Foundation ontology

From Organic Design wiki
Glossary.svg This page describes a concept which is part of our glossary

A system of operating as an evolving organisation is common to all nodes in the Ontology, the conceptual structure of this kind of organisation that captures these principles of collaboration and self-governance is considered to be the Foundation Ontology for the Organic Design system. The Foundation Ontology is a common form of organisation that spans both real-world organisation, and informational systems alike, it defines what it is to be a node in the unified Ontology. Since the Foundation Ontology defines the attributes that are common to all organisations in the network, it's important that the bottom lines designed in its system remain aligned with the core values and common vision.

The OOP paradigm was designed to allow software and systems to be designed where the description of the program which is interpreted and acted upon by the computer has a direct relationship with the high-level model of the system. prototype-based languages make objects even more isomorphic to the real world by allowing any collections of functionality and information to be used as either an instance or a class on which other instances are based. The semantic web also extends the object paradigm by creating a universal concept network which can be knitted together in a uniform way to create standard ontologies.

2023 description

The most fundamental concepts common to all cognitive agency can be described by a recursive dichotomy. A process model based on two orthogonal dichotomies that give rise to subjective agency in four-quadrant form.

More specifically, the process extends itself into a self-organising singleton instance, inside which there exist many subjective four-quadrant POVs all embedded within a unified shared arena. The shared arena is formed from established subjective meaning, but seen from all perspectives as "objective external reality" because it's common to all, and not under direct control of any (it's the result of an unseen collaborative process called the bottom-up synchronous domain).

This is a modern formulation of an ancient idea that can be found in many philosophical and spiritual traditions throughout history. For example, the ancient Chinese Yin/Yang dichotomy which derives a system of patterns (classes) and images (instances) interacting in accord with inner world (local) and outer-world (non-local) dynamics.

To create a software process that reflects this general system of agency does not require that we define the system from the most fundamental dichotomy (self-reference). Because all computational contexts offer access to high-level data structures, which means we can start our definition at a higher level of abstraction leaving the lower levels for philosophical discussions.

Process in general depends on space (material, information) and energy (change, agency) resource, and our system of agency needs to be defined in terms of interactions involving information and agency. In other words, space and attention in their most fundamental forms can be re-organised into an evolving agent-arena complex.

The purely dichotomous form of this process and the universal nature of the four quadrants it yields, lend strong support to the case that the four-quadrant evolving agent-arena system of subjective meaning, is a kind of universal default application of the fundamental resources of information and agency.

2016 description

As of April 2016, a new attempt at refining all of the concepts of the nodal model within a more recent context where the idea is more refined and there is technology available now which covers nearly all of its requirements. Technologies like Telehash, NanoMsg, Filament and Docker.

The role of the foundation ontology is to define the system by which we can all organise our resources together in a fair and harmonious way (i.e. aligned with the core values). We can think of this ontology as defining a multiplexer or scheduler which is a tree of events triggering connections between roles and resources (also in the same tree). Any resource that needs to be connected with this multiplexer needs to be accessible by a compatible API. This unified tree of changing resource connection is the tree of moments and can be clearly defined in terms of information technology, see moment.

The foundation ontology is the basic functionality common to all the network that is inherited by every node (moment) in the tree. The ontology can be thought of as a fundamental group of operating patterns that apply regardless of the specifics of the resources involved, and thus is the foundation of all node's functionality. These patterns together perform the task of resource allocation, which requires the ability to know the current state in terms of resource, and the potential patterns made available by this in terms of their resource cost/benefit.

This article represents the Foundation ontology category which contains all the concepts which make up the meaning and functionality of the foundation ontology. This set of concepts form the initial nodes that make up the foundation ontology and are also the root of the whole unified ontology. Note that not all these nodes necessarily perform a function, so of them are simply descriptions for words we find important and have a definite meaning within the context of this system.

In relation to Organic Design (from 2011)

Many of the original ideals of the project are now manifest in the technologies we see in use today. For example Distributed Hash Tables are now being used as semantic overlay networks. The new distributed computational spaces are now moving from older tuple space models to modern semantic triple-space or triple-store models using RDF triple-based structure as associations. All this is complemented by grid middleware technology which is built on exactly defined Service Level Agreements between all entities; Human, machine, resource, processes etc which allow the automated balanced reduction of workload.

The "supreme ultimate killer application" that seems to be trying to emerge from this whole semantic-p2p-grid-OS movement is nowadays a question about foundation ontologies and universal middleware.

A foundation ontology (also called a top-level ontology, or foundation ontology) is an attempt to create an ontology which describes very general concepts that are the same across all domains of knowledge and organisation. The aim is to have a large number on ontologies accessible under this upper ontology. It is usually a hierarchy of entities and associated rules that attempts to describe those general entities that do not belong to a specific problem domain.

There are many contenders for the position as the most general top-level ontology, but surely all would be describing the same set of fundamental concepts? such as defining resources, processes, roles, relationships, space and time etc. So at the end of the day, one can just choose the upper ontology that suits the situation best and all patterns can be easily mapped across to other upper ontologies when necessary.

The direction of Organic Design in its goal of using the available technology to implement the principles of the project is shifted from development of the lower-level, to the modelling of the application using one of these new ontologies. The application to be modelled is an RDF-triple-space built on an existing DHT (probably Chimera). The processing layer reduces the workload generated by the interface which is a wiki-like organisational system with a lean towards more application-level content such as accounts and contacts rather than just text and media.

The question to be answered then is what is the best upper ontology to use? Here's some information on a couple of the key contenders, see the semantic web article for more links.

General Formal Ontology (GFO)

The GFO is an upper ontology integrating processes and objects. GFO has been developed by Heinrich Herre, Barbara Heller and collaborators (research group Onto-Med) in Leipzig. Although GFO provides one taxonomic tree, different axiom systems may be chosen for its modules. In this sense, GFO provides a framework for building custom, domain-specific ontologies. GFO exhibits a three-layered meta-ontological architecture consisting of an abstract top level, an abstract core level, and a basic level.

Suggested Upper Merged Ontology (SUMO)

SUMO and its domain ontologies form the largest formal public ontology in existence today. They are being used for research and applications in search, linguistics and reasoning. SUMO is the only formal ontology that has been mapped to all of the WordNet lexicon. SUMO is written in the SUO-KIF language. SUMO is free and owned by the IEEE. The ontologies that extend SUMO are available under GPL. Adam Pease is the Technical Editor of SUMO.

See also