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Re: vocabulary simplification: two proposals to vote on [deadline, Oct 26 midnight, GMT]

From: Paul Groth <p.t.groth@vu.nl>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 23:03:25 +0200
Message-ID: <B0C61D81-D189-465E-AFE9-E5B8798D0FDD@vu.nl>
CC: Provenance Working Group WG <public-prov-wg@w3.org>, "Deborah L. McGuinness" <dlm@cs.rpi.edu>
To: Jim McCusker <mccusj@rpi.edu>
Hi Jim, Stephan:

I would like to get a clear statement from RPI about this position. I would prefer to do this by consensus but will call for a vote if necessary. 

It's really a matter of getting an easy to understand common sense name and activity seems to have support.

Thanks
Paul

On Oct 26, 2011, at 21:24, Jim McCusker <mccusj@rpi.edu> wrote:

> My point is that a process execution might not have an agent. Not that
> the agent is unknown, but that there is no controlling entity that
> caused the process to occur. Reza mentioned the idea of natural forces
> as agents. Maybe that's fine. I'm just not sure that that will be
> understandable to people who aren't familiar with control systems
> theory (like myself).
> 
> Jim
> 
> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 3:03 PM, Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:
>> I don't see what your objection is given the OED definition.
>> 
>> This said I think you have your own view of what constitutes agency.
>> 
>> In prov-dm, an agent is an entity capable of activity(see text).
>> A definition agreed at F2f1.
>> 
>> So, really, what's the issue?
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Professor Luc Moreau
>> Electronics and Computer Science
>> University of Southampton
>> Southampton SO17 1BJ
>> United Kingdom
>> 
>> On 26 Oct 2011, at 17:44, "Jim McCusker" <mccusj@rpi.edu> wrote:
>> 
>>> No, there isn't. Stellar formation doesn't happen because of specific
>>> agency, it just happens as an effect of gravity and having the right
>>> mass in the right place at the right time. Things happen all the time
>>> that have no agency - weather is a perfect example.
>>> 
>>> Jim
>>> 
>>> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 11:27 AM, Luc Moreau <L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Hi Jim,
>>>> 
>>>> That's what my OED says:
>>>> 
>>>> A condition in which things are happening or being done.
>>>> 
>>>> Is there a notion of agency when we say "things are happening"?
>>>> 
>>>> Luc
>>>> 
>>>> On 10/26/2011 03:56 PM, Jim McCusker wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Then not Event. But I think a key goal of our work is to find terms
>>>>> that align best with the intended usage. This makes it much easier for
>>>>> people who are coming to the model for the first time. It's perfect
>>>>> that we've started with concepts, but these concepts are being
>>>>> grounded in terminology, and that should align with the chosen,
>>>>> default language.
>>>>> 
>>>>> If someone can give me a counterexample where an act or activity
>>>>> doesn't have an implied actor, I'll withdraw my negative vote.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Jim
>>>>> 
>>>>> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 10:40 AM, Paolo Ncl
>>>>> <paolo.missier@newcastle.ac.uk>  wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Hi,
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I think we are in fact reading a bit too much into this. The intent was
>>>>>> to simplify and harmonize the key terms used in the model.  an agent may
>>>>>> play a part in the activity, and we do have a way to express that, but that
>>>>>> doesn't have to be (does that mean we cater to eastern cultures as well? :-)
>>>>>> )
>>>>>> But I strongly advise against using the term "event" to refer to
>>>>>> activities that have a time duration. Events already have a clear role to
>>>>>> play in the model, and have no duration.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Thanks, Paolo
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> On 26 Oct 2011, at 15:05, Jim McCusker<mccusj@rpi.edu>  wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 7:33 AM, Luc Moreau<L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
>>>>>>>  wrote:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> JimMcC indicated that activity implied a notion of agency. I am not
>>>>>>>> familiar
>>>>>>>> with this
>>>>>>>> interpretation. Where does it come from? He suggests 'event', but this
>>>>>>>> term
>>>>>>>> is already in
>>>>>>>> the document (and will be the subject of a future clarification
>>>>>>>> proposal).
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Activity (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/activity) is
>>>>>>> defined as a quality or state of being active. If you look at the
>>>>>>> examples at MW, all of them have some sort of agent or actor. There is
>>>>>>> one natural process example, which is that a volcano is active. Even
>>>>>>> in that case, the volcano is being considered an actor (which is fine
>>>>>>> in discourse, but isn't technically correct). The root word, "act",
>>>>>>> when used, requires an actor. An act can happen with an unknown actor,
>>>>>>> but there is always an entity that is behind an act.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Using this word to describe all events (including natural events),
>>>>>>> especially formally in a standard, gives the model a pre-scientific
>>>>>>> bais (the idea that a prime mover is needed, because all events are
>>>>>>> acts). Note that this is actually a western bais too, as many eastern
>>>>>>> traditions do not require a prime mover.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Maybe I'm reading far too much into this, but if we're looking to
>>>>>>> simplify, I would far prefer Event or Process (but with a clear
>>>>>>> explanation that it is a occurrent, not a specification of an
>>>>>>> occurrent) to Activity.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Jim
>>>>>>> --
>>>>>>> Jim McCusker
>>>>>>> Programmer Analyst
>>>>>>> Krauthammer Lab, Pathology Informatics
>>>>>>> Yale School of Medicine
>>>>>>> james.mccusker@yale.edu | (203) 785-6330
>>>>>>> http://krauthammerlab.med.yale.edu
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> PhD Student
>>>>>>> Tetherless World Constellation
>>>>>>> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
>>>>>>> mccusj@cs.rpi.edu
>>>>>>> http://tw.rpi.edu
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> --
>>>> Professor Luc Moreau
>>>> Electronics and Computer Science   tel:   +44 23 8059 4487
>>>> University of Southampton          fax:   +44 23 8059 2865
>>>> Southampton SO17 1BJ               email: l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk
>>>> United Kingdom                     http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~lavm
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> --
>>> Jim McCusker
>>> Programmer Analyst
>>> Krauthammer Lab, Pathology Informatics
>>> Yale School of Medicine
>>> james.mccusker@yale.edu | (203) 785-6330
>>> http://krauthammerlab.med.yale.edu
>>> 
>>> PhD Student
>>> Tetherless World Constellation
>>> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
>>> mccusj@cs.rpi.edu
>>> http://tw.rpi.edu
>>> 
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Jim McCusker
> Programmer Analyst
> Krauthammer Lab, Pathology Informatics
> Yale School of Medicine
> james.mccusker@yale.edu | (203) 785-6330
> http://krauthammerlab.med.yale.edu
> 
> PhD Student
> Tetherless World Constellation
> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
> mccusj@cs.rpi.edu
> http://tw.rpi.edu
> 
Received on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 21:03:57 GMT

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