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Reification: naive question

From: Enrico Franconi <franconi@cs.man.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2002 16:03:20 +0000
Message-ID: <15456.584.645675.575576@gramsci.cs.man.ac.uk>
To: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
Sorry if this question looks naive, or if you had on this already a
big discussion in the past (which is likely anyway).

Suppose that a unique id is associated to each triple. This could be
either implicit (i.e., generated internally like OIDs in O-O data
models) or explicit (if you want to mention it later).

The additional (explicit) ID serves as a reference in other triples
willing to state something on it (as a foreign key). I understand that
this is the spirit of reification.

For the triples where the ID is implicit, the syntax wouldn't change,
and the semantics could be the standard MT already devised. 

If the current MT wants to ignore reification (as it correctly does),
then it should just ignore the presence of those additional IDs. This
makes a lot of sense since the semantics of reification is still
unclear, and a lot of work should be done. A future extension of the
MT (based supposedly on HOL) could then take IDs into account.

This is more or less in the spirit of Nejdl's proposal.

- do you have the feeling that this would solve all the problems (on
  expressiveness and on semantic clarity) of reification?  [please,
  note the naivete of the question :-)]

- Would this be an impossible addition to the rdf standard syntax?

My feeling is that without such an addition, it will be impossible to
have a clean semantics for reification.

Tell me if I'm missing completely the point.

cheers
-- e.

Enrico Franconi                     - franconi@cs.man.ac.uk
University of Manchester            - http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~franconi/
Department of Computer Science      - Phone: +44 (161) 275 6170
Manchester M13 9PL, UK              - Fax:   +44 (161) 275 6204
Received on Tuesday, 5 February 2002 11:04:16 GMT

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