W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lld@w3.org > March 2011

Re: Question about MARCXML to Models transformation

From: Thomas Baker <tbaker@tbaker.de>
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 22:00:27 -0500
To: public-lld <public-lld@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20110309030027.GA568@octavius>
On Tue, 8 March, Ross wrote:
> This is not to say that the FRBR model is wrong or even necessarily flawed.
> I just think that applying it verbatim to RDF through OWL with an
> application profile that is intended to enforce its rules is more likely a
> barrier to adoption than it is insurance of semantic interoperability.

On Tue, 8 March, Jeff wrote:
> The constraints found in OWL could be enforced by another layer such as 
> Pellet ICV or Application Profiles, but we shouldn't assume these layers 
> are implied in the "strictness of FRBRer".

On Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 4:06 PM, Richard Light <richard@light.demon.co.uk> wrote:
> I strongly agree with the thought that an entity can be given a URL, and
> thereby you can finesse the need for the "concept is the sum of its
> properties" approach. We will have many similar cases in the museum world,
> where information about an entity of interest (person, place, event, ...)
> will be incomplete, or uncertain, or both. This shouldn't stop us from
> asserting what we _do_ know (or believe).

To summarize, can we say the following?

FRBR and RDA can improve the precision of resource description
and increase the opportunities for sharing descriptions at
various levels by making modeling distinctions grounded in
a coherent intellectual model.

However, for the linked data context, outside of the library
silo -- where knowledge about the things being described may
be imperfect, where the people making descriptions may have
an imperfect grasp of the models or of their applicability,
and where people may have data or software that lack clear
support of the models -- FRBR and RDA should be made available
for use in a form that is ontologically tolerant.

The sort of strict enforcement of rules and that served the
cause of data sharing in a time when data exchange required
the integrity of shared formats is not only not necessary
in the more loosely aligned linked data context - it is

The FRBR and RDA vocabularies can be defined in an
ontologically tolerant manner, such that data which uses the
models imperfectly -- or data about things to which the models
imperfectly apply -- will not raise fatal exceptions when
linked with data that may be simpler, vaguer, or simply based
on different models.  Apparent misalignments, or contradictions
to the logic of the models, or gaps in descriptions, should
be flagged with nothing stronger than helpful error messages.

Application profiles, whether defined using OWL constraints
or through other means, still provide a way to constrain the use
of such vocabularies to an arbitrary degree of strictness
for the purposes of enforcing data integrity within a silo.

Hard-coding such constraints into the vocabularies themselves
imposes that ontological strictness on all downstream users
of the vocabularies, thus raising the bar to their adoption
and compromising their potential impact outside of the
library world.


Tom Baker <tbaker@tbaker.de>
Received on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 03:01:08 UTC

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