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Why Ontology Evolution is Essential in Modelling Scientific Discovery

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAAAI Symposium on Scientific Discovery
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2008


We can model scientific discovery as automated reasoning and learning, e.g., using a logic-based representation of knowledge, which we will here call an ontology. Much of what Kuhn calls “normal science” may be modelled as problem solving within the shared ontology of a scientific community (Kuhn 1970). However, to model what Kuhn calls a “paradigm shift”, we need mechanisms for changing this ontology. This is what W3C call ontology evolution1. As we will see, ontology evolution can also happen during “normal science”. Moreover, ontology evolution requires not just belief revision, but changes to the underlying signature of the ontology. For instance, functions might be split or merged; new arguments might be added to or removed from them.

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