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Old 03-05-2013, 01:55 AM   #1
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Default Calling all Information Scientists

Hi folks!

For the last couple of years, I have spent most of my time working in the massively nerdy world of information science and knowledge representation. Sadly, when I search around for a proper beer ontology I can't find much of anything interesting to home brewers (just a couple of references to some older work), so I have started working on my own.

It is a rare field, but I can't be the only one in the world interested in this. Or maybe I am? Thoughts? Feelings?

-b

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Old 03-05-2013, 01:59 AM   #2
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My interest is piqued despite the fact that I needed to look up "ontology" in a dictionary before responding. Honestly I'm still a bit confused with the point at which you're trying to arrive.

Mind clarifying?

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Old 03-05-2013, 02:54 AM   #3
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Hi! Sure thing.... Ontologies are a way of describing not only things but the relationships between things. The bjcp guidelines give us a great start on exactly what a particular beer style is, but what about things that are kind-of this and kind-of that? What are all the styles that share a particular characteristic?

The bjcp guidelines, again as an example, give a closed-world description of beer, and while that is great (and perhaps necessary) for competition judging, I think it would be more fun to incorporate that into a more open exploration of characteristics and the ingredients and processes that make them.

Ontologies are used all over the place (Facebook graph search, NYC big apps, all over publishing, to name a few), and it seems like a natural fit to help figure out what's next in beer technology.

I ramble about this topic, but hopefully that makes sense.

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:18 AM   #4
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I've been looking for a project to work on to hone my extremely rudimentary web design / database skills. This sounds pretty interesting. I'm thinking of an insane venn diagram with styles all over the place.

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:27 AM   #5
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That's an awesome idea. You could check out SUMO (something-or-other Upper Merged Ontology) as a starting point . It's open source. I've met the originator of the project and I'll see if he's got any insight into beer ontology

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Old 03-05-2013, 06:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Information science and knowledge representation
Are those real jobs, or did you just make them up?

In my day, we called them "Librarians" or maybe "Teachers."

J/K....I still don't have any idea what you're talking about either (you think a knowledge representation professional would be better at describing their job), but sound like a nice acedemic venture. Best of luck!
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:20 AM   #7
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BTW, it's the Suggested Upper Merged Ontology
http://www.ontologyportal.org/

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:39 AM   #8
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I believe in Beer-Fu to a certain degree...

To quote Bruce Lee:

Quote:
(It) is just a name used, a boat to get one across, and once across it is to be discarded and not to be carried on one's back.
I think that is why I prefer brewing Belgian Ales, not because I can get away with more. On the contrary I have so many more tools at my disposal than in any other brewing traditions that it is easier to get carried away and end up with something completely unpalatable. I prefer to paint with every color and if it tastes good to someone all the better. I've tasted a lot of beers that were considered the pinnacle of their particular style or tradition and could only think of so many ways to improve it.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:50 AM   #9
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Well, after talking to some other KR folks at dinner tonight, it would seem that creating a reference beer ontology isn't a completely silly idea. As for my ability to explain it, well, there just isn't a lot of room in these little boxes

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Old 03-06-2013, 03:49 PM   #10
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I thought ontology was the philosophy of being.

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