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RE: comment - RDFTM: Survey of Interoperability Proposals

From: Uschold, Michael F <michael.f.uschold@boeing.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2005 09:28:24 -0800
Message-ID: <823043AB1B52784D97754D186877B6CF0583C351@xch-nw-12.nw.nos.boeing.com>
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Cc: <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>

I meant to send this to the list.

Mike
=====


From: "Uschold, Michael F" <michael.f.uschold@boeing.com>
Subject: RE: comment - RDFTM: Survey of Interoperability Proposals
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2005 13:03:18 -0800

> Even if Peter was a great fan of Topic Maps, he raises important 
> issues that should be carefully considered and addressed, as
necessary.
> 
> Translations will only be as accurate as the understanding of the 
> people who specify semantic mappings. The accuracy and reliability of 
> the mappings and thus the translators is reduced by the extent to 
> which ambiguity remains in the specs.
> 
> Mike
> 
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider [mailto:pfps@research.bell-labs.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2005 6:26 AM
> To: public-swbp-wg@w3.org
> Subject: comment - RDFTM: Survey of Interoperability Proposals
> 
> 
> 
> This is collection of comments on RDFTM: Survey of Interoperability 
> Proposals 
> http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/BestPractices/RDFTM/survey-2005-02-24.
> 
> 
> First, however, a disclaimer:  I am a long-time skeptic of the entire 
> Topic Maps paradigm.  I have tried several times to determine whether 
> there is something interesting in Topic Maps and each time I have been

> unsuccessful. My skepticism colors many of these comments.
> 
> 
> The first problem that I see with the document is that it doesn't 
> define the two paradigms.  There are no references to any of the 
> defining RDF documents.  There are several references that could be 
> considered to be defining Topic Maps - however, these do not show up 
> until very late in the text and thus cannot be considered to be a 
> definition for the purposes of this document.
> 
> This lack of a definition matters for reasons from both the RDF and 
> the Topic Maps side.  RDF has undergone a significant change in the 
> last few years from a pre-theoretic language with no firm foundation 
> (see Resource Description Framework (RDF) Model and Syntax 
> Specification
> http://www.w3.org/TR/1999/REC-rdf-syntax-19990222/) to a full-fledged
> logic (see RDF Semantics http://www.w3.org/TR/rdf-mt/).  Which version
> of RDF is meant in the document?  Which version of RDF to the
> interoperability proposals refer to?  As well, what is the place of
RDFS
> in the document? Is it included?  Is it excluded?  
> 
> Topic Maps also are undergoing change, from the ISO definition 
> (ISO/IEC 13250:2000 Topic Maps: Information Technology -- Document 
> Description and Markup Languages, Michel Biezunski, Martin Bryan, 
> Steven R. Newcomb, ed., 3 Dec 1999.  
> http://www.y12.doe.gov/sgml/sc34/document/0129.pdf) to some recent 
> draft proposals (Garshol, Lars Marius; Moore, Graham: ISO/IEC 13250: 
> Topic Maps - Data Model (Final Committee Draft, 2005) 
> http://www.isotopicmaps.org/sam/sam-model/ and Durusau, Patrick; 
> Newcomb, Steven R.: ISO/IEC 13250: Topic Maps - Reference Model 
> (Working Draft,
> 2004) http://www.isotopicmaps.org/tmmm/TMMM-4.6/TMMM-4.6.html).  Which
> version of Topic Maps is under consideration?  Does it matter?
> 
> 
> The second problem is that many of the interoperability proposals 
> predate the finalization of the RDF Semantics.  Their current 
> applicability is thus very suspect.  The document needs to carefully 
> consider this aspect of each proposal.
> 
> 
> The third problem is that RDF and Topic Maps belong to different 
> categories, at least so far as I can determine.  RDF is now a 
> formally-specified logic with a model-theoretic semantics.  Topic Maps

> is not.  This difference matters, and needs to be taken into account 
> in every discussion of the relationship between RDF and Topic Maps.  
> At best, there needs to be some way to determine that the 
> interoperability proposals preserve logical equivalence on the RDF 
> side.  At worst, there is no point in doing any mappings, as RDF and 
> Topic Maps are simply incomparable.  [For indications why this might 
> be the case, consider that Topic Map merging as defined in 
> http://www.isotopicmaps.org/sam/sam-model/ is claimed to not remove 
> all redundant information in a topic map.  How then can it be 
> determined whether a mapping is reasonable?  As well, the procedure 
> defined therein does not terminate.]
> 
> 
> The fourth problem is that I do not see any utility for the document 
> as a W3C Working Note.  What does the note have to do with any real 
> output of the task force?  Perhaps the task force needs this document 
> for its internal deliberations, but in my opinion this doesn't require

> a full-fledged note.  (Consider the situation in the WebOnt working 
> group where there were many internal documents used to produce OWL.  
> These documents are recorded in the records of the working group kept 
> by W3C, but did not become W3C Working Notes.)
> 
> 
> Peter F. Patel-Schneider
> Bell Labs Research
Received on Wednesday, 9 March 2005 17:28:59 GMT

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