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Re: [Dbpedia-discussion] Using DBpedia resources as skos:Concepts?

From: Leonard Will <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 4 Nov 2009 12:43:18 +0000
Message-ID: <ZqxmwbFmbX8KFASP@mail.willpowerinfo.co.uk>
To: Alexandre Passant <alexandre.passant@deri.org>
Cc: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, dbpedia-discussion@lists.sourceforge.net, SKOS <public-esw-thes@w3.org>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
On Wed, 4 Nov 2009 at 08:15:18, Alexandre Passant 
<alexandre.passant@deri.org> wrote
>I think that is the question that should be answered here.
>The SKOS spec says: "A SKOS concept can be viewed as an idea or notion; 
>a unit of thought. However, what constitutes a unit of thought  is 
>subjective, and this definition is meant to be suggestive, rather  than 
>So, do the SKOS implementors consider that, while subjective, anything 
>can be allowed to go under skos:Concept ?
>If not, shouldn't a disjunction be introduced in SKOS to prevent that ?
>I find all these SKOS properties more that useful, but that 
>subjectivity regarding skos:Concept is imo an issue - I personally 
>limit the use of skos:Concept to non-physical objects / abstract 
>notions, but since that's subjective, someone else will use it for 
>anything, e.g. foaf:Person, and may lead to disagreement between us - 
>and related applications.

 From the point of view of thesaurus standards, "concept" is used with a 
very general meaning - "unit of thought" - which was introduced to 
distinguish between that and the various different "terms" that may be 
used to label it. A concept is defined by its scope note, if present, 
and/or by its various terms and relationships.

In a thesaurus, concepts are divided into several disjoint facets, such 
as people, objects, activities, disciplines, places, times, and 
"abstract concepts" such as "peace", "friendship", "intellectual 
property" and so on.

The choice of these facets may vary in different applications; "people" 
could be part of an "organisms" facet, for example, and might or might 
not include "organisations" or "groups of people".

As SKOS was developed to handle thesaurus structures, I believe that the 
use of "concept" in SKOS is in accordance with this. Mrs Obama is an 
"instance" of a concept within the "people" facet.

Leonard Will

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Received on Wednesday, 4 November 2009 12:49:27 UTC

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