people do what they do when solving common problems.

It's About Inferences, Not About Rules Themselves

But, the types of situations which will be encountered in the building of a semantic web may not be as well-defined as those encountered in business processes. The shadow of incomplete, inconsistent and outright unreliable information looms on every corner of Web. How can a set of well-defined rules deal with ill-defined information ?

Can new definitions for rules, rule base and rule engine be found which will be sufficiently precise to meet the level of exactitude demanded by computer applications and still be fuzzy enough to capture all the nuances of inexact reasoning ? I think the answer is, maybe.

Returning to an Older Definition

In fact, by lumping inexact reasoning in our definition, we are returning to an earlier, more inclusive definition of rule based systems as describing how people tend to reason in different situations, probably more similar to 'cognitive science' as currently defined. For example, an expanded definition would include the tricky subjects of truth maintenance and belief revision, subject well outside the realm of business rules or classical expert systems.


Tags:   RBS   -   Definitions   SW   -   Definitions

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