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Re: owl:sameAs - Harmful to provenance?

From: Michel Dumontier <michel.dumontier@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2013 09:22:52 -0400
Message-ID: <CALcEXf6h5PveLFo+yC-u_w9jjR0PerRLw9n6H3mYApcGbTsTCw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Michael Erdmann <erdmann@diqa-pm.com>
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org
On Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 4:31 AM, Michael Erdmann <erdmann@diqa-pm.com>wrote:

>  On 28.03.2013 06:18, Jeremy J Carroll wrote:
> I rather liked the GOTO/owl:sameAs presentation …
> and I am not sure that the problem can be explained away as modeling errors.
> To me it does seem that there is a case to answer … modeling is necessarily approximate and  it is not realistic to expect equality up to some approximation to be an equivalence relation.
> Yet the Semantic Web is about linking together many somewhat approximate models.
>  Agreed, but owl:sameAs, has a very strict semantics and cannot be
> mis-interpreted. There are other, better fitting standardized properties
> which have fewer implications but nevertheless, are grounded in the OWL
> semantics. The SKOS specification introduces mapping properties to align
> concepts [1]. The spec says:
> "The property skos:exactMatch is used to link two concepts, indicating a
> high degree of confidence that the concepts can be used interchangeably
> across a wide range of information retrieval applications. skos:exactMatch
> is a transitive property ... and an instance of owl:SymmetricProperty"
> The effect of A owl:sameAs B is, that A and B become two names for the
> same thing, thus statements about A and B are merged and provenance
> information is lost. After stating A skos:exactMatch B (and also A
> skos:closeMatch B, for that matter) there are still two things with
> statements about them coming from different sources.
> Thus, there is nothing wrong with the semantics of owl:sameAs, only in the
> way it is used. We should try to use more appropriate language in our RDF
> models, in order for application developers to create useful applications
> that interpret the models in a standards-conform way. In the end, that is
> why we have (and want) a formally defined semantics of a language.


>  I also rather liked the title because I used a similar title on the 9th of November, 1989, at a presentation in Saarbrücken, Germany. My title was [Graph] "unification considered harmful". Given the date and location it was the least well chosen title I have ever used.
>  LOL
> michael (from Germany ;)
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/skos-reference/#mapping
>  Jeremy J Carroll
> Principal Architect
> Syapse, Inc.
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Michel Dumontier
Associate Professor of Bioinformatics, Carleton University
Chair, W3C Semantic Web for Health Care and the Life Sciences Interest Group
Received on Thursday, 28 March 2013 13:23:42 UTC

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