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

From: Luc Moreau <l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 22:11:59 +0100
Message-ID: <EMEW3|5a9097ddb2aebdb791a3eefb8d45700cn9PMC208l.moreau|ecs.soton.ac.uk|4EA8779F.4020107@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
To: Jim McCusker <mccusj@rpi.edu>
CC: Paolo Ncl <paolo.missier@newcastle.ac.uk>, Provenance Working Group WG <public-prov-wg@w3.org>
... does imply activity? you mean agency?

Well, so it's simple, we can quote definition 1 which does not.

Luc

On 26/10/2011 22:05, Jim McCusker wrote:
> Sense 2 does imply activity:
>
> http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/activity?region=uk
>
> noun (plural activities)
> 1 [mass noun] the condition in which things are happening or being done:
> there has been a sustained level of activity in the economy
> busy or vigorous action or movement:
> the room was a hive of activity
> 2 (usually activities) a thing that a person or group does or has done:
> the firmís marketing activities
> a recreational pursuit or pastime:
> a range of sporting activities
> 3 Chemistrya thermodynamic quantity representing the effective
> concentration of a particular component in a solution or other system,
> equal to its concentration multiplied by an activity coefficient.
>
> The other two senses do not refer to specific events, as we are (I
> think) defining it here.
>
> Jim
>
> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 4:41 PM, Luc Moreau<L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>  wrote:
>    
>> Yes, but the OED definition of activity does not imply agency.
>>
>> Professor Luc Moreau
>> Electronics and Computer Science
>> University of Southampton
>> Southampton SO17 1BJ
>> United Kingdom
>>
>> On 26 Oct 2011, at 20:24, "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 21:16:19 GMT

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