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

From: Myers, Jim <MYERSJ4@rpi.edu>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 14:34:48 -0400
Message-ID: <B7376F3FB29F7E42A510EB5026D99EF205349D2B@troy-be-ex2.win.rpi.edu>
To: "Zednik, Stephan T." <zednis@rpi.edu>, Satya Sahoo <satya.sahoo@case.edu>
CC: Graham Klyne <GK@ninebynine.org>, Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>, <public-prov-wg@w3.org>
Stephan,

 

I can see the argument that an agent could be seen as a view, but it
doesn't sound as compelling to me as student or employee as views -
those view would have additional properties (student ID, major, salary,
etc.) and such views have some longevity. In contrast, I'm not sure what
new properties me as an agent would have and it seems more like I'd be
creating the agent-view-of-me just for PIL (single use to have something
to control a process). If we have me, and a student view of me, do we
also want a student-agent-view of me to take a test? I raise this
example in part to show that if agency is a role, one could still have
views such as student-view-of-me that could play that role. 

 

I guess I should also ask if agents are IVPs of other things - would
they still be a special type or are they just things too, as other IVPs
currently are? If they are not special types, I think this would become
a model where things can control processes and a suggested/best practice
might be to create an IVP in cases where there's a need to distinguish
some characteristics of a thing-as-agent that are different than the
thing itself. Is that the intent?

 

Jim

 

From: Stephan Zednik [mailto:zednis@rpi.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2011 1:59 PM
To: Satya Sahoo
Cc: Myers, Jim; Graham Klyne; Luc Moreau; public-prov-wg@w3.org
Subject: Re: PROV-ISSUE-4: Defining Agent using FOAF's definition

 

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 18:37:13 GMT

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