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Re: Opening Walled Gardens: RDF / Linked Data as the Universal Exchange Language of Healthcare

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2013 11:20:17 -0500
To: "Sivaram Arabandi, MD" <sivaram.arabandi@gmail.com>
Cc: RebholzSchuhmann <d.rebholz.schuhmann@gmail.com>, Joanne Luciano <jluciano@gmail.com>, public-semweb-lifesci <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, Michel Dumontier <michel.dumontier@gmail.com>, Conor Dowling <conor-dowling@caregraf.com>, Rafael Richards <rmrich5@gmail.com>
Message-ID: <1358266817.31285.78083.camel@dbooth-laptop>
Hi Sivaram,

On Tue, 2013-01-15 at 09:03 -0600, Sivaram Arabandi, MD wrote:
> Agree with this and want to add one more - this statement from the document:
>  	"Meaningful Use currently mandates a patchwork of idiosyncratic
> formats, such as HL7, CCD/ C32, CCR, NCPDP SCRIPT, C-CDA and QRDA.
> While such formats provide a degree of machine processability, in
> comparison, RDF offers significant advantages:"
> 	- How can you compare RDF to these models? Surely you can serialize
> data that conforms to these standards into RDF, no? 

Absolutely!  And it is true that RDF is a syntax-independent modeling
framework, whereas those are specific document formats, so comparing
them is a bit of apples to oranges.  But in a practical sense they get
compared because people are deciding which way to go, and it is a rare
(and insightful) person who recognizes that *any* format can be treated
as a serialization of RDF.  So you're right that comparing them directly
is a bit of a simplification.  It would have been nice to discuss this,
but it is the kind of thing that would take a fair amount of
explanation, as it is somewhat subtle, so it seemed beyond what we could
do in a short document in this amount of time.  (But definitely a worthy
thing to do!)

Furthermore, comparisons of why RDF is better than some other
information representation (such as XML) are rarely black and white.
This also makes explanation more difficult, because instead of saying "B
cannot do X, but A can" -- which requires little explanation -- we end
up having to say "X is *easier* to do in A than in B", and then we have
to explain in detail *why* it is easier, and it is often hard to
convince people who are accustomed to using B and have no experience
with A.  As a community, we really need to continue improving these
explanations.  But in the end, the most convincing are real life
testaments from those who have done it and demonstrated the value.  The
more of these we can collect the better.  If we had had more time, we
really should have referenced some of the demonstrated RDF successes to
date.  :(

BTW, as a reminder, if anyone has an RDF success story they'd be willing
to publish as a case study, the W3C has been collecting them here:


> thanks
> Sivaram
> ___________________________________
> Sivaram Arabandi, MD, MS
> www.ontopro.com
> T  832.726.2322 
> E  s.arabandi@ontopro.com
> Think Semantics. Tame Silos.
> On Jan 15, 2013, at 6:58 AM, RebholzSchuhmann wrote:
> > Hi,
> > 
> > don't know how someone reads this, who does not know all these benefits anyways. Reads as if you are selling RDF to somebody who knows half-way the benefits of RDF.
> > It would have made sense to be more precise on the privacy and security issues. Neither RDF nor XML have been developed to address privacy / security, and either one is highly important in healthcare systems.  Do you have even stronger arguments for privacy and security issues?
> > 
> > Hope this helps.
> > 
> >    -drs-
> > 
> > On 15/01/2013 12:41, Joanne Luciano wrote:
> >> Thanks for doing this.
> >> Joanne
> >> 
> >> Sent from my iPhone
> >> 
> >> On Jan 15, 2013, at 7:21 AM, David Booth<david@dbooth.org>  wrote:
> >> 
> >>> FYI, here is the comment that Rafael, Michel, Conor and I submitted to
> >>> the US government Office of the National Coordinator for Health
> >>> Information Technology, in response to their RFC on "Meaningful Use"
> >>> requirements, proposing RDF / Linked Data as a universal exchange
> >>> language of healthcare:
> >>> http://dbooth.org/2013/mu/MU-Stage3-RFC-Simple-Response.pdf
> >>> 
> >>> Although it is too late to change that submitted comment (as the
> >>> deadline was last night), we would still appreciate any feedback or
> >>> suggestions for improvement, as I'm sure we will have to make these
> >>> arguments and explanations many more times in the future.
> >>> 
> >>> Thanks!
> >>> 
> >>> -- 
> >>> David Booth, Ph.D.
> >>> http://dbooth.org/
> >>> 
> >>> Loss of web prodigy Aaron Swartz: http://tinyurl.com/ahe2k8c
> >>> 
> >>> Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
> >>> reflect those of his employer.
> >>> 
> >>> 
> > 
> > -- 
> > D. Rebholz-Schuhmann - mailto:d.rebholz.schuhmann@gmail.com
> > 
> > 

David Booth, Ph.D.

Loss of web prodigy Aaron Swartz: http://tinyurl.com/ahe2k8c

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of his employer.
Received on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 16:20:48 UTC

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