John F. Sowa

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John Florian Sowa is the computer scientist who invented conceptual graphs, a graphic notation for logic and natural language, based on the structures in semantic networks and on the existential graphs of Charles S. Peirce. He is currently developing high-level "ontologies" for artificial intelligence and automated natural language understanding. International conferences on conceptual graphs have been held for over a decade since before 1992. Sowa combines ideas from numerous disciplines and eras modern and ancient, for example, applying ideas from Aristotle, the medieval Scholastics to Alfred North Whitehead and including database schema theory, and incorporating the model of analogy of Islamic scholar Ibn Taymiyyah in his works.[1]

He spent most of his professional career at IBM and is a cofounder of VivoMind Intelligence, Inc.

In 1991, Sowa first stated his Law of Standards: "Whenever a major organization develops a new system as an official standard for X, the primary result is the widespread adoption of some simpler system as a de facto standard for X."[2] Like Gall's law, The Law of Standards is essentially an argument in favour of underspecification. Examples include:

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