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Re: InverseFunctional properties are the new URI?

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 17:40:47 -0400
To: Simon Price <simon.price@bristol.ac.uk>
Cc: Phil Dawes <pdawes@users.sf.net>, www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-ID: <20040729214047.GK31835@homer.w3.org>

* Simon Price <simon.price@bristol.ac.uk> [2004-07-29 21:39+0100]
> Actually, I think I'll disagree with myself before anyone else does. 
> Taking Dan's point, the ordering could well be IFP > no URI/IFP > URI 
> because the URI is in no way a property of the described object whereas 
> all other properties are.

(not sure I follow the detail of this point; perhaps 'cos URIs could be 
modelled as properties as far as I'm concerned... but I think we're

There's definitely some sort of sliding scale thing. In the 
rdfig and xml-dev threads back in 2000 where we first started calling this
'smushing', I sketched 3 categories:
We claim RDF is good at merging data from multiple sources; in my
experience this is true. The current discussion suggests a crude
of RDF data aggregation mechanisms:

(1) out-out-of-the-box aggregation ("naive graph merge")
    All RDF systems do this, by virtue of using URIs for identifiers
    to merge data from multiple sources.

(2) 2nd pass node convergence ("data smushing")
    As discussed above, strategies that merge together RDF from multiple
    sources in such a way as to figure out (in some cases) where
    anonymously-mentioned resources are descriptions of the same thing.

(3) Fancy Semantic Web inference stuff ("don't hold your breath...")
    As above but drawing additional conclusions based on complex rules
    and re-application of (2).

From where I'm standing, (1) seems really handy, (2) is critical to
deploying this stuff in the grubby real world where things don't have
URIs, and (3) is, er, something to keep an eye on.

My working hypothesis (FOAF etc., more on which another time) is that
(2), ie. basic techniques for folding RDF data together even when URIs are
scarse, is enough to build something pretty cool.  Sure we have to make
some simplifying assumptions, but then that's what the Web's all
]] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-rdf-interest/2000Dec/0191.html

This omits to mention (under or alongside (3)) the utility more heuristic, 
probabilistic approaches...

Received on Thursday, 29 July 2004 17:40:53 UTC

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