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RE: XML schemas and thesauri question

From: Stella Dextre Clarke <sdclarke@lukehouse.demon.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 09:01:42 +0100
To: "'Miles, AJ \(Alistair\)'" <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>, <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Cc: <RichardN@sfwindows.co.uk>
Message-ID: <000901c56036$d28a59f0$0300a8c0@DELL>
Not sure I've understood why this is a problem. What's wrong with the
following course of action?:
 
On the one hand, set up the thesaurus as a Namespace, available at all
times over the Internet or intranet.
Secondly, develop the XML schema below a little further, to include an
element "tissue type" (or it could be "thesaurus term", if the schema is
to be used more broadly than just for tissue types). 
Thirdly, when the schema is put to use, presumably a sample comes in,
the appropriate values are added to each of the elements, including the
one that will name the tissue type. The appropriate thesaurus term is
filled in, say "spleen". The schema must include the full details that
allow this to be connected up with the Namespace where this term may be
found.
 
Is something more complicated than this required? To me, sanity lies in
keeping the thesaurus (with all its internal complications) completely
separate from the application where terms from the thesaurus are going
to be used - but still available for reference when needed.
 
Stella

*****************************************************
Stella Dextre Clarke
Information Consultant
Luke House, West Hendred, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8RR, UK
Tel: 01235-833-298
Fax: 01235-863-298
SDClarke@LukeHouse.demon.co.uk
*****************************************************



-----Original Message-----
From: public-esw-thes-request@w3.org
[mailto:public-esw-thes-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Miles, AJ
(Alistair)
Sent: 23 May 2005 18:32
To: public-esw-thes@w3.org
Cc: RichardN@sfwindows.co.uk
Subject: FW: XML schemas and thesauri question


Further elaboration from Richard:
 
 -----Original Message-----
From: RichardN [mailto:RichardN@sfwindows.co.uk]
Sent: 23 May 2005 13:24
To: Miles, AJ (Alistair)
Subject: RE: XML schemas and thesauri question



Hello Alistair,

 

Thank you for your reply.  Apologies for not responding sooner; I have
been out of the office for a couple of days.  Let me see if I can give
you a more specific example.  Imagine a scientific lab is taking in
samples of animal tissue for analysis.  Each sample is a data entity
with three data items (obviously in real life it would be more than
that): an ID, a weight in grams, and a tissue type field.  You could set
up a schema to define your entity like this:

 

<xs:schema version="1.0" xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">

          <xs:annotation>

                    <xs:documentation>Tissue sample
schema</xs:documentation>

          </xs:annotation>

          <xs:element name="sample">

                    <xs:annotation>

                              <xs:documentation>

                                        Data entity for a tissue sample
(simple example)

                              </xs:documentation>

                    </xs:annotation>

                    <xs:complexType>

                              <xs:attribute name="id" use="required">

                                        <xs:annotation>

                                                  <xs:documentation>

 
identifier for this sample

 
</xs:documentation>

                                        </xs:annotation>

                                        <xs:simpleType>

                                                  <xs:restriction
base="xs:integer">

 
<xs:minInclusive value="1" />

                                                  </xs:restriction>

                                        </xs:simpleType>

                              </xs:attribute>

                              <xs:sequence>

                                        <xs:element name="weight"
minOccurs="0" maxOccurs="1">

                                                  <xs:annotation>

 
<xs:documentation>

 
Weight of the tissue sample in grams

 
</xs:documentation>

                                                  </xs:annotation>

                                                  <xs:simpleType>

 
<xs:restriction base="xs:integer">

 
<xs:minInclusive value="1" />

 
<xs:maxInclusive value="999" />

 
</xs:restriction>

                                                  </xs:simpleType>

                                        </xs:element>

                                        <xs:element name="type"
minOccurs="1" maxOccurs="1">

                                                  <xs:annotation>

 
<xs:documentation>

 
Type of the tissue sample

 
</xs:documentation>

                                                  </xs:annotation>

                                                  <xs:simpleType>

 
<xs:restriction base="xs:string">

 
<xs:minLength value="1" />

 
<xs:maxLength value="80" />

 
</xs:restriction>

                                                  </xs:simpleType>

                                        </xs:element>

                              </xs:sequence>

                    </xs:complexType>

          </xs:element>

</xs:schema>

 

Now imagine there is a thesaurus with lots of terms covering the whole
of veterinary science, but which contains the following hierarchy:

 

animal anatomy

  NT1: (animal secretions, body fluids, excretions and exudates)

  NT1: animal organs

    NT2: animal glands

    NT2: brain

    NT2: gall bladder

    NT2: gills

    NT2: heart

    NT2: hepatopancreas

    NT2: kidneys

    NT2: liver

    NT2: lungs

    NT2: sense organs

    NT2: shell gland

    NT2: spleen

    NT2: sting apparatus

    NT2: stomach

      NT3: gastric fundus

      NT3: gastric mucosa

      NT3: pylorus

      NT3: ruminant stomach

    NT2: tonsils

  NT1: animal tissues

    NT2: animal tissue extracts

    NT2: basement membrane

    NT2: bone marrow

    NT2: cell membranes

    NT2: connective tissues

    NT2: epithelium

    NT2: gingiva

    NT2: imaginal discs

    NT2: laminae (animals)

    NT2: muscle tissues

    NT2: nerve tissue

    NT2: serosa

  NT1: circulatory system

    NT2: cardiovascular system

    NT2: hemolymph

    NT2: lymphatic system

  NT1: digestive system

    

Etc. Each of these narrower terms has an extended hierarchy underneath
it.  The kind of requirement I am talking about is being able to say
(for example): tissue sample type, which has been declared in the XML
schema as a string between 1 and 80 characters in length, should be
constrained to one of the thesaurus terms, either a narrower term of
"animal organs" or a narrower term of "animal tissues".  To do this, I
guess, you would need to represent the thesaurus in some form of XML
format (which is best?) and then the bit I don't see at all - declaring
somewhere (in the XML schema?) that the tissue sample type data item
should be constrained in the manner I explained.

 

For added complication, you could add the rule - all narrower terms of
"animal organs" or "animal tissues", EXCEPT "stomach" or any narrower
term of "stomach".

 

Does that make any sense?

 

Thanks for any help you can provide me,

 

Richard

 

Richard Northedge

SFW Ltd. 

 

 

 

 

 


  _____  


From: Miles, AJ (Alistair) [mailto:A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk] 
Sent: 18 May 2005 17:41
To: RichardN
Subject: RE: XML schemas and thesauri question

 

Hi Richard,

 

This is a very interesting use case!  Can you give more details, more
specific examples of the kinds of constraint you want to enforce?

 

Cheers,

 

Alistair.

 

--- 
Alistair Miles 
Research Associate 
CCLRC - Rutherford Appleton Laboratory 
Building R1 Room 1.60 
Fermi Avenue 
Chilton 
Didcot 
Oxfordshire OX11 0QX 
United Kingdom 
Email:        a.j.miles@rl.ac.uk 
Tel: +44 (0)1235 445440 

-----Original Message-----
From: RichardN [mailto:RichardN@sfwindows.co.uk]
Sent: 18 May 2005 15:00
To: Miles, AJ (Alistair)
Subject: XML schemas and thesauri question

Hello Alistair,

 

I am one of Daniel Whymark's colleagues, and he mentioned to me that you
might be able to help with an XML / semantic web type question that I
have.  To give you some indication of my current level of understanding:
I am comfortable with XML and XML schemas, and have been reading up
about semantic web concepts, but I don't have a strong grasp of any of
the semantic web -type XML languages such as RDF, XML topic maps, OWL
etc.  I have come across SCOS, but that's about as far as it goes.

 

We need to define a standard format for our data entities.  The obvious
way of doing this is to define the format using XML schemas.

 

We also have an ISO 2788 style thesaurus with BT (broader term), NT
(narrower term) etc.  Some of the data items in the data entities should
have their values restricted to a set of preferred terms in the
thesaurus.  For example, a data item might need to be restricted so that
the set of allowable values includes the thesaurus term "United Kingdom"
and all of the narrower terms belonging to the "United Kingdom" term.
In some cases, it may be necessary to restrict the levels of narrower
terms underneath the root term that are allowable.

 

My question is: what is the best way of encoding the thesaurus in
standards-compliant XML in such a way that it can be linked to the XML
schemas, so that we can enforce the data item restrictions I have
outlined?

 

Any help you can give me would be much appreciated,

 

Regards,

Richard

 

Richard Northedge

SFW Ltd.

 
Received on Tuesday, 24 May 2005 08:01:41 GMT

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