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RE: A plea for peace. was: RE: DAML+OIL (March 2001) released: a correction

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2001 16:27:36 -0400
To: jborden@mediaone.net
Cc: phayes@ai.uwf.edu, www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Message-Id: <20010405162736I.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
From: "Jonathan Borden" <jborden@mediaone.net>
Subject: RE: A plea for peace. was: RE: DAML+OIL (March 2001) released: a   correction
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2001 00:50:24 -0400

> Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
> 
> > [...]
> >
> > > No one argues the utility of logic, yet logic systems have not achieved
> > > widespread usage over the last several decades.
> >
> > I beg to differ.  One of the great successes of computer science is the
> > development and widespread adoption of relational data bases, which are
> > logics, or near enough, in my eyes, for the purposes of this debate.
> 
> Certainly, and for that matter digital computers in their entirety are based
> on binary logic. Relational databases are certainly among the great
> successes of computer science. Yet still you would find it difficult to walk
> up to any large corporate database, and without documentation, and spending
> a fair amount of time, making any real sense of what it contains.

[...]

> I suppose I've always seen as one of the benefits of RDF's triple model the
> very fact that it maps so easily onto a relational table -- and admit that I
> assumed this abstract syntax would in some sense inherit the formalism of
> the underlying database (e.g. this very relational model you mention). If
> you say this _isn't_ the case then I certainly agree things need to be
> fixed, it just seems as though it shouldn't be that hard to do.

I would be very interested in hearing about the details of this easy
mapping.  (Yes, you should consider me to be very skeptical about this.)
I see a number of mismatches between the RDB model and the RDF model,
including open-world versus closed-world, finite versus infinite domains,
notions of identity, how to handle URIs and the things they refer to,
reification, transitivity, inference of types, typing (particularly
subtyping), and domain and range.

Peter F. Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research
Received on Thursday, 5 April 2001 16:28:08 GMT

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