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Re: [UCR] Managing Inter-Organizational Business Policies & Practices: Edited Version.

From: John Hall <john.hall@modelsys.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 17:59:15 -0800
To: Chris Welty <cawelty@frontiernet.net>
Cc: RIF WG <public-rif-wg@w3.org>
Message-id: <44122EF3.8090804@modelsys.com>
Hello Chris,

My responses in-line, below,

Regards,

John

Chris Welty wrote:

>
>
> The new draft of this use case is much better, but there are still 
> parts in it that border on what I initially objected to.  Again, I 
> think RIF is clearly about machine-processable rules.  Of course if 
> people want to use it for other things, great, I won't stop them, but 
> these other things (like writing regulations or laws) shoudl not 
> influence the design of RIF.
>
> Most of the current version is OK, I think, except:
>
> "EU-Rent UK finds some problems in applying the rules. One is that 
> sometimes it has to give free upgrades to customers. It wants to have 
> one of the rules for insurance tax changed.
>
> For an individual rental, the tax on aggregated insurance is 1.5% of 
> the simple cost of the rental actually paid by the customer (not the 
> price of rental of the upgrade provided)
> It provides this to AutoLaw, which will negotiate it with the 
> regulators and disseminate the outcome to EU-Rent and its other 
> customers. "

The issue here is ambiguity. The rule says, "Insurance tax must be 
charged on rental at 1.5% of rental-simple-cost". Rental-simple-cost in 
EU-Rent agrees with the regulator's definition: "price charged for use 
of the car plus compulsory insurance, excluding extra charges such as 
additional, drivers, optional insurances, additional equipment." But in 
EU-Rent it has two specializations.

    * Rental-actual-simple-cost: "rental-simple-cost that is actually paid"
    * Rental-tariff-simple-cost: "rental-simple-cost that is quoted in
      the tariff for the car group used in the rental" (which is higher
      than the price paid if a free upgrade is provided)

EU-Rent UK wants the rule disambiguated. But it provides its preferred 
version: "Insurance tax must be charged on rental at 1.5% of 
rental-actual-simple-cost", so that tax would be due on the price paid.

Of course, the regulator might decide that it should be: "Insurance tax 
must be charged on rental at 1.5% of rental-tariff-simple-cost", so that 
if a free upgrade is given, tax would be due on the benefit provided.

This can't be the only kind of circumstance where the tool behind a RIF 
client needs to request clarification of a received rule that is, for 
its local vocabulary, ambiguous. One reasonable way of resolving 
ambiguity is to propose a non-ambiguous alternative. Are you suggesting 
that the RIF should not support this capability?

>
> This is precisely what I would live to avoid.  RIF is not a format for 
> exchanging legal language between people so that they can negotiate.
>
> Also:
>
> "It also has some existing insurance policies in place. They provide 
> third-party insurance as an explicit item, and EU-Rent UK cannot get 
> refunds on early termination. It asks corporate HQ for rules:
>
> Cost of third-party insurance will be built into the basic cost of 
> each rental, unless there is an alternative insurance already in place"
>
>
> I do not see how this rule could be implemented in RIF, in particular 
> "will be built in".  What is that supposed to mean?  This is not a 
> machine processable rule.

The issue here is about rules for building and using rental tariffs. 
EU-Rent HQ wants the cost of 3rd-party insurance to be included in 
tariff rates (the rates quoted for car groups and rental periods, e.g. 
'one-day rate for mid-size', 'weekly rate for full-size). EU-Rent UK 
wants its current 3rd-party insurance, with distinct premiums for 
3rd-party insurance,  to run its course before applying the new rules.

Rules that would be machine processable might (given a more formal 
syntax and a suitable vocabulary) look something like this:

    * If 3-P insurance does not exist then aggregate-insurance must
      exist  and current-date must be or be later than
      effective-start-date of aggregate-insurance and current-date must
      be or be earlier than effective-end-date of aggregate-insurance
    * If current date is later than (effective-end-date of 3P-insurance
      - 15 working-days) and current-date is or is earlier than
      effective-end-date of 3P-insurance then aggregate-insurance must
      exist and effective-start-date of aggregate-insurance must be
      effective-end-date of 3P-insurance
    * If current-date is (effective-start-date of aggregate-insurance -
      10 working days) then process "tariff update" must be activated
      with effective-start-date of tariff  = effective-start-date of
      aggregate-insurance.

Rules relevant to process "tariff-update":

    * If effective-start-date of tariff is earlier than
      effective-end-date of 3P-insurance then tariff-item (car-group,
      rental-period) <= base-rental-cost (car-group, rental-period)
    * If effective-start-date of tariff is or is later than
      effective-start-date of aggregate-insurance then tariff-item
      (car-group, rental-period) <= (base-rental-cost (car-group,
      rental-period) * (1 + aggregate-insurance-percentage (car-group,
      rental-period))

Rules relevant to process "rental quote":

    * Current-tariff is tariff with latest effective-start-date that is
      earlier than current-date.
    * If effective-start-date of current-tariff is earlier than
      effective-end-date of 3P-insurance then rental-simple-cost <=
      tariff-item (car-group, rental-period) of current-tariff +
      3P-insurance-premium (car-group, rental-period)
    * If effective-start-date of current-tariff is or is earlier than
      effective-start-date of aggregate-insurance then
      rental-simple-cost <= tariff-item (car-group, rental-period) of
      current-tariff

I'm sorry if I expressed the rule so informally that it looked as if it 
couldn't be automatically processed. I had hoped that people would get 
the idea without the tedious detail. The more machine-friendly version 
above probably requires RIF WG members to understand more about the 
detail of EU-Rent than they would ever wish to know.

Or are you suggesting that effective date/times for rules should not be 
supported by the RIF?

>
> What do others think here?
>
> -Chris
>
>
Received on Saturday, 11 March 2006 02:02:11 GMT

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