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Re: [SKOS] The return of ISSUE-44 (was Re: TR : SKOS Reference Editor's Draft 23 December 2007)

From: Daniel Rubin <rubin@med.stanford.edu>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2008 07:01:29 -0800
Message-Id: <>
To: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>, Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>
Cc: SKOS <public-esw-thes@w3.org>,SWD WG <public-swd-wg@w3.org>

At 02:07 AM 1/10/2008, Bernard Vatant wrote:

>Antoine, and all
>>As far as I'm concerned, we are not trying to 
>>propose with SKOS a standard that would oblige 
>>KOS owners to re-engineer their conceptual 
>>structures to fit our whishes. The objective is 
>>to easily represent and to publish KOSs. So if 
>>there is enough cases of "non-transitive" 
>>hierarchies (and I do believe it is the case) 
>>then it is a wrong design decision to make skos:broader transitive.
>As is well stated in the introduction of the 
>editor's draft, the intended use of SKOS, not to 
>support inference, but to support 
>indexing/classification, search and retrieval of resources.

Classification is a type of inference, and 
indexing/retrieval will require inference at 
least along hierarchical relations for query 
expansion, so I don't see that we can easily 
keeps separate from the need to support inference (albeit simple inference)...

>If you need proper knowledge representation and 
>subsumption, use classes, RDFS/OWL. If you want 
>your concept hierarchy to match this knowledge 
>representation, like some biological taxonomy 
>like in the example of Simon, that's OK. If you 
>don't care about it, because the concepts are 
>much more fuzzy, that's also OK. I agree with 
>Dan that there is nothing wrong with being 
>wrong, if you know that you are wrong - as 
>Confucius asserted some time ago  :-) [1].
>So let SKOS be strongly agnostic about knowledge 
>representation, in order to be as clear as 
>possible on the use of SKOS vs OWL, for example.
>Let's not repeat with SKOS what happened with 
>Topic Maps some years ago, when TM folks 
>(including myself) attempted to challenge RDF at 
>the semantic level, although there is no more 
>formal semantics in Topic Maps than in thesauri or other KOS.
>>I would actually like to get some feedback on 
>>the following point of view, to see whether I'm 
>>completely wrong or not. To me, ISO and others 
>>are standards that are also intended as 
>>guidelines for designing good thesauri, hence 
>>their spending much pages on explaining how to 
>>properly choose a term and so on. SKOS is different because:
>>- it is not a guideline that says in details 
>>what makes a good KOS or not for KOSs. We have 
>>some recommendations, but the number of constraints is very small.
>>- SKOS could be used to represent KOSs that are not thesauri
>[1] http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Confucius#Chapter_II
>"Shall I teach you about knowledge? What you 
>know, you know, what you don't know, you don't know. This is true wisdom."
>*Bernard Vatant
>*Knowledge Engineering
>*3, citÚ Nollez 75018 Paris France
>Web:    www.mondeca.com <http://www.mondeca.com>
>Tel:       +33 (0) 871 488 459
>Mail:     bernard.vatant@mondeca.com <mailto:bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
>Blog:    Lešons de Choses <http://mondeca.wordpress.com/>
Received on Thursday, 10 January 2008 15:01:51 UTC

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