From: James Rogers (email@example.com)
Date: Wed Oct 08 2003 - 12:35:53 MDT
On Tue, 2003-10-07 at 21:52, Mike Williams wrote:
> The complexity could be reduced through the use of hierarchical
> organization and inheritance, similar to an object-oriented system. For
> example, if I want to refer to universe.solarsystem.planets.
> earth.northamerica.flora.herb.mint.green (incomplete and inaccurate, but
> work with me here...) and we agree that our conversation refers to
> everything within the domain of universe.solarsystem.planets.earth.
> northamerica.flora, then I would only need to say herb-mint-green for
> you to know what I'm referring to. If I then want to refer to some kind
> of coral.green, I'd need to prefix that with enough of the framework so
> you could make the leap. We already use prefixes, suffixes, roots, etc
> in our words to accomplish some of the same effect.
Building a hierarchy does not reduce representational complexity. The
only way you can reduce complexity is by reducing information, and lossy
information reduction creates the possibility of "ambiguity". TANSTAAFL.
This isn't the bad thing, and the 80/20 Rule applies. By setting a
noise floor for information, you can GREATLY reduce the space
requirements while retaining the vast majority of the utility of the
original information. It is the same reason lossy compression works as
well as it does, and human communication relies on lossy compression a
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