W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > semantic-web@w3.org > February 2006

Re: Showing the Semantic Web

From: ben syverson <w3@likn.org>
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2006 15:14:38 -0600
Message-Id: <DB9773F7-5BDE-464D-88FE-E682749584CA@likn.org>
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org
To: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>


On Feb 23, 2006, at 12:58 PM, Sandro Hawke wrote:

> Now -- on the notion of absolute truth?  No, not at all.  No one says
> msg2231 is true just because it's on the web.  If the full URI is
> http://example.com/msg2231 then some people might say that Example
> Corporation is claiming msg2231, but I don't think they'd even win  
> that
> argument.  The entities that can speak on the web -- that can be  
> said to
> claim something -- are web pages.

The problem comes with the assertions within http://example.com/ 
msg2231. If msg2231 asserts:
<rdfs:Class rdf:about="http://example.org/person">
	<rdfs:subClassOf rdf:resource="http://www.w3.org/2000/01/rdf- 
schema#Resource" />
</rdfs:Class>

The reasoner has no choice but to believe that statement, unless it  
runs up against an ontological constraint, right? That's what I mean  
by absolute truth. If you give a reasoner a set of assertions, it  
must assume them to be true unless it conflicts with the related  
ontology. On the web, this is a ridiculous assumption. It makes every  
reasoner gullible.

It would be better if every single assertion was implicitly reified  
by its containing URI, with the *option* of attaching even more  
metadata to the statement-about-a-statement (ie, which individual or  
entity in particular is making these assertions, when they were made,  
etc). Then the reasoner would be able to parse many identical  
assertions, and rate their validity based on any number of factors.  
For instance,  you could ask such a reasoner (although probably not  
in English): "do French people believe that Jerry Lewis is funny?"  
Even with no such attributes attached to a statement, the results of  
any query you make could be qualified based on their popularity.

Or maybe I'm way off... Anyone?

- ben syverson
likn
Received on Thursday, 23 February 2006 21:14:52 UTC

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