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Re: Multi-layered Knowledge Representations for Healthcare (was RE: An argument for bridging information models and ontologies at the syntactic level)

From: Dan Russler <dan.russler@oracle.com>
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 07:59:25 -0400
Message-ID: <48886E9D.9060308@oracle.com>
To: "Kashyap, Vipul" <VKASHYAP1@PARTNERS.ORG>
CC: Samson Tu <swt@stanford.edu>, "Elkin, Peter L., M.D." <Elkin.Peter@mayo.edu>, public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org, public-hcls-coi@w3.org
Hi Vipul,

I agree with you below, except I think it's peoples' "interpretation" of 
the RIM that causes the confusion, e.g. "The focus of the RIM classes 
had primarily been structure and not semantics." Since RIM is 
communicated in UML, UML semantic rules apply, and one needs to be 
strict on the UMLsemantics  in order to interpret the RIM.

Probably, confusion is also caused by sloppy text definitions in the RIM 
classes that don't exactly correspond to the UML meanings. Also, sloppy, 
lazy speech and writing (I'm guilty here).

One way to think of "structure" is to think of the "structure" of a 
definition in a dictionary, i.e. meaning one, meaning two, etc. Then 
think of UML as another kind of structure for definitions, i.e. a class 
representing a concept sets up a definition structure of attributes, 
associations, and state transitions that define the concept (analogous 
to the linguistic structure of "meaning one" in a dictionary).

I think that revisiting the RIM definitions and RIM UML diagrams and 
rethinking of them as complementary "definitions of concepts" rather 
than introducing set theory and other data management tasks into the UML 
interpretation would be helpful.


Kashyap, Vipul wrote:

> 1) In the reference you site..."A class is the descriptor for a set"...
> 2) Earlier, you stated that "semantics of a class as denoting a set of 
> instances."
> I believe these two statements represent the "apples" and "oranges" 
> you referenced:
> Statement 1) is the traditional "a class describes the attributes and 
> associations for a concept that are common to a set of instances."
> Statement 2) is better described by your population example.
> [VK] I believe these are apples and oranges:
> (1) describes the "structure, behavior and relationships" of classes 
> and typically focuses on the structure of the class.
> (2) describes the "semantics of a class"
> I think this is the major cause of confusion. The focus of RIM classes 
> had primarily been structure and not semantics, at least based on the 
> descriptions
> I have read so far.
> Also, it is  (1) doesn't necessarily => (2).
> One possibility is that we revisit the all the RIM definitions and try 
> to characterize them from a model or set theoretic perspective?
> ---Vipul
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Received on Thursday, 24 July 2008 12:00:21 UTC

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