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Re: Distributed querying on the semantic web

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 11:03:29 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <20040422.110329.125103066.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
To: patrick.stickler@nokia.com
Cc: www-rdf-interest@w3.org

From: Patrick Stickler <patrick.stickler@nokia.com>
Subject: Re: Distributed querying on the semantic web
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2004 11:43:08 +0300

[...]

> Having a means to obtain an authoritative description of a resource
> via the URI denoting that resource does not in any way prevent the
> expression of 3rd party descriptions of that resource or for there to
> be any amount of disagreement about the nature of the resource in 
> question.
> 
> However, there must be some way for an agent to get authoritative
> information about a resource when all they have is the URI and
> nothing else. That's what URIQA aims to do.
> 
> The agent is still free to obtain 3rd party descriptions from other
> sources, such as respositories (e.g. sw.google.com) which harvest
> and syndicate huge volumes of knowledge from the SW.
> 
> 3rd party knowledge does not mean "wrong" or "untrustworthy" or "lesser
> quality" knowledge (though it could be all of those things) -- it simply
> means it's knowledge published by some other authority than the
> managing authority of the URI denoting the resource in question.

Well, sure, I have no disagreement with the preceeding paragraph related to
``authority''.  (I do, however, have a *very* strong disagreement with the
assumption therein that a resource is denoted by only one URI reference.)

However, describing the knowledge published by the authority that is the
managing authority of a URI reference as ``authoritative'' is very
different in my mind from this sentiment.  To me, the use of
``authoritative'' indicates that all other knowledge is indeed `wrong' or
`less trustworthy' or `lesser quality'.  These value judgements should
not, I think, be mandated by the structure of the Semantic Web; instead
they should emerge from some other (probably social) process.

[...]

> Patrick

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Received on Thursday, 22 April 2004 11:03:46 GMT

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