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RE: [WNET, PORT, OEP] Synset's and Classes - dumb question

From: Miles, AJ (Alistair) <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 5 May 2004 18:48:12 +0100
Message-ID: <350DC7048372D31197F200902773DF4C04944281@exchange11.rl.ac.uk>
To: "'public-swbp-wg@w3.org'" <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>, "'a.gangemi@istc.cnr.it'" <a.gangemi@istc.cnr.it>

Hi Aldo, all,

> >Is there a consensus view on the relationship between a 
> wordnet synset and
> >the class the synonyms names, i.e. is the synset containing 
> the word 'dog'
> >necessarily owl:sameAs the class of dogs?
> owl:sameAs applies to owl:Individuals, so you are asking a meta-level 
> question :)
> OK, my position is that - provided that we want to transform a 
> wordnet into a formal ontology - the semantic interpretation of 
> "synset" is that of an equivalence class of words/terms according to 
> a common intended meaning. Since "having a unique intended meaning" 
> is also applicable to classes, the *default* mapping of synsets is to 
> owl:Class.
> On the other hand, not only classes have a unique intended meaning, 
> but also individuals, and as a matter of fact, many synsets refer to 
> individuals like "Italy" or "Cicero". That's why "synset" hasn't a 
> precise mapping to formal ontologies. Then, your dog example is 
> correct, but not "necessarily".

The skos:Concept class [1] is there to type something that has a unique
intended meaning, but is not necessarily a class or an individual.  Do you
think it is appropriate to map synsets onto skos:Concepts?

Dan Brickley and I were discussing this sort of thing recently.  We wanted
to be able to express the relationship between for example the concept that
I label with the word 'dog', and the class of dogs.  There are some
philosophical and (far more tractable) practical issues that arise if you
alow these two nodes to be merged (i.e. if you use owl:sameAs).  We arrived
at a tentative suggestion to introduce a predicate into the SKOS vocab,
called skos:conceptualises (or something along the same lines).  So e.g.

[	a	skos:Concept;
	skos:prefLabel	'dogs';
	skos:altLabel	'mutts';]
[	a	owl:Class;
	rdfs:label		'The class of all dogs';]

I keep trying to write this idea up, but the emails get so long think no one
will ever get to the end of them!  Anyway, this is a strawman, what do you


[1] http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe/reports/thes/1.0/guide/
Received on Wednesday, 5 May 2004 13:48:45 UTC

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