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Re: PROV-ISSUE-4: Defining Agent using FOAF's definition

From: Stephan Zednik <zednis@rpi.edu>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 11:59:06 -0600
Cc: "Myers, Jim" <MYERSJ4@rpi.edu>, Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>, Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>, public-prov-wg@w3.org
Message-Id: <563B40CF-C618-4F20-97E8-2D291EE6C971@rpi.edu>
To: Satya Sahoo <satya.sahoo@case.edu>
Hi all,

I add my agreement to the statement that it is important to have a way to describe the provenance of an agent.

Now for some random thoughts:

I would like to amend Satya's last definition of agent to:

"A thing that is actively causally involved in a process execution is an Agent"

What is interesting about this definition is that it ties the agent-ness of a thing to the duration of the process execution.  I think you could say the same about the prior definition that omitted 'actively'.  My interest in adding 'actively' is to differentiate things that participate by their own power to inert factors that influence the process results.

Back to the definition of agent.

Perhaps agent status is an IVP of a thing?

For a quick analogy; I think a thing is an agent like a student is a person.  I would not argue that an agent is a role or non-thing concept anymore than I would argue that a student is a role or a non-person concept.  Or to put it a better way, I think it would be just as odd to argue that an agent is a role a thing takes as it would be to argue that a student is a role a person takes.

--Stephan

On Jun 21, 2011, at 9:21 AM, Satya Sahoo wrote:

> Hi Jim,
> > However agents are modeled, I think it is important to have a way to describe their provenance
> I agree. For example, the manufacturer or place and date of manufacture of a sensor (acting as an agent in a sensor network) are relevant provenance information.
> 
> Best,
> Satya
> 
> On Tue, Jun 21, 2011 at 11:14 AM, Myers, Jim <MYERSJ4@rpi.edu> wrote:
> We debated quite a bit for OPM and ended up making agent a separate 'class' because agents appeared to blend being a thing and acting like a process, along with the challenge that artifacts were immutable and agents were not. Given mutable things, and potential interest/use cases where the provenance of agents is of interest, making people and organizations PIL:things that have an agent role in a process seems like a possible/useful approach.
> 
> However agents are modeled, I think it is important to have a way to describe their provenance...
> 
>  Jim
> 
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: public-prov-wg-request@w3.org [mailto:public-prov-wg-
> > request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Graham Klyne
> > Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 2:56 AM
> > To: Zednik, Stephan T.
> > Cc: Luc Moreau; public-prov-wg@w3.org
> > Subject: Re: PROV-ISSUE-4: Defining Agent using FOAF's definition
> >
> > Stephan Zednik wrote:
> >  > A thing assumes the role of agent when actively participating in a  > process
> > execution?
> >
> > *If* the concept of an agent is needed, then I think this approach is useful.
> > I.e. it's similar to the view discussion, more easily captured in relations.
> >
> > But I think someone (Jim?) made a comment that the whole notion of an agent
> > may not be needed if some of the other concepts can be loosened up a little.
> >
> > #g
> > --
> >
> > Stephan Zednik wrote:
> > > Hi all,
> > >
> > > To answer Luc's question I originally intended to say that I thought
> > > an agent can be defined independently of process execution and I
> > > agreed that an agent should be a node whose relationship to a process
> > > execution should be defined by a control/participation/influence(?) edge.
> > >
> > > As I thought about it a bit more I began to wonder if agent was better
> > > described as a role (active participant) a thing takes in the context
> > > of some specific action (in this case a process execution).  An agent
> > > is definitely a thing, but is that thing always an agent?  Or is it an
> > > agent within the context/scope of the act it has participated in?
> > >
> > > A thing assumes the role of agent when actively participating in a
> > > process execution?
> > >
> > > I think I am leaning towards making 'agent' status of a thing
> > > dependent upon active participation in a process execution.
> > >
> > > --Stephan
> > >
> > > On Jun 20, 2011, at 11:28 PM, Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk
> > > <mailto:L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>> wrote:
> > >
> > >> Hi,
> > >>
> > >> Reiterating a previous comment I made, can an Agent be defined
> > >> independently of process execution?
> > >>
> > >> We can use the definitions of Control/Participation to define an
> > >> agent's involvement in process execution.
> > >>
> > >> If we see agents/things/process executions as nodes and
> > >> Control/Generation/... as edges of a graph, it would be nice if nodes
> > >> could be defined independently of edges.
> > >>
> > >> Luc
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> On 21/06/11 02:33, Satya Sahoo wrote:
> > >>> Hi Paul and Stephan,
> > >>> In both your definitions, what criteria distinguishes an "agent"
> > >>> from a "process" - in terms of "do stuff"/"active role or produces a
> > >>> specified effect"?
> > >>>
> > >>> Reviewing the candidate definitions of Agents, I see that Jun's,
> > >>> Khalid's and my definitions use an explicit reference to a process
> > >>> (execution).
> > >>>
> > >>> What do you think?
> > >>>
> > >>> Thanks.
> > >>>
> > >>> Best,
> > >>> Satya
> > >>>
> > >>> On Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 4:48 PM, Stephan Zednik <
> > >>> <mailto:zednis@rpi.edu>zednis@rpi.edu <mailto:zednis@rpi.edu>> wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>>     I like this definition from the New Oxford American Dictionary
> > >>>     because it ties in nicely with provenance
> > >>>
> > >>>     "A person on thing that takes an active role or produces a
> > >>>     specified effect."
> > >>>
> > >>>     --Stephan
> > >>>
> > >>>     On Jun 20, 2011, at 2:08 PM, Paul Groth wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>>     > Hi All,
> > >>>     >
> > >>>     > What would people think of just adopting FOAF's definition of
> > >>>     Agent for now:
> > >>>     >
> > >>>     > The Agent class is the class of agents; things that do stuff. A
> > >>>     well known sub-class is Person, representing people. Other kinds
> > >>>     of agents include Organization and Group.
> > >>>     >
> > >>>     >
> > >>>     > thanks,
> > >>>     > Paul
> > >>>     >
> > >>>     >
> > >>>
> > >>>
> > >>>
> >
> 
> 
Received on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 18:00:48 GMT

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