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Re: Vocabulary: Terms, Concepts, and Labels

From: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2002 10:52:17 +0200
Message-ID: <012e01c1daed$3b488fc0$ea91fea9@bernard>
To: <rector@man.ac.uk>, <public-webont-comments@w3.org>
Alan Rector wrote

> *    Lexical phrases which can be used to present a given concept in a given language
and context or to search for it, but which may suffer from ambiguity  which must be
resolved  .  I would call these "terms".  There is a many-many relation between "terms"
and "concept identifiers".  "Terms" are mostly of interest to end users.

Agreed  - that goes along the lines of what topic maps do. What you call "concept" is (a
subclass of) what topic maps call "subject". If this subject (concept) is represented by a
topic, the corresponding "terms" will be called in topic maps "baseNames". Many
"baseNames" can be attached to one topic - to be used in various scopes.

> *    The names of concepts which may be multiple but must refer to a unique concept
identifier.  I would call these "concept names".  There is a many-one relation between
concept names and concept identifiers.  Concept names are mostly of interest to knowledge
engineers. Allowing more than one is a programming convenience and helps in multilingual

> *    The identifiers of concepts which should be globally unique and unambiguous.  I
presume it will ultimately be qualified URIs within namespaces in the RDF concrete syntax.
I would call these "concept identifiers"

There is no way (and certainly no need) to try and get such a thing as a "globally unique
and ambiguous" (absolute) identifier of a concept. But there can be one or more available
reference definition(s) each one *according to some publisher*, and each one identified by
an URI declared and maintained by this same publisher. That will be used to assert that I
use this term (baseName) to name that concept (subject, topic) as identified by that
publisher under that URI. That's the best disambiguation one can hope to get. And again,
that's what PSIs are all about.

Bernard Vatant
Chair - OASIS TM PubSubj Technical Committee
Received on Wednesday, 3 April 2002 08:56:38 UTC

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