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RE: RDFm section 4.1 ambiguity

From: McBride, Brian <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Sat, 9 Dec 2000 15:40:07 -0000
Message-ID: <5E13A1874524D411A876006008CD059FE7E7E4@0-mail-1.hpl.hp.com>
To: ML RDF-interest <www-rdf-interest@w3c.org>
Hi Bill,

Well, I'm hoping this won't stimulate too much traffic
on the list.

I think m&s got caught up some ambiguity in its use of
terminology, particularly the word "model".

There is models in the sense of represents and models in
the sense of describes.

The reification of a statement S is defined to be the set of
four triples defining the statement's type, subject,
predicate and object.  This collection of statements models
S in that it describes some useful facts about it.

However, when we wish to assert something about a statement,
e.g. [Brian, denies, S], the object of that statement is
not the collection of statements that is the reification of
S, but a single resource.  That single resource models S
in the sense that it represents it - anything stated about
that resource is being stated about S.

In the first sentence you quote, I suggest "model" is used
in the sense of "representative".  In the last sentence it
is used in the sense of "description".

I wholeheartedly agree with you that an editorial change to
clarify this would be a good thing.

Brian
 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bill de hÓra [mailto:dehora@acm.org]
> Sent: 09 December 2000 10:25
> To: ML RDF-interest
> Subject: RDFm section 4.1 ambiguity
> 
> 
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> Folks,
> 
> The intent of the RDFm is to allow higher order statements. From the
> RDFm:
> 
> "A model of a statement is the resource we need in order to be able
> to make new statements (higher order statements) about the modeled
> statement. [...] A model of a statement is called a reified
> statement. [...] The resource with these four properties is not a
> replacement for the original statement, it is a model of the
> statement."
> 
> This section (4.1) offers two definitions of the model of a
> statement. Is the model of the statement the resource, or, the
> resource including these four properties? I don't much enjoy being a
> language lawyer, but since this list goes round and round on
> reification, we seem to need all the clarity we can get. I assume the
> correct interpretation is:
> 
> 1. the model of a statement is the resource and the four properties
> in question.
> 2. a reified statement is the model of that statement.
> 
> and that the use of the word resource in the first sentence is simply
> unfortunate. Would it be possible to have the first sentence of
> section 4.1 above edited for future versions of the recommendation
> and the definitions made more explicit? Something along the lines of:
> 
> "In order to be able to make new statements (higher order statements)
> about a statement we need to model that statement. [...] A model of a
> statement is sometimes called a reified statement. [...] The resource
> along with these four properties is called the model of the
> statement. A model of a statement is not a replacement for that
> statement."
> 
> - -Bill de hÓra
> 
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Received on Saturday, 9 December 2000 10:40:23 GMT

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