Over coming months I hope to create an ontology of money able to achieve wide spread acceptance.
It will build upon a very crude attempt I made three years ago, very kindly linked to (https://financialcryptography.com/mt/archives/001047.html) by Ian Grigg in his superb blog "Financial Cryptography". I put it together as an in-at-the-deep-end leap into Protégé (http://protege.stanford.edu/).
That version doesn't have much more value than to act as an intro for interested parties, as in, "There, that's what I'm talking about."
So ... that diagram lets you see what I am talking about, but probably leaves you wondering what the point is, so here's a bit of a Q & A session:
Q: Monetary Ontology. Fine ... and Walkabout?
A: A diagram is nearly useless. Much more is required. I want something people can use. For that to happen, an ontology needs to be tested and proven correct. That involves transforming the ontology into a database structure definition (schema), preparing a database with that schema, loading up it with real world data and then testing that a reasoning engine will always answer queries with realistic results. This is all new territory for me, so like a pubescent aborigine, I now set out Walkabout to make the vision a reality. I have the songlines in my head. I invite you to watch my progress.
Q: What's the point?A:There are as many definitions of money as there are economists. Economics poses as a science, but if there exists so much ambiguity about what money is then how scientific, really, is the rest of economics? Economists have the fine luxury of having authority without responsibility! ... and what an unholy mess they have made! This initiative grows out of the conviction that money based on solid foundations is not at all hard to understand; a mumbo-jumbo priesthood is only required when a fraud is tarted up as arcane mystery.
The point is to make it clear what money is, and make it possible to prove the definition by testing it. The language with which one defines a ontology is extremely limited, only certain kinds of things can be said. I have dropped out of many discussions about money because the language used was so loose and contradictory that agreement on anything was impossible. The benefit of a constrained and rigorous language intended to facilitate describing the real world ought to make agreement on many things quite possible.
Q: What's the route?A: Well from past experience in other areas I think it is wise to work from the back-end to the front-end. That is to say make sure I know how to :
- prepare a simple database schema
- load some data into the database
- connect to the database from an application
- see that query results can be validated through a reasoner and properly reflect the real world
- augment the simple database schema by transforming an augmented diagram
- repeat 2, 3 & 4
So my first task is step #1.
Having spent a few hours poking around, it seems that Jena is a suitable candidate for a back-end.
I downloaded the latest version from sourceforge ( http://jena.sourceforge.net/downloads.html ) and found the first tutorial here at %install_path%/doc/tutorial/RDF_API/index.html.
So that's for tomorrow....