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

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2009 10:58:58 -0600
Cc: Leonard Will <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>, Alexandre Passant <alexandre.passant@deri.org>, Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, dbpedia-discussion@lists.sourceforge.net, SKOS <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Message-Id: <FBD42FE2-F17A-4B1A-872E-4BABBCC997D2@ihmc.us>
To: Simon Spero <ses@unc.edu>

On Nov 5, 2009, at 4:05 PM, Simon Spero wrote:

> On Thu, Nov 5, 2009 at 3:25 PM, Leonard Will <L.Will@willpowerinfo.co.uk 
> > wrote:
>
> As you can certainly think about grains or sand, the fall of  
> Carthage, or Mrs Obama, these fall within our definition of  
> "concept". Perhaps some other word could be found to express this  
> better and avoid confusion with a narrower definition such as  
> "abstract concept", but the word "concept" is widely used in the  
> thesaurus literature, in order to make a distinction between the  
> thing that is thought about and the words that may be used to label  
> it.
>
> My view of this is from the approach of the library / thesaurus /  
> knowledge organisation community and the ISO thesaurus standard  
> working party, and I cannot say definitively that the SKOS  
> interpretation is the same - there have been some erudite  
> discussions here about the difference between a thing and our  
> thoughts about the thing, but from a practical point of view of  
> applying indexing terms to resources these seem unnecessary.
>
> Obligatory unicorn: http://www.ibiblio.org/fred2.0/wordpress/?p=30

FWIW, I have no trouble with imaginary entities. Still, there is a  
clear distinction between the concept of a unicorn and a particular  
unicorn, eg the one depicted here:

http://bit.ly/3Hgz0P

>
> The SKOS working group explicitly rejected the  interpretation that  
> a  skos:Concept is something that a Document is about, but declined  
> to provide an explicit alternative.
>
> There are practical implications for indexing that follow from this  
> decision.  For example, the SKOS broader relationship is not  
> transitive; this is hard to understand with a document based domain  
> of interpretation.  Without transitive BT relationships, standard  
> indexing behaviors like upward posting, or assigning the most  
> specific headings to a document are no longer possible  (or rather,  
> give different results).
>
> Once one starts thinking extensionally this whole discussion becomes  
> much easier ("Word and Subject?").
>
> For example:
>
> Everything that is-about something is a document.
> Everything that something is-about is a concept.

My problem is that this second assertion is blatantly false. I have  
shelves full of books that are not about concepts at all. Biographies  
are about people, not (usually) concepts of people. So at this point,  
SKOS simply vanishes into never-never land. I have no idea what it is  
talking about (quite literally).

Pat Hayes

>
> Every generic-concept is a concept.
> Every named-individual-concept is a concept.
>
> Every concept that has-associated-class K is a generic-concept.
> Every concept that has-associated-individual I is a named-individual- 
> concept.
>
> If A has-broader-term-generic B then A has-broader-term B.
> If A has-broader-term-instantive B then A has-broader-term B.
>
> If A has-broader-term-generic B then A is a generic-concept.
> If A has-broader-term-generic B then B is a generic-concept.
>
> If A has-broader-term-instantive B then A is a named-individual- 
> concept.
> If A has-broader-term-instantive B then B is a generic-concept.
>
> If A has-broader-term-generic B and
>    A has-associated-class X and
>    B has-associated-class Y
>  then X subclassOfs Y.
>
> If A has-broader-term-instantive B and
>    A has-associated-individual X and
>    B has-associated-class Y
>  then X types Y.
>
> If a concept A has-broader-term B and
>    B has-broader-term C
>  then A has-broader-term C.
>
> If a concept A has-broader-term-generic B and
>    B has-broader-term-generic C
> then A has-broader-term-generic C.
>
> If a concept A has-broader-term-instantive B and
>    B has-broader-term-generic C
>  then A has-broader-term-instantive C.
>
> Simon

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Received on Friday, 6 November 2009 16:59:54 GMT

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