Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ An Ontological Modelling of Prototype Theories

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This is a really technical paper that I won't pretend to comprehend, but it serves as a way to talk about a really important concept: prototype theories, "an important family of cognitive theories of concepts that model the classification under a concept in terms of the proximity of an object to the prototype of the concept." So you don't define 'elephant' by means of some rule describing necessary and sufficient conditions, but by means of how similar an object is to a prototypical 'elephant'. Prototype theories "are very useful whenever we need to model commonsense concepts or data dependent classifications." Anyhow, what this paper does is define prototypes in Web Ontology Language (OWL) and defines a mechanism to determine how similar objects are to these defined prototypes (note: I say 'similar' instead of 'proximity', which isn't exactly the same thing, but works for our purposes). Read more about prototype theory in Wikipedia. See also this explanation from ICE blog.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 29, 2024 10:47 p.m.

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