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Re: Issue : unicity of prefLabel per language per concept scheme

From: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2007 15:12:43 +0100
Message-ID: <47540EDB.9020204@mondeca.com>
To: Leonard Will <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>
Cc: SKOS <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

Leonard

>> Contentious divorce: Temporary arrangements: Children custody
>> Contentious divorce: Definitive arrangements: Children custody
>> Non-contentious divorce: Temporary arrangements: Children custody
>> Non-contentious divorce: Definitive arrangements: Children custody
>>
>> In such cases, encapsulating the context in the prefLabel string is 
>> rapidly cumbersome in interfaces, the context chain can become 
>> arbitrarily long in such matters.
>
> It seems to me that "Children custody" represents the same concept in 
> each of these cases - something like "care of and responsibility for 
> children". The cases are different because the strings represent 
> compound concepts, combining the concept of "children custody" with 
> two other concepts in each case.
Well, indeed it could be seen that way in this very case ... but in 
theory only. Except that in this very case (keeping in mind those 
examples are actually adapted from our customer vocabulary, which 
happens moreover to be in French ...), the compound elements are not 
defined independently in the vocabulary, e.g., "Children custody" is 
*not* defined in the vocabulary as a separate context-independent concept.
> Similarly, in Alasdair's example, it seems to me that the concept of a 
> canyon can be defined irrespective of the body on which it happens to 
> be located.
>
> As far as I know, SKOS does not (yet) deal with such strings, 
> combining concepts together, but just with the elementary concepts or 
> building blocks from which strings can be constructed.
>
> There is a rather different case where a single term may have 
> different meanings, depending on context, such as "operations" which 
> has a different meaning if its broader term is "surgical activities" 
> or "military activities". In this case there are three options, which 
> I don't think are covered by SKOS:
There are also such examples in the quoted legal vocabulary.
>
> 1. Treat the whole string as a single concept label, which as Bernard 
> says becomes cumbersome (and confusing).
>
> 2. Do not use the term as a preferred label to identify the concept, 
> but use some other unique notation instead.
Identity issue is independent of the prefLabel unicity issue. Even if 
the prefLabel is unique in the concept scheme, it's not used for 
identification in SKOS framework (no more than in any RDF framework). 
URIs, certainly constructed on unique codes/notations, are there for 
identification purposes, at least for machines. In the original 
thesaurus perspective, the unicity of prefLabel is a way to express that 
it conveys identity, because there are no other identification process 
in a thesaurus. But since identification is not conveyed by prefLabel 
for machines, what are the other applications of this unicity, beyond 
disambiguation for humans?

Bernard

-- 

*Bernard Vatant
*Knowledge Engineering
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*Mondeca**
*3, citÚ Nollez 75018 Paris France
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Mail:     bernard.vatant@mondeca.com <mailto:bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
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Received on Monday, 3 December 2007 14:13:05 GMT

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