Reply to Drew McDermott

From: Jerry Hobbs (
Date: 03/14/02

  • Next message: Jerry Hobbs: "Response to Ian Niles' comments"
    Good point about the importance of noncontiguous eventualities.
    What time-span-of would mean in a branching futures model of time is
    an interesting question, which I hope would not lead to excessive
    By the way, everyone, I had in my original mailing
    where I should have had  The present mailing list
    is correct.
    -- Jerry
    Drew McDermott wrote:
    > Jerry -- The temporal ontology is nicely done.  I am a bit confused
    > over "eventualities," however:
    >    2.4.  Linking Time and Events:
    >    ...
    >    The term "eventuality" will be used to cover events, states,
    >    processes, propositions, states of affairs, and anything else that can
    >    be located with respect to time.  The possible natures of
    >    eventualities would be spelled out in the event ontologies.
    >    ...
    >    The predicate time-span-of relates eventualities to instants or
    >    intervals.  For contiguous states and processes, it tells the entire
    >    instant or interval for which the state or process obtains or takes
    >    place.
    >            time-span-of(T,e) --> temporal-entity(T) & eventuality(e)
    >            time-span-of(T,e) & interval(T) --> during(e,T)
    >            time-span-of(t,e) & instant(t) --> at-time(e,t)
    >            time-span-of(T,e) & interval(T) & ~inside(t1,T)
    >                    & ~start-of(t1,T) & ~end-of(t1,T)
    >                --> ~at-time(e,t1)
    >            time-span-of(t,e) & instant(t) & t1 =/= t --> ~at-time(e,t1)
    >    time-span-of is a predicate rather than a function because until the
    >    time ontology is extended to aggregates of temporal entities, the
    >    function would not be defined for noncontiguous eventualities.
    > You should clarify that most eventualities *are* noncontiguous.  I'm
    > thinking of eventualities such as weather(Afghanistan, cloudy).  The
    > only contiguous ones are particularly historical events such as
    > GulfWar.  (Even those become noncontiguous if you allow some time
    > points to be in hypothetical universes, which may sound esoteric, but
    > would be useful in talking about alternative operational plans.)
    >                                              -- Drew

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