Mr Fortuner connection modem fortuner at MATH.U-BORDEAUX.FR
Thu Mar 23 07:24:56 CST 1995

In answer to the comments of Joseph H. Kirkbride, Jr.:
Differences in

When I want to say "pink", I prefer to write "pink" than
"6,1-3<pink>", but I suppose this is a question of personal taste. The
important point is, are you able to enter this information in the middle of an
identification session? I mean, suppose you have been working for a while,
narrowed down your choices to a couple of species, then you discover that
flower,that color is an important character, but that your unknown is pink and
pink does not appear in the list of existing states. Can you, without closing
your identification tools, open a "schema tool", add the word "pink" to the
list of state, go back to your ID tool, and continue from there? If you can do
this with Delta, fine. If not, you need an undated system.

There is much more
to metadata than frequency data: type of characters, unit and range of
measurements, derivation formulae, usefulness and ambiguity of the character,
conspicuity of the organ described, and yes, frequency of each state. Plus the
most important one, variability. It is true that we don't have enough data,
but I found that most of these metadata values can be entered automatically,
provided you have a properly designed database. Also, in most cases you can
propose default values (for example: a measurement is always less ambiguous
than a shape).

"Also, most real users want AN answer, not a
Absolutely true. This is in fact what I said ten years ago,
after designing a stand-alone similarity tool. It worked well, considering the
resources available at the time (MS DOS and fortran!) but still, I was not
satisfied with just a list of possible answers. I had the luck to meet with
two computer scientists who were looking for an application field for their
theories on expert workstation. This EWS is supposed to help real people doing
real identification and my last message explains how an identification session
would use several tools. Evaluation by resemblance is just one of the step and
browsing should provide THE answer. (You don't have to tell your client that
you are 99% certain. As I said before, no identification is 100% sure, but we
just pretend it is).

Renaud Fortuner
fortuner at

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