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Re: FAQ:

From: John F. Madden <john.madden@me.com>
Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 16:47:36 -0400
Cc: public-esw-thes@w3.org
Message-id: <B3F2A8F3-B235-4B74-9DCD-B2A53B3E578F@me.com>
To: Kevin Doyle <kdoyle@teranode.com>
Two possible reasons, by my lights:

(1) If the goal is mapping legacy terminologies into an RDF dialect:

RDF/OWL has a formal, model theoretic, extensional semantics. Most  
legacy terminologies have an informal semantics that is entirely  
intensional. Putting them directly into RDF/OWL imputes to them an  
ability to support a kind of inferencing that they were never intended  
to support. The result is liable to be unexpected or undesirable  
inferences; or in other cases, failure to entail inferences that one  
would imagine to be natural consequences.

SKOS, on the other hand, doesn't treat the legacy terms as classes  
with extensions (as RDF/OWL does). Yet SKOS still gives one a  
vocabulary to talk about the most important intensional meanings that  
such terminologies tend to use (notions like narrower, broader,  
related, etc.).

(All this is much better said than I ever could in the SKOS Primer.)

(2) If the goal is to model a set of terms de novo:

For the same reasons as stated in (1), SKOS provides a way to depict  
informal, notional relations among ideas without having to buy into  
the more rigorous RDF/OWL semantic model, which may be too  
constraining for certain kinds of modeling (for example, the more  
freewheeling kinds exemplified by "concept-mapping", "mind-mapping";  
or the type of intuitive models that one tends to get from domain  


On May 20, 2009, at 3:57 PM, Kevin Doyle wrote:

> Hi,
> I have a question I would like to put on the SKOS FAQ, because I  
> don't know the answer.  Also, this is the first place that I looked  
> for the answer.  Why SKOS and not OWL?  Or maybe to put the question  
> another way, what are the advantages of using SKOS over OWL?
> Kevin S. Doyle
> Client Solution Manager
> Teranode Corp.
> www.teranode.com
> Tel: +1-617-710-5155
Received on Wednesday, 20 May 2009 20:48:20 UTC

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