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Re: When does a document acquire (web) semantics?

From: Chimezie Ogbuji <ogbujic@ccf.org>
Date: Tue, 02 Feb 2010 10:23:22 -0500
To: "John Madden" <john.madden@duke.edu>, "Pat Hayes" <phayes@ihmc.us>
cc: "w3c semweb HCLS" <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C78DAD9A.F943%ogbujic@ccf.org>
On 2/2/10 8:25 AM, "John Madden" <john.madden@duke.edu> wrote:
> In the interim, the closest we can come to named graphs currently seems to be
> the RDF document as a unit of communication. Most of the work in HCLS has so
> far has focused on the benefits you can get from aggregation, i.e. from
> specifically treating RDF documents as having no distinct identity one from
> another. For the clinical (as opposed to the research) use case, we do need to
> start thinking about ways to use RDF documents that preserve their identify
> qua documents.

There are some useful recipes for this that can be captured to help
capturing the identity of RDF documents in re-usable ways.  The empty
relative URI reference is an example.  In an RDF document, if the URI of a
term in a statement is an empty URI reference, then - via the rules of URI
resolution - the empty reference becomes the 'base URI of the document'.
You can use this shorthand to make statements about the containing RDF graph
/ document and as the name of a graph in a dataset.  And you can do this
without necessarily minting a name for the graph / document until you are
ready to give it a web presence (if a base URI isn't specified, it becomes
the location from where the document is fetched).  So a document like this:

<> a :patient-record;
   :record-for 
      [ foaf:mbox <mailto:ogbujic@ccf.org>;
        foaf:name "Chime Ogbuji" ] ;
   :abstractedFrom <urn:some-hospital-information-system>;
   :abstractedBy <urn:some-clinician>;
   dc:date 2010-02-02;
   :has_part 
     [ a :SystolicBloodPressureMeasurement; rdf:value "..."^^xsd:float  ],
     [ a :DiastolicBloodPressureMeasurement; rdf:value "..."^^xsd:float ]

Can have other statements about medical encounters for this patient,
however, these statements can be distinguished from the others as statements
about the RDF document / graph and can then be used to 'find' provenance
information such as authorship, the web location of the document, etc.

Now, if you store this RDF graph in a dataset where the URIs of the graphs
correspond to the base URI of the RDF documents, then you can also use this
alias (which is similar to 'this' or 'self' in java and python,
respectively) to quickly identify graphs that match a criteria and return
statements made about those graphs (including the name of the graph for
subsequent re-use) and this can be done very efficiently (mostly because of
the semantics of the GRAPH operator and the way it slices up the search
space).

SELECT ?HYPERTENSIVE_PERSON ?SOURCE ?DOCUMENT ?WHO
{
  GRAPH ?DOCUMENT {
    []  a :DiastolicBloodPressureMeasurement ;
        rdf:value ?SYS
    FILTER(?SYS > 100)
    ?DOCUMENT :record-for [ foaf:mbox ?HYPERTENSIVE_PERSON_EMAIL];
              :abstractedFrom ?SOURCE;
              :abstractedBy ?WHO
  }
} 

Where ?DOCUMENT is a URI that is a) the location of the medical record that
was entered by ?WHO, b) the name of the corresponding RDF graph,  3) and it
identifies a 'patient record' with other useful statements about it.

This has been a very useful framework for (efficiently) identifying patients
by various criteria using an RDF query across RDF datasets organized in this
way.

----------------------
Chime (chee-meh) Ogbuji (oh-bu-gee)
Heart and Vascular Institute (Clinical Investigations)
Architect / Informatician
Cleveland Clinic (ogbujic@ccf.org)
Ph.D. Student Case Western Reserve University
(chimezie.thomas-ogbuji@case.edu)


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Received on Tuesday, 2 February 2010 15:24:13 GMT

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