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RE: Patterns for representing mass-produced objects? (FRBR revisited)

From: Sini, Margherita (KCEW) <Margherita.Sini@fao.org>
Date: Wed, 01 Oct 2008 22:53:52 +0200
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, public-owl-dev@w3.org
Cc: Alistair Miles <alistair.miles@zoo.ox.ac.uk>, Thomas Baker <tbaker@tbaker.de>
Message-id: <BA453B6B6B217B4D95AF12DBA0BFB669029DB57D@hqgiex01.fao.org>

I am not sure if it fits completely here, but i wish to show you some cases
in agricultural domain:
1) express in ontologies the context of something: i may decide that a
concept can be defined differently based on the context i am looking at...
(up to now i have seen only one tool that allow this, called conzilla)
2) express the knowledge in a way that may interest different type of
audience. E.g. I wish to show a rice ontology from the point of view of a
farmer which is interested in a timeline ontology (day0= planting,
day3=irrigating, ...., day23=harvesting, day34=polishing...)  or from the
point of view of a scientist interested maybe in pests of this crop, and
pesticides, etc.
3) maybe something where my "rice" concept can be considered a resource,
while in another perspective is considered a result of a process....
not sure this covers your needs, though....

	-----Original Message----- 
	From: public-owl-dev-request@w3.org on behalf of Dan Brickley 
	Sent: Tue 9/30/2008 15:12 
	To: public-owl-dev@w3.org 
	Cc: Alistair Miles; Thomas Baker 
	Subject: Patterns for representing mass-produced objects? (FRBR

	Hello, Ontology experts.
	I'm looking for advice on current OWL-friendly best practices for
	modelling mass-produced items and their (possibly varying)
	characteristics. The motivation here is discussions during the Dublin
	Core conference last week, and from something in the Library and
	bibliographic metadata world called FRBR - the 'Functional
	for Bibliographic Records', http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FRBR
	A FRBR-driven perspective is slowly getting traction in the library
	world, and is important also in discussions about the future
	for Dublin Core. FRBR attempts to give a better account of what kinds
	things Libraries describe in their bibliographic records, such that
	can better deal with the digital age (DVDs, "multimedia",
	versions and editions etc.). FRBR conceptualises things in terms of
	'Works', "Expressions", "Manifestations" and eventually, countable
	"Items". See the Wikipedia reference above to track down full
	There are efforts (notably by Ian Davis of Talis, see
	http://www.frbr.org/2005/10/03/ian-davis-frbr-in-rdf) to express
	notions directly as RDF/OWL classes. The Library cataloguing standard
	AACR2 is currently being revised (by the Resource Description and
	group, see http://www.rdaonline.org/) and taking on board FRBR ideas.
	I have long had a suspicion that some of the distinctions that FRBR
	sare more general, and deal with issues that can have common
	modelling idioms. Basically the problem of the library is that it
	to keep track of countable, locatable, damage-able items, as well as
	model their shared characteristics.
	So a book's title, topic, authorship etc, expected number of pages,
	are attached at a different level of abstraction to information about
	its location, physical state, owner, actual number of pages, and so
	One of the problems we've seen with FRBR deployment is that, because
	has only these 4 "buckets" to put things in, some lack of agrement
	whether something is a "Work" or an "Expression". The FRBROO project
	attempts to address this by combining it into the larger CIDOC CRM
	ontology, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FRBRoo . This is useful I
	think, but dauntingly large, and doesn't exploit the richness we have
	OWL for describing the membership rules for classes.
	So my thought here is that it is also worth considering an alternate
	model, in which "Work", "Expression", "Manifestation" and "Item" are
	thought of as functional requirements on our ontologising, rather
	as directly modelled classes.
	Hence my question here. How do ontologists lately tend to model
	like an aircraft part, or other mass-produced item, when we have a
	situation in which (a) the design of these copied itself needs
	(b) their instances may be flawed, damaged or lack adherance in
	ways towards their stereotypical ideal.
	I've been thinking that we could partially model this by some
	on the class which pointed to a description of an indicative
	For example, a T-Shirt design might typically be associated with
	instances that have a certain weight, colour, and so on. I don't want
	make strong OWL claims that each actual shirt has just this weight,
	colour, ... any more than a library wants to imply that the actual
	number of pages in a shelved book is necessarily what we'd expect
	the ideal.
	Hope I'm making some sense here! I guess the issue I'm skirting
	is how to handle default reasoning in RDFS/OWL, and whether there are
	deployed patterns that work for describing typical manufactured
	instances which might be re-usable in the bibliographic world.
	Thanks for any thoughts / pointers.
	ps. I made a couple of sketches in diagram / slide form, which might
	help indicate what I'm on about...
	http://www.flickr.com/photos/danbri/2891150205/ (static class view)
Received on Wednesday, 1 October 2008 20:54:36 UTC

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