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Comment on "Named Graphs, Provenance and Trust"

From: John Black <JohnBlack@deltek.com>
Date: Wed, 5 May 2004 19:25:04 -0400
Message-ID: <D3C8F903E7CC024C9DA6D900A60725D9057C2652@DLTKVMX1.ads.deltek.com>
To: <public-sw-meaning@w3.org>

I am excited by the paper, "Named Graphs, Provenance and Trust" - 
I think that the ideas in this paper solve several of the problems that 
have been discussed on this list in a elegant and compelling way.  But 
even more, a general method is proposed that can be used to solve many 
more problems.  Great kudos are due to the authors, IMHO. I hope work 
proceeds on this with all deliberate speed, as they say in the courts.

Using the ideas in this work, I can now resubmit a previous idea in 
these terms.  In addition to the performatives cited in this paper, 
asserting, promising, naming, marrying, etc., I would like to work out 
the syntax and semantics of a *defining* performative, if possible.  
This is what I previously referred to as a 'stipulative definition' or 
'stipulative ontology'.  What I am trying to get at intuitively is the 
ability to say, "When this term is used in this context it SHALL be 
interpreted to mean that".  And as a crude example of its use, imagine 
I had need to import two ontologies, one a universal business language 
ontology of commercial transactions, and the other, Bijan and Peter's 
alternative ontology of transactions, both of which contained some terms 
I needed but which had an incompatible "invoice" term that caused an 
ambiguity (inconsistency).  Now I want to be able to eliminate the 
ambiguity by stating that within this named graph, when the term 
"invoice" is used, it SHALL be interpreted according to the UBL ontology 
(or vice versa).

I'm also wondering if you all had thought out the implications of 
these ideas for the semantics of the actual web.  I mean, would it 
be better to view URIs and web sites as performatives? rather than 
as identifiers, names, or statements?  They seem to have something of
the same self-describing quality.  They mean what they return 
because they return what they mean.  

John Black
Senior Software Architect,
Time & Expense Collection Group,
Enterprise Systems Division,
Deltek Systems, Inc. www.deltek.com
Office: 703-885-9656
Mobile: 434-825-3765
Received on Wednesday, 5 May 2004 19:25:05 UTC

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