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Re: My task from last week: Semantic free identifiers

From: Andrea Splendiani <andrea.splendiani@bbsrc.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 18:26:56 +0000
Message-ID: <339406501843878@jngomktg.net>
To: Helena Deus <helenadeus@gmail.com>
Cc: Matt Vagnoni <matthew.vagnoni@uth.tmc.edu>, Michel_Dumontier <Michel_Dumontier@carleton.ca>, "Sivaram Arabandi, MD" <sivaram.arabandi@gmail.com>, "M. Scott Marshall" <mscottmarshall@gmail.com>, Chime Ogbuji <chimezie@gmail.com>, "andrea splendiani (RRes-Roth)" <andrea.splendiani@rothamsted.ac.uk>, "MMVagnoni@mdanderson.org" <MMVagnoni@mdanderson.org>, James Malone <malone@ebi.ac.uk>, HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>
Hi,

I think there is some confusion going on on the subject.

We need to name things in an unique way. In many cases codes are just the
best option. No wonder we all have tax-codes and the like, it's easier than
to try to find a unique name based on some attributes.

The case of terminologies is an interesting case, as we need to name terms.
There is a temptation to use the 'face value' of the term as a name, as
opposed to a code. The former is clearly opening the doors for ambiguities,
in this context.

Beside terminologies, there are many other cases where you name thing:

rdf:type

owl:Class

Is there a need for these to be semantically opaque ? I don't think so, they
are good for mnemonics and the formal meaning is clearly defined elsewhere.

The original thread didn't start from somebody questioning GO terms... but
the need to replace 'partOf' with a code.

To tell a funny story... I have an (unrelated) homonymous in my home town
(which is a bit weird given the size of the town and the frequency of my
last name). Given the identifier clash... I ended up receiving funny things,
like love letters or urgent calls from unknowns... (not sure I missed some
as well...).
Now, when i went to register a website, which one would be better:
mydomain/AndreaSplendiani
mydomain/001

I cannot really see any reason for the latter, and several reasons against
it. 
Does mydomain/001 protects friend and lovers of my homonymous from confusion
? Most likely not.

ciao,
Andrea


Il giorno 21/giu/2011, alle ore 18.46, Helena Deus ha scritto:

> Other standards (outside of semantic web) saw the need to rely on numeric
identifiers, even if that created a burden for their users 
> e.g. in SNOMED Lung = T-28000
> 
> Of course it is a pain to query SNOMED with "all the diseases that affect
T-28000". 
> But the fact is that despite the inconvenience of having to fetch that
identifier prior to the query, SNOMED is widely used. 
> 
> What is so special about semantic web identifiers that they don't need to
follow the same path?

Andrea Splendiani
Senior Bioinformatics Scientist
Centre for Mathematical and Computational Biology
+44(0)1582 763133 ext 2004
andrea.splendiani@bbsrc.ac.uk
Received on Tuesday, 21 June 2011 18:28:06 UTC

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