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Re: seeks input on Study Data Exchange Standards An alternative approach

From: <Peter.Hendler@kp.org>
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2012 15:11:23 -0700
To: david@dbooth.org
Cc: helena.deus@deri.org, kerstin.l.forsberg@gmail.com, LINMD.SIMON@mcrf.mfldclin.edu, meadch@mail.nih.gov, mscottmarshall@gmail.com, public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org, ratnesh.sahay@deri.org
Message-ID: <OF5CBF3DF3.202A8FF4-ON88257A61.00791CF5-88257A61.0079E3EB@kp.org>
That's actually quite interesting and clarifies a foggy little place in my 
head.  It does bring up the question of "who knows when to use the RDF 
they find as Open or Closed world?.  It might be something that only 
depends on what you, the user, want out of it.  I don't know if you'd 
always have to know under what circumstances it was collected.  For 
example, all created by one person or collected over the internet by 
anyone who wanted to contribute to it.

If it was "created" open world, and queried closed world, or visa versa, 
would that matter much?

Now FHIR is specifically a very interesting case and might be an 
exception.  FHIR is closed world in it's creation. It is very carefully 
created by a close group of authors that are working together and 
agreeing. So it is definitely closed world.  Maybe it is safe to use RDF 
with closed world queries in this case because it is already known to be 
closed world.  You do have the "unique naming assumption" in play for 

In other words, my question is.  Can you use RDF in a closed world way 
when ever you want, or is it only safe when the model you're dealing with, 
like FHIR, really is known to be closed world?

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David Booth <david@dbooth.org> 
08/21/2012 02:33 PM

mscottmarshall@gmail.com, helena.deus@deri.org, 
kerstin.l.forsberg@gmail.com, LINMD.SIMON@mcrf.mfldclin.edu, 
meadch@mail.nih.gov, public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org, ratnesh.sahay@deri.org
Re: seeks input on Study Data Exchange Standards  An alternative  approach

Hi Peter,

Very nice observations!  I wholeheartedly agree with your basic thesis,
but I would quibble with one off-hand remark . . . 

On Tue, 2012-08-21 at 08:47 -0700, Peter.Hendler@kp.org wrote:
> Sorry I didn't make the meeting but just looked at the minutes. 
> We (Kaiser) do use the Ontology features of SNOMED extensively and
> have a different take on how it should be done. 
> Specifically we would not advocate for example, putting FHIR in RDF or
> OWL.  What we've found to be simple, useful, and very clean is to
> recognize the two different kinds of logic involved. 
> And keep them isolated to different parts of the model. 
> Intensional  (like OWL, Open World, Reasoners and inferences) 
> Extensional (like HL7 openEHR all Object Oriented models, all
> databases) 

While I completely agree with the basic idea of being selective in the
use of inference, and in your rule-of-thumb in separating intensional
from extensional, I disagree that putting FHIR in RDF would be a bad

Representing data in RDF does not mean that any sort of inference
*must* be done, though it does enable inference if you *choose* to do
so.   RDF can certainly be used merely as a flexible, schema-less data
model, using the closed world assumption (CWA), purely for data
integration purposes, and it is very good for this.  But it is important
to know which data is being used this way and which is being used under
the open world assumption, and I think your observations on this are
very good.

Best wishes,

David Booth, Ph.D.

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of his employer.
Received on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 22:12:20 UTC

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