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Re: Unstructured vs. Structured (was: HL7 and patient records in RDF/OWL?)

From: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 16:43:16 -0500
Message-Id: <p06230913c016ac5c3fef@[]>
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, "Gao, Yong" <YGAO@PARTNERS.ORG>
Cc: <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>

At 14:46 -0600 2/13/06, Pat Hayes wrote:
>>The point I'm trying to make is this: The concept of "structuredness" is
>>relative and context-sensitive.
>Hear, hear. Well said.
>Pat Hayes

FWIW, Structured, unstructured and semi-structured, although 
non-precise concepts in common language and (esp) philosophy, have 
well-defined and precise meanings in database
jargon" -- most database books have decent definitions that are 
consistent with:
  unstructured - NL text
  semi-structured - unstructured fields within a structured DB context
  structured - relational model (or similar)
(those papers with technical definitions tend to get ugly and 
recourse to relational calculus, so these overly simplified 
definitions should suffice for now)
that said, in the spirit of this particular thread, I think we should 
be careful and, if we mean to use it in a DB context, make it clear 
in any document that uses the term (i.e. "structured database" v. 
"structured data" which are very different in some contexts)

Professor James Hendler			  Director
Joint Institute for Knowledge Discovery	  	  301-405-2696
UMIACS, Univ of Maryland			  301-314-9734 (Fax)
College Park, MD 20742	 		  http://www.cs.umd.edu/~hendler
Web Log: http://www.mindswap.org/blog/author/hendler
Received on Monday, 13 February 2006 21:43:35 UTC

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