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

Re: XML vs. RDF

From: William Bug <William.Bug@DrexelMed.edu>
Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2006 12:49:51 -0400
Message-Id: <09DDDE92-3E92-4DDB-BF02-4E7E9859219F@DrexelMed.edu>
Cc: Phillip Lord <phillip.lord@newcastle.ac.uk>, w3c semweb hcls <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
To: jbarkley@nist.gov
Thanks for your feedback, John.

Please see below for comments.

Cheers,
Bill

On Jul 8, 2006, at 9:16 AM, jbarkley@nist.gov wrote:

> Bill,
>
> To your point:
>
>> A lot of the counter arguments to these statements come
>> down to:
>> 	I) if you try to perform semantically-based
> KE/KR/KD
>> with XML-only,
>> you will have a lot more code to write & maintain
>> YOURSELF - and much
>> of it will reproduce what you'd get automatically using
>> RDF++.  	
>
> I would add that not only is a matter of specialized code
> for each schema (or collections of schemas), there is also
> the supporting theoretical work for the schemas'
> specialized reasoner implementations. It's kind of handy
> to know that a reasoner will reach a conclusion after a
> finite amount of time. There is 15 years of work in
> Description Logic to support the algorithms within RDF++
> reasoners. For example, one knows that OWL DL reasoners,
> e.g., racer, will stop.

Exactly!  There are well studied practical implications involved,  
many of which have been considered over the many years these issues  
have been under consideration the DL field.  The RDF++ specs and  
tools developed over the last 8+ years have been informed by this work.

>
> Even if some don't care about subsumption (i.e., which
> classes are subclasses of others, and which individuals
> belong to which classes), I would think that everyone
> would care about higher quality. Those who choose XML,
> UML, or Relational DBs (for whatever reason) can benefit
> from creating an ontological representation of their
> information model. This ontology can include defined
> classes representing queries. Automated consistency
> checking of this ontology greatly increases assurance that
> the information model is correct.

At BIRN, we've had to make quite a substantial resource investment  
providing semantic maps for the dozens of data models across the  
various BIRN participating projects in order to ensure the BIRN  
mediator will be able to resolve semantic queries.  This is a brittle  
and labor intensive process, as many on this have probably learned  
the hard way.  We've made substantial progress on this task over the  
past 2 years, and the process is becoming more systematic.  As you  
say, in doing this, you not only make it possible to map semantically- 
oriented queries to the constituent, physical RDBMSes, you also  
inform the local DBAs & domain experts on how best to model their  
info in the database.

>
> jb
>

Bill Bug
Senior Analyst/Ontological Engineer

Laboratory for Bioimaging  & Anatomical Informatics
www.neuroterrain.org
Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
Drexel University College of Medicine
2900 Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA    19129
215 991 8430 (ph)
610 457 0443 (mobile)
215 843 9367 (fax)


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Received on Saturday, 8 July 2006 16:50:06 GMT

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