W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org > February 2006

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

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2006 16:24:01 -0600
Message-Id: <p0623090ac016b66d2a32@[]>
To: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
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)

Well, OK, but those categories don't exhaust the 
possibilities. What about NL text with RDF-based 
XML markup? What about XHTML with RDF markup? 
What about common logic text? What about free 
text that has an associated lexicon which is 
linked to concepts described by an OWL ontology? 


>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)
>   -JH
>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

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Received on Monday, 13 February 2006 22:24:20 UTC

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