Functional Ontology Construction: A Pragmatic Approach to Addressing Problems Concerning the Individual and the Informing Environment
Description: Functional ontology construction (FOC) is an approach for modeling the relationships between a user and the informing environment by means of analysis of the user's behavior and the elements of the environment that have behavioral function. The FOC approach is an application of behavior analytic techniques and concepts to problems within information science. The FOC approach is both an alternative and a compliment to the cognitive viewpoint commonly found in models of behavior in information science. The basis for the synthesis of behavior analysis and information science is a shared tradition of pragmatism between the fields. The application of behavior analytic concepts brings with it the notion of selection by consequence. Selection is examined on the biological, behavioral, and cultural levels. Two perspicuous examples of the application of the FOC modeling approach are included. The first example looks at the document functioning as a reinforcer in a human operant experimental setting. The second example is an examination of the verbal behavior of expert film analyst, Raymond Bellour, the structure of a film he analyzed, and the elements of the film's structure that had behavioral function for Bellour. The FOC approach is examined within the ontological space of information science.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Anderson, Richard L.