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Re: [SKOS]: [ISSUE 44] BroaderNarrowerSemantics

From: Leonard Will <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2007 20:54:46 +0000
Message-ID: <UYH3zxJW2uYHFA1b@mail.willpowerinfo.co.uk>
To: "public-swd-wg@w3.org" <public-swd-wg@w3.org>, "public-esw-thes@w3.org" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

On Fri, 14 Dec 2007 at 13:40:47, Ed Summers <ehs@pobox.com> wrote
>The filenames are reflective of the "seed" concept that I used to walk 
>about a certain radius from. Well and it's Friday... I'd be interested 
>to hear where you see the broader relationship not working.

Ed -

I agree with Joe Tennis that you will have difficulties in avoiding 
inconsistencies if you take the BT/NT relationships in LCSH as 
equivalent to the way they are applied in thesauri developed in 
accordance with standards. (To be fair, I believe that the LCSH people 
are well aware of this, and are working gradually towards standard 
conformity, but they have such a load of existing material to deal with 
that it will take some time.)

You asked for any invalid relationships in your diagrams. I have not 
checked all the XML, but I take it that the arrows in the diagrams are 
intended to point from a narrower concept to a broader one. Many of the 
relationships do indeed appear to be valid, but a few invalid ones I 
spotted are:

non-alcoholic cocktails > cocktails > alcoholic beverages

malt > beer
[is malt really a kind of beer? If this is a part-whole relationship, it 
would be acceptable only if malt occurred only as a part of beer, which 
is not the case.]

malt-extracts > beer
malt-extracts > malt > beer
[as above, and the second of these is redundant and would not be 
accepted in a thesaurus if the first was present]

malt > brewing
[these concepts are in different facets, "material" and "activities" and 
so cannot be hierarchically related]

wine and wine making
[LCSH often combines terms from an activity facet with terms from 
materials or objects facets like this. They really need to be separated 
out in order to create valid thesaurus hierarchies.]

WebTV (trademark) > World Wide Web
[you might get away with WebTV being _part_ of the WWW, and perhaps the 
qualifier "trademark" is just the legal "TM" symbol spelled out, but if 
the concept is the trademark, as it appears, it is not a true 
hierarchical relationship. Part/whole relationships are best kept to a 
few specific situations, spelt out in the standards.]

semantic web > semantic integration (computer systems)
[mixed facets - a system and an activity or property]

semantic integration (computer systems) > integrated software
[mixed facets - an activity or property and an intellectual product or 

It is not possible to be definite about some of these; I have not 
checked all the scope notes, where they exist, but there do appear to be 
prima facie problems.

I suppose we are looking only at the relationships at the moment - many 
of the terms are not formatted as thesaurus standards would have them, 
but that is another issue, e.g.

cereals, prepared
[thesaurus terms are not inverted like this]

motion pictures and rock music
[a compound concept, presumably meaning "motion pictures in combination 
with rock music", not just the whole of both concepts viewed separately]

gays and rock music
[another compound of two concepts]

piano - studies and exercises (rock)
[a combination of three concepts: instrument, form and style]

I cannot comment on most of the popular music examples, as I would not 
recognise most of them if I heard them. I wonder if anyone can write 
clear scope notes to distinguish one from another!

Your examples do show the need for some grouping into arrays with node 
labels to show characteristics of division. These would organise sibling 
terms more clearly, e.g. (music by instrument), or (plant products by 
source plant). There are also some

Thanks for the interesting Friday exercise!


Willpower Information       (Partners: Dr Leonard D Will, Sheena E Will)
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Received on Friday, 14 December 2007 20:58:35 UTC

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