Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 21

make decisions for the brain. The agents and the relations between them also define an ontology. Similar to
the ontology defined in the cyberworld of the Internet,
the one defined in the cyberworld of a brain is also an
abstracted map of the physical world.
There is also a cyberworld in a human society, and an
Cyberworld and Ontology
ontology
called culture is defined in this cyberworld. The
The brain, society, and the Internet are similar not only in
culture of each nation includes the languages, traditions,
their physical structures; they also share a common virtual
laws, and ethics that are defined through the evolution
structure. To illustrate this point, let us first consider the Inof the society. Usually, different societies have different
ternet. We know that a cyberworld can be defined in the Inontologies because of different historical backgrounds. It is
ternet. In this cyberworld, objects in the physical world are
ideal to integrate the ontology produced in all societies so
redefined using concepts that are related to each other by
that all nations can share the same
ontology. Here, we use ontology as
culture. This kind of universal culdefined in engineering rather than
ture, if it exists, should be close to
in philosophy [16], [17]. In an ontolthe ontology studied in philosophy
ogy, different concepts are defined
Self-organization
because it may remove all kinds
as nodes of a directed multigraph,
of bias or noise and preserve the
and they are connected if they have
or unsupervised
truth of the physical world.
some relations. Each concept is
learning ability is
From these observations, we
defined based on the properties of
another property
can see that a brain, a society, and
the corresponding physical object
the Internet have a cyberworld,
or phenomenon. Different concepts
of a governable or
in which ontology is defined to
can be put into the same category to
a self-governable
explain the physical world. We
form a more general concept. Conbelieve that a properly defined
versely, a concept can be divided
distributed system.
ontology is a necessity for a disinto subconcepts to form more spetributed system to be governable
cific concepts. Figure 2 shows an
or self-governable. Note that the
example of the ontology for an inontology of the distributed system
door situation-aware service.
is also distributed in the sense that it is not realized by
Usually, to reduce the complexity of the ontology, relasome single self-component but collectively by many comtions between the concepts can be defined roughly, in a
ponents of the system.
manner that preserves the topology of the physical world
[18]. For example, provided that the neighborhood relations
(topology structure) between different concepts are preSupervised Learning
served, it is not necessary to define the accurate values of
Learning ability is also important for the distributed
distance or similarity. In addition, some concepts or propsystem to be governable or self-governable. Supervised
erties of a concept can be
omitted if they are not related
directly to the problem under
School
consideration, a nd some
isPartOf
isPartOf
concepts can be defined as
hypotheses to complete some
Service
Space
theory even if there are no
0
isPartOf
counterparts in the physical
isPartOf
isPartOf
other_people
world. Thus, the ontology
hasUser
hasService
102-A
Air_condition
Lighting
User
defined in the cyberworld of
hasState
hasService
the Internet is an abstracted
move
hasDevice
map of the physical world.
hasDevice
hasDevice
hasDevice
A brain also has a cyberDoor
Light_1
Light_3
Light_2
world. Many agents are genhasService
hasState
erated in this cyberworld,
hasState
hasState hasState
Lock
and together they form a
Turn_on
Turn_on
Turn_on
"society of the mind" [19].
Ma ny agents live in the
hasService hasService
cyber world of the brain,
and they work together to Figure 2. A simple ontology for a situation-aware service.
human operator as an extended neuron, the Internet
is, in fact, a large (in size) brain. Thus, potentially, the
Internet may also become a governable or even selfgovernable system.

Ap ri l 2015

IEEE Systems, Man, & Cybernetics Magazine

21



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015

Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - Cover1
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - Cover2
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 1
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 2
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 3
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 4
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 5
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 6
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 7
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Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 11
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 12
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 13
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 14
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 15
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 16
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 17
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 18
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 19
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 20
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 21
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 22
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 23
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Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 46
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 47
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - 48
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - Cover3
Systems, Man & Cybernetics - April 2015 - Cover4
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