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Re: owl:sameAs - Is it used in a right way?

From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2013 19:14:15 -0400
Message-ID: <CAFKQJ8k2-DUjef6WjyWLAX1KZ8etGq_q9MuHB=w1sJchvS-s3A@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jim McCusker <mccusj@rpi.edu>
Cc: Andrea Splendiani <andrea.splendiani@deri.org>, David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, Jeremy J Carroll <jjc@syapse.com>, Umutcan ŞİMŞEK <s.umutcan@gmail.com>, Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>, w3c semweb HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
Can someone *please* tell me what a context is??

My null hypothesis is that when someone says "context" they either don't
know what they are talking about, or are too lazy to say. Both these cases
are deadly for clear communication on the web.


On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 6:54 PM, Jim McCusker <mccusj@rpi.edu> wrote:

> If you want to use a common context, use the same URI, but if you don't,
> then don't. I have a paper in submission to ICBO about aggregating facts
> from specializations, I won't go into details but I can send it along if
> anyone's interested.
> Jim
> On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 10:05 AM, Andrea Splendiani <
> andrea.splendiani@deri.org> wrote:
>> HI,
>> From what you say, it looks more as if the apple is the same, but
>> perspective on the apple are different. So same URI and different graphs
>> seem a more clean approach.
>> Using different URIs works as well in practice. But I'm a bit confused on
>> how you make the generalization step. Who is saying that my apple and your
>> apple are all narrower than a generic apple ? (we need this step if we
>> don't want an autistic web). Again, it probably depends on a context, which
>> leads to having graphs expressing contexts anyway.
>> Or how do you reconcile different URIs from different understanding of
>> the same thing ?
>> Also, it looks to me that it's easy to have a URI explosion, if we choose
>> different URIs to identify different perspectives on the same thing.
>> Say we have a URI for a person, and to talk about this person when young
>> and when old we use two different URIs. But than, when do we stop ? What if
>> we have a URI per year ? Per day ? ...
>> best,
>> Andrea
>> Il giorno 17/mar/2013, alle ore 04:34, Jim McCusker <mccusj@rpi.edu>
>>  ha scritto:
>> Hmm. In the end, all three of them are talking about the same apple.
>> Either a) the apple changed (they do that), or b) someone got it wrong (Is
>> a McIntosh a red apple or green apple? It's kind of both).
>> This of course goes to my general assertion that most of the time,
>> disjointness assertions are more likely to be wrong than right, but this
>> isn't about that. There is an apple, and all three people agree they are
>> talking about the same apple. It may have changed, or someone was color
>> blind, or looking at a colorized black and white photo when they decided
>> what color it was. This is, more than anything, why, unless you know that
>> the referent is that same AND the contextual scope is the same, it's better
>> to mint your own URI and link out using altOf and specOf, rather than
>> making assertions using someone else's resource.
>> Jim
>> On Sun, Mar 17, 2013 at 12:20 AM, David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:
>>> Hi Jim,
>>> On 03/16/2013 12:37 PM, Jim McCusker wrote:
>>>> I'm not terribly interested in a Humpty Dumpty interpretation of the web
>>>> of data.
>>> Well, you'd better get used to it, because that interpretation is
>>> standard RDF Semantics.  I don't think it's going away any time soon.
>>>  That's part of the motivation for having global identifiers
>>>> like URIs/URLs.
>>> Exactly!  That's why the idea that "a URI identifies one resource" is "a
>>> good goal, and helpful as a guide to URI users", even though it is not
>>> actually true.
>>>  There's no point in merging ANY graphs under this view,
>>>> since you have no way of knowing if the referents are the same.
>>> Not true!  Don't throw the baby out with the bath.  When you merge
>>> graphs, you force the referents to be the same.  Sometimes the merge works
>>> fine, and sometimes the merge becomes inconsistent.  Just because you
>>> cannot *always* merge two graphs without causing inconsistency does not
>>> mean that merging is pointless.  It just means that *some* graphs can be
>>> merged and others cannot.  That is only a problem if your expectations of
>>> being able to merge any two graphs are set unrealistically high.
>>>  I'm not
>>>> saying that people don't denote different things with the same URI, I'm
>>>> saying that, by using a URI that someone else controls, you are
>>>> accepting their denotation of it.
>>> You're preaching to the choir on that one!  I certainly agree with that
>>> architecture, but that is only part of the story.  The problem is that
>>> there is inherent ambiguity about the resource that a URI denotes.  This is
>>> inescapable.  And it means that two different, well-intentioned RDF authors
>>> can reasonably interpret a URI's resource identity differently, and those
>>> differences can cause conflicts to show up when their graphs are merged.
>>> As a simple example, suppose Owen, a URI owner, mints a URI :apple to
>>> denote an apple.  As the URI's owner, he defines the URI's resource
>>> identity using the following RDF statements:
>>>   # Owen's definition of :apple
>>>   @prefix : <http://example/owen/> .
>>>   :apple a :Apple .
>>> Arthur, a URI author, then publishes his own RDF statements about Owen's
>>> apple (standard prefix definitions omitted for brevity):
>>>   # Arthur's statements about Owen's apple
>>>   @prefix : <http://example/owen/> .
>>>   :apple a :GreenApple .
>>>   :GreenApple rdfs:subClassOf :Apple .
>>> Note that Arthur's statements are entirely consistent with Owen's
>>> definition of :apple .
>>> Now Aster, another URI author, also publishes some RDF statements about
>>> Owen's apple.  She also uses Owen's apple definition, but has no knowledge
>>> of Arthur's statements.  Aster writes:
>>>   # Aster's statements about Owen's apple
>>>   @prefix : <http://example/owen/> .
>>>   :apple a :RedApple .
>>>   :RedApple rdfs:subClassOf :Apple .
>>>   :RedApple owl:disjointWith :GreenApple .
>>> Note that Aster's statements are also consistent with Owen's definition
>>> of :apple.
>>> Finally, Connie, an RDF consumer, discovers Arthur and Aster's graphs
>>> and wishes to merge them.  Unfortunately, the merge is inconsistent,
>>> It is tempting to assume that someone did something "wrong" here.  For
>>> example, one might claim that Owen's definition was ambiguous, or that
>>> Arthur and Aster should not have made assumptions about the color of Owen's
>>> apple if Owen did not state the color in his definition.  Indeed, in this
>>> simple example it is easy to see where the conflicting assumptions crept
>>> in.  In real life, when you're dealing with thousands or millions of RDF
>>> statements, it is usually far more subtle.
>>> One might also assume that color is an intrinsic property of the apple,
>>> and hence is somehow different from other properties that one might assert.
>>>  Imagine instead that Arthur had stated ":apple a :GoodFruit" and Aster had
>>> stated ":apple a :BadFruit" (assuming :GoodFruit owl:disjointWith
>>> :BadFruit).  The result would have been the same when Connie attempted to
>>> merge their graphs.  Since, AFAIK, there is no objective way to distinguish
>>> between intrinsic properties and non-intrinsic properties, the color
>>> example should suffice.
>>> The real problem is that *any* time you make an RDF statement about a
>>> resource, and that statement goes beyond what was said in the resource
>>> definition, you further constrain the identity of that resource, whether
>>> you mean to or not.  I.e., you further constrain the set of satisfying
>>> interpretations.
>>> I submit that neither Owen nor Arthur nor Aster did anything
>>> fundamentally wrong.  Owen was not wrong, because it is fundamentally
>>> impossible for Owen to be completely unambiguous about :apple's resource
>>> identity.  And Arthur and Aster did nothing fundamentally wrong, because:
>>> (a) they simply made statements about :apple ; and (b) AFAICT there is no
>>> fundamental difference between statements that constrain a resource's
>>> identity and any other statements about that resource.  In RDF semantics,
>>> they all simply add constraints to the possible interpretations.
>>> The problem is just that Arthur and Aster happened to (unknowingly) make
>>> conflicting statements about :apple .  There's no need to cry foul here.
>>>  We just have to learn to live with this possibility.  And one good
>>> technique is what Jeremy suggested: keep different perspectives in
>>> different graphs, and only join them if you need to.
>>> David
>> --
>> Jim McCusker
>> Programmer Analyst
>> Krauthammer Lab, Pathology Informatics
>> Yale School of Medicine
>> james.mccusker@yale.edu | (203) 785-4436
>> http://krauthammerlab.med.yale.edu
>> PhD Student
>> Tetherless World Constellation
>> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
>> mccusj@cs.rpi.edu
>> http://tw.rpi.edu
>> --
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> --
> Jim McCusker
> Programmer Analyst
> Krauthammer Lab, Pathology Informatics
> Yale School of Medicine
> james.mccusker@yale.edu | (203) 785-4436
> http://krauthammerlab.med.yale.edu
> PhD Student
> Tetherless World Constellation
> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
> mccusj@cs.rpi.edu
> http://tw.rpi.edu
Received on Sunday, 17 March 2013 23:15:12 UTC

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