April 21, 2015

Create New Constants

In the previous step, we identified some constants which can be used to make assertions about Billy and Peter. Let’s now create new constants to represent Billy and Peter themselves.

Before taking this step, if you are logged in as Guest , you will need to log in again as CycAdministrator , as it is not possible to create new constants as Guest .

You must be logged in as CycAdministrator in order to create new constants. In OpenCyc, Guest does not have the same privileges as CycAdministrator .

Let’s start with Billy. Go to the Tools page and click on “Create”.

Click on the Tools link in the left corner of the top frame.  This will bring up the Tools page. Click on the “Create” link in the column on the left.

The first thing to do is to choose a name for the new constant. “Billy” seems a logical choice. Of course if there were other Billys, Bills, etc. already in the KB, it might be wise to differentiate this constant a little further via its name. When this is desired, a Cyc convention is to append “-The[something]” at the end of a constant name (e.g. Othello-TheGame , Othello-TheMovie ). So I could do “Billy-TheKitten”.

To differentiate constants by name, a Cyc convention is to append “-The[something]” at the end of a constant name (e.g. Othello-TheGame , Othello-TheMovie ).

Enter the word “Billy” in the main frame of the KB browser. Click on the “Create Constant” button.

Now, merely clicking on the button “Create Constant” is enough to give Billy a place in the ontology. I can now call up the #$Billy constant, just like any other Cyc constant – though if I do this, all I will see so far is ‘bookkeeping assertions’ – assertions about who created the constant and when it was created.

Let’s now create #$Peter in the same way that we created #$Billy .

On the “Constant Create operation completed” page, click on the “Back to previous (stale) page” button. This will bring you to the “Browser Tools” page. Enter the word “Peter” in the field in the main frame. Click on the “Create Constant” button.

Step Two summary – We now have two new constants, one for each kitten, on which we can start making assertions (or, as it is sometimes put, ‘entering knowledge’).

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