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Re: question concerning collections

From: Leonard Will <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 29 May 2006 15:47:50 +0100
Message-ID: <zNWbVYFWmweEFAs4@willpowerinfo.co.uk>
To: public-esw-thes@w3.org

In message <447AFD2A.6060603@mondeca.com> on Mon, 29 May 2006, Bernard 
Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com> wrote
>Bottom line : maybecurrent specification is a bit unclear about 
>collections, the core issue being not to know if they should be blank 
>nodes or not, but to make clear if and why skos:Collection and 
>skos:Concept are disjoint classes, if they indeed should be (of which I 
>remain to be fully convinced), and what the notion of "collectable 
>property" actually means.

"Collection" is the rather unfortunate term adopted by SKOS for one type 
of what the thesaurus standard BS8723 calls a "node label", specifically 
a node label which contains a "characteristic of division", showing the 
basis on which the following array of concepts has been grouped.  In the 
example being discussed here, "milk by source animal" is a label saying 
that the concepts listed under it are grouped by source animal.

According to the standard, node labels are not, and do not represent, 
concepts. "They are present only for the purposes of systematic display, 
and they do not qualify for any of the inter-term relationships . . ."

"Milk by source animal" is not a narrower term of "milk", and it is not 
a broader term of "buffalo milk", and any semantic structure should not 
imply these relationships.

The problem is that most standard thesaurus management software does not 
have the functionality to handle these node labels properly, but 
treating them as though they were concepts does generally allow 
reasonably correct displays. This is clearly a fudge, which should not 
be perpetuated in SKOS.

I realise that using the standard thesaurus / classification 
nomenclature of "array" and "node label" may cause confusion in the 
semantic web / ontology / computing community, where these terms may 
have different meanings or connotations, but I hope that some compromise 
may be possible. Certainly there needs to be a distinction between the 
set of concepts grouped under a label and the label itself.

Leonard Will

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Received on Monday, 29 May 2006 14:48:35 GMT

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