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Re: [BioRDF] URI Resolution

From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2007 23:31:36 -0500
Message-Id: <A3796EF6-4D20-49AC-AFAC-3B37BB3133F4@gmail.com>
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
To: Xiaoshu Wang <wangxiao@musc.edu>

On Feb 2, 2007, at 10:24 AM, Xiaoshu Wang wrote:

> I am very doubtful about the practicality of such an ontology.  
> First, consider the size.  RDF is all about URI.  If an RDF  
> document has n statement, there will be 3n URIs.  If k statements  
> are needed to describe the resolution of one URI, the solution  
> unnecessarily increased the KB k-fold.  Image the load for an RDF  
> engine, the impact will be even bigger.  In theory, this seems O.K.  
> but in practice, I have serious doubt.

Remember that we are using OWL, which has inheritence. Using an owl  
hasValue restriction we can have a set of triples specified once, but  
with the reasoner have be as if each instance has those triples[1].  
BTW, I will anticipate the complaint about the OWL reasoner's  
heaviness. Although we are prototyping with OWL, it may very well be  
that the constructs we need for this task form a much simpler logic  
that is tractable[2], or even fairly trivial to work with. For  
instance, it may be that the run time "reasoner" only has to deal  
with following subclass, subproperty, and propagating the  
consequences of hasValue restrictions, and a full fledged reasoner is  
only used to validate the resolution ontology when it is changed.

> In terms of URI's stability, I think what is important will always  
> be taken care of. And so what is broken is not important and just  
> let it be. As for our brain, forgetting isn't necessarily a bad  
> thing.  Broken URIs will not necessarily a bad thing for the health  
> of web either.  For me, it is more appropriate to discuss the  
> problem in a social, but not technical, context.

A good solution has both components. One of the things that RDF/OWL  
gives us is a way to encode what the results of our social  
conventions are. I couldn't agree more that at the basis we need to  
have a shared understanding of what the problems are, and about the  
various policies people have when dealing with it. I would argue that  
a mechanism such as the one we propose will allow for *more* social  
conventions, because we are not locked into a model where only the  
W3C defines protocols. And once those policies are agreed upon,  
encoding the results in RDF/OWL gives us two benefits: First, we are  
forced to be very explicit about what our decisions are, and often  
that has the result of discovering problems. Solving the resultant  
problems can lead to an even better solution. Second, when the end  
result of our agreement is encoded in a representation language, it  
is immediately available to be used by automated systems.

Regards,
Alan

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/owl-ref/#hasValue-def
[2] http://owl1_1.cs.manchester.ac.uk/tractable.html
Received on Sunday, 4 February 2007 04:31:56 GMT

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