Ontolog Forum

Ontolog Panel Discussion: Advancing the UoM_Ontology_Standard work to OASIS - Thu 19-Nov-2009

  • Session Chair: Dr. FrankOlken (NSF)


Conference Call Details

  • Date: Thursday, 19-November-2009
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Agenda & Proceedings

1. Opening by session Chair -- Frank Olken

2. Review and adoption of our draft OASIS TC Charter -- Howard Mason

3. Next steps towards formation of the OASIS QUOMOS Technical Committee -- Howard Mason

4. Review of our UoM working draft standard - Ed Barkmeyer, David Leal, Rob Raskin, Chip Masters, HansPeter_de_Koning, Pat Hayes

5. Identifying who is going to be involved, Q & A and Open Discussion (All) -- please refer to process above

6. Summary and conclusion -- Frank Olken


Please refer to the archives above

===IM Chat Transcript captured during the session=== ... (lightly edited for clarity)

Peter P. Yim: Welcome to the Ontolog Panel Discussion:

Advancing the UoM_Ontology_Standard work to OASIS - Thu 19-Nov-2009

  • Panelists:

o Mr. Howard Mason (BAE; ISO) -- UoM_Ontology_Standard_OASIS_TC_Charter_draft Adoption

and Next Steps towards the OASIS QUOMOS TC Formation

o Mr. Edward Barkmeyer (NIST) -- UoM_Ontology_Standard_English_draft

o Mr. David Leal (CAESAR) -- UoM_Ontology_Standard_UML_Model_draft

o Dr. Rob Raskin (NASA/JPL) [in absentia], Dr. James Masters (TopQuadrant)

& Mr. HansPeter_de_Koning (ESA/ESTEC) -- UoM_Ontology_Standard_OWL_draft

o Dr. Pat Hayes (IHMC) -- UoM_Ontology_Standard_CLIF_draft

Please refer to details on the session page


anonymous morphed into David Leal

anonymous morphed into Chip Masters

Hajo Rijgersberg: Hi, my telephone connection is very bad. I try to understand what you are saying.

Frank Olken: This is Frank Olken. I am on the line. I am having a hard time hearing folks - but I can

hear Peter Yim okay.

Frank Olken: I spoke yesterday at the CENDI/NFAIS/FLICC workshop on Semantic Web: Fact or Myth? in

Washington, DC.

Frank Olken: the workshop web page is: ... Eventually, there will copies of the speakers' slides and perhaps video at the CENDI web


Ed Barkmeyer: Schedule: the first day after 15 December is 2 January

Peter P. Yim: if Jan-14 is too tight, Jan-21 or Jan-28 are both open too (if we still want to do it on

an Ontolog Thursday event slot)

Matthew West: Who can be an "eligible person" to register as a participant?

Howard Mason: See the Charter page for a link to the OASIS procedures that define the terms


Frank Olken: I have received authorization from Mary Ann Piette (LBNL) to act on behalf of Lawrence

Berkeley National Laboratory

Frank Olken: w.r.t the QUOMOS effort and TC charter.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Do I understand correctly we can now make comments on the charter?

Frank Olken: You will recall that I (Frank Olken) am employed by LBNL - but am detailed here to NSF.

Frank Olken: Hajo, Yes. Raise your hand on the chat room, or send message to the chat room.

Ed Barkmeyer: I am pleased with the revised draft charter. All of our concerns are addressed. Thanks.

Ed Barkmeyer: NIST has formally approved our participation, that is, both the NIST OASIS principal

and my management.

Frank Olken: Thus the list on the charter is tentative list, until we get email confirming

participation (proper confirmation).

anonymous morphed into Pavithra Kenjige

Ed Barkmeyer: You can actually extend the supporting membership during the participation call period

HansPeter_de_Koning: ESA is not an OASIS member and unlikely to become one any time soon. I can

provide inputs as an individual but cannot act on behalf of an OASIS member organisation.

Frank Olken: Perhaps we can get NASA to participate - they are members.

Chip Masters: I am discussing membership options with our NASA sponsor for QUDT. Do you need a firm

commitment for a specific individual (e.g me) or is a commitment from a member organization to

participate sufficient?

Frank Olken: Ed Barkmeyer suggests: Paragraph 2d should be "the TC will seek to coordinate

development with ...."

Frank Olken: JamieClark: in paragraph 2a, "we will talk ... and attempt to coordinate"

Peter P. Yim: @Howard and Jamie: we have our five already - Howard Mason (BAE), Ed Barkmeyer (NIST),

Frank Olken (LBNL), Jerry Smith (DoD) and Peter P. Yim (CIM3; associate member)

Hajo Rijgersberg: Thank you, Frank. Yes, I think the draft is fine. I see many concepts mentioned

that I think are important in the domain of units of measure. However, to get to the point directly,

I argue measurement scales should be more prominent in the scope; converting temperatures (absolute

or differenc) has a strong relation with scale refered to or unit.

Ed Barkmeyer: I have to leave now for the "dragoon" function. I am saddling up and grabbing my


Frank Olken: JamieClark: "contributions" should read something else "contributions means that the TC

may modify these items"

Pat Hayes: hajo: your point will emerge in the work no matter what the charter says, so relax

JamieClark: thanks - Frank captured my second point; my first was to use something aspirational --

The TC will liaise with and consider coordination of its specification(s) with XYZ ... rather than

the presceptive "development WILL be coordinated with ...". Thanks, apologizes that I must depart


Hajo Rijgersberg: Yes, I'm relaxed, thank you. Just a little bit unused to a teleworkshop...

Hajo Rijgersberg: OK, I just get to another point. In 1b it says that existing formal models for

quantities and units are not quite comparable. I'm not sure that is true. More evidence should be


Frank Olken: Howard will edit the draft charter on the wiki. Peter will submit to OASIS.

Peter P. Yim: I'll be happy to do that

Frank Olken: David Leal will now speak on the UML model of QUOMOS based on the VIM from his slides.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Maybe it's more important that a new standard is shared widely. And that we try to

accomplish that by the Ontolog discussion group. The different existing approaches may, in the

future, be comparable, so that they can be used next to each other.

Frank Olken: Summer discussion of quantity and kind of quantity overlap somewhat.

Peter P. Yim: @DavidLeal - ref. the mangled up slides, if you can supply a set in pdf later, I will swap

that in (for the archives)

Hajo Rijgersberg: Reminds me of a question I have (maybe a stupid one): are we going to continue the

summer discussions?

Hajo Rijgersberg: Systems of units. They should be in the scope too.

Joe Collins: Quantity Kind, such as when two Derived Quantities with the same Quantity Dimension have

different Quantity Kind, is rather ill defined in VIM. Making the definition clear is an endless,

case by case task.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Being able to set the value of a quantity, may be a requirement (i.e., part of the

scope) too. It will have an effect on how quantities are modeled: as independent concepts or

properties (referring to out summer discussions too).

Frank Olken: We are now on slide 6 (aka 66) of David Leal's slides.

Hajo Rijgersberg: No, it does not necessarily have to be difficult: different quantity kinds (such as

breadth and width) can have the same dimension (length).

Frank Olken: We are now on slide 7 (aka 77).

Pat Hayes: I am finding this completely confusing (confused?)

{{{ Arturo Sanchez: %} }}}

Joe Collins: I believe that "mutually comparable" quantities, i.e., having the same Quantity Kind,

means that they are referred to in some "Law of Physics", a meaningful equality or inequality within

a scientific theory.

Arturo Sanchez: I wonder how you will be able to express concepts such as "equivalence relations" in

UML ...

Joe Collins: To H.R.: I didn't mean difficult, just endless.

Hajo Rijgersberg: OK, but why exactly endless?

Pat Hayes: i don't knowe what the difference is and i have no idea how to separate them. Why are we

doing this? What is a particular quantity

Hajo Rijgersberg: We're back in the summer discussions.

Joe Collins: For example, there's no conceptual limit on the number of dimensionless quantities, many

of which may be of the same kind. The Kind equivalence classes are resultant of scientific theories.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Yes, there's no conceptual limit on the number of dim'less quantities. We have to

model them and assign their dimension "dimension one".

Hajo Rijgersberg: I think it is very important to continue our summer discussions.

Hajo Rijgersberg: My statement at the time was and still is that particular quantities, such as the

length of my table, is an instance (or member) of length.

Hajo Rijgersberg: And length is a quantity class.

Mark Linehan: VIM 1.1 for "quantity" has "Note 1: The generic concept 'quantity' can be divided into

several levels of specific concepts, as shown in the following table. The left hand side of the

table shows specific concepts under 'quantity'. These are generic concepts for the individual

quantities in the right hand column."

Mark Linehan: (and a table follows, where the first line has length, radius, and radius of a circle

on one row)

Hajo Rijgersberg: So a generic level of quantities is "length", "mass", etc. and a specific length

has representatives like "length of my table"?

Matthew West: Treating classes as instances, and then adding classification and specialisation at the

instance level is something ISO 15926 did around properties

Mark Linehan: yes -- but to be parallel to the note 1 that I cited, generic would be "length", an

example mid-level quantity would be "width" (versus perhaps "depth") and a specific quantity would

be "width of my table"

Hajo Rijgersberg: Yes, Mark, that's what I mean. In my eyes this is a hierarchy of quantities.

Mark Linehan: yes, I agree

Hajo Rijgersberg: But it can of course also be modeled as Matthew says.

Hajo Rijgersberg: But I expect that people are more familiar with hierarchies?

HansPeter_de_Koning: To H.R: I agree with the need explicit "dimension one". That's how we do it in


Mark Linehan: I suppose, but Matt's chart 4 defines 3 specific levels. I think Pat's point is that

may be the wrong way to go.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Yes, there may be more levels in some cases. There's no official limit to the

number of levels.

Pat Hayes: like sublasses, right?

Mark Linehan: yes

Hajo Rijgersberg: We have to model this for the most important quantities, starting with length,

mass, time, etc.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Yes, like subclasses, I would say.

Mark Linehan: in VIM, those are "kind of quantity" and are standards

Hajo Rijgersberg: Yes, but we should not define "kind of quantity" as a class. (I stated that also in

our summer discussions.)

Frank Olken: We are looking at

Mark Linehan: yes

David Leal: For length as a class of particular quantity it is reasonable to have waist size as a

subclass, because some particular lengths are waist sizes. For length as a class of magnitude of

quantity it is not reasonable, because there is nothing special about 37 inches which makes it a

waist size.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Indeed, measures/magnitudes have no hierarchy.

Frank Olken: HansPeter - if understand this, simple units and base units are differentiated in order

to deal with the fact that

Hajo Rijgersberg: As to waste size: we can have a class "Quantity", with subclass "Length", with

subclass "Size" on its turn, with subclass "Waste size" on its turn. This is a nice example.

Frank Olken: base unit for SI mass dimension is the kilogram?

Hajo Rijgersberg: Base units are a property of a system of units.

Hajo Rijgersberg: They are simple units, but derived units may also be simple units, such as pascal

and newton.

Hajo Rijgersberg: In the NIST standardadization document of Taylor, simple units are called "units

that have a special name". Are we talking about the same thing here?

Frank Olken: Howard Mason has updated the TC charter, send comments to him via email.

Howard Mason: *** ACTION item - the draft of the Charter has been completed, apart from the explicit

statement from NIST. Please review and send any comments direct to me for inclusion. Signing off for


Hajo Rijgersberg: OK, I see you are defining simple units as base units. Why?

Peter P. Yim: for our editors of the OWL ontology: if you are planning to do some comparison (and

possibly mapping) between the various owl ontologies, may I suggest you upload them to the Open

Ontology Repository instance (OOR-sandbox at ... also ref. which another community working in the Ontolog-CWE)

Frank Olken: Pat Hayes is now speaking.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Maybe a simple unit is a unit that is not defined in terms of other units but in

terms of standard quantities? Why distinguish these kinds of units? They can just have a different


HansPeter_de_Koning: To Hajo Rijgersberg: We define a SimpleUnit as a class. It is instantiated independent from any [[SystemOfUnits]]. We do not preempt SI. Then any SimpleUnit or DerivedUnit or [[ConversionBasedUnit]] (all subclasses of Unit) can be selected as a baseUnit in a [[SystemOfUnits]]. In QUDV baseUnit is an OWL object property with domain=[[SystemOfUnits]] and range=Unit. Similar for simple and base QuantityKind. See for details.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Your baseUnit property is great. Right domain and right range.

Hajo Rijgersberg: But derived unit should also be such a property. Derived unit is system of units


Matthew West: I agree to rise above and give the capability to explain how different systems


David Leal: An issue is how a unit relates to a quantity. For length as a class of particular

quantity the metre is a subclass. For length as a class of magnitude of quantity the metre is a

member. Both views of length are useful. The first supports hierarchies, and the second is

mathematically tractable being a 1D vector space for which the metre can be selected as a basis.

Peter P. Yim: @Pat: if it's doable, your "rise above them" (ref. your slide #1) approach would make a

lot of sense, especially in light of the goal that we are not *just* trying to produce a good

ontology standard, we also *really* want to be adopted and embraced by stewards of existing

standard, as the overarching objective of having ontology-based standard as a first class citizen

that will sit alongside (natural language) standards

Hajo Rijgersberg: David, the metre can't be a subclass of quantity. It's a unit.

David Leal: Hajo - why not?

Matthew West: I think that it is ok to differ from the ISO standards, as long as we can support the

intent. But then there is an obligation to engage with the owners of those standards and try to

achieve consensus with them.

Hajo Rijgersberg: David, because we have the model the concepts in a clear way to all people. A metre

is not a quantity, it's definition (or reference if you wish) is in terms of a standard quantity.

And the metre isn't a measure either.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Hans Peter, why distinguish SimpleUnit and [[ConversionBasedUnit]]? Do they have

different properties?

Matthew West: I need to leave now.

HansPeter_de_Koning: To HR: Yes. A [[ConversionBasedUnit]] has a referenceUnit object property with domain:[[ConversionBasedUnit]] range:Unit.

HansPeter_de_Koning: I have to sign off now.

Frank Olken: New tentative date is Jan. 21, 2010 for the first meeting of the QUOMOS TC. This is to

accommodate OASIS scheduling constraints.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Hans Peter, you'll maybe read this later: I would propose a property "definition"

or "reference" with domain Unit and range Unit and Quantity (the latter for specific standard


Frank Olken: Jan 7 Thursday willbe our next working teleconference. Expecting new drafts of texts,

and models.

Peter P. Yim: good session ... thanks! ... bye everyone.

Hajo Rijgersberg: Thank you for the organization!

Peter P. Yim: session ended 12:19pm PST

-- end of chat-transcript --

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