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Re: owl:sameAs - Harmful to provenance?

From: Joanne Luciano <jluciano@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2013 13:53:18 -0400
Message-Id: <437477A3-5011-4D3D-8482-3746C091B12E@rpi.edu>
To: "public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org hcls" <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
When someone feels motivated, it would be great to have this thread summarized (into a paper?) 
Great to see the discussion.

I've only looked at a small fraction of the email messages that were posted, so I may have missed this, was there any mention of tools that would pick up potential problems (I suppose one could "grep" for any use of sameAs  :-)
So, some summary guidelines (or rules) -- when to use, when not to use, and how to tell the difference (since you can't predict future contexts or uses).

I'd like to bring attention to the Ontology Summit - some of you may not be aware of it.  All presentations are recorded and available as well as the online chat that runs during the conversation (similar to ZAKIM). 

Your expertise would be appreciated in the upcoming hackathon:  


I will to post this in its own thread.  For those who don't know, the ontology summit meets thursday (check the page for your local time) and
the topic this year is on evaluation across the ontology life cycle.  

Some of you may appreciate my most quoted quote by Einstein

	"In theory, theory and practice are the same.  In practice, they're not."

So much depends on context. It's context that gives the meaning (outside of the formal semantics).  This is what lead me to create the approach known 
as GOEF, the generalized ontology evaluation framework, which we're using in the iChoose project at SUNY Albany to help drive the ontology development.

Kind regards,

Joanne S. Luciano, PhD                                    			Tetherless World Constellation 
Research Associate Professor						Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Deputy Director, Web Science Research Center		110 8th Street, Winslow 2143                     
Email: jluciano@rpi.edu							Troy, NY 12180, USA 
Office Tel. +1.518.276.4939                              			Global Tel. +1.617.440.4364 (skypeIn)

On Mar 28, 2013, at 9:22 AM, Michel Dumontier <michel.dumontier@gmail.com>

> 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.
> +1
> m.
>> 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.
> michael (from Germany ;)
> [1] http://www.w3.org/TR/skos-reference/#mapping
>> Jeremy J Carroll
>> Principal Architect
>> Syapse, Inc.
> -- 
> Dr. Michael Erdmann   |    erdmann@diqa-pm.com    |   +49 151 6140 1790
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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
> http://dumontierlab.com
Received on Thursday, 28 March 2013 17:53:49 UTC

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