Re: interoperability (was Re: isolating shapes in named graphs)

On Thu, Nov 27, 2014 at 2:32 AM, Peter F. Patel-Schneider <> wrote:

> I think that the relevance of this part of the thread is whether
> associating constraints/shapes with ontologies commits one to using those
> shapes.  The argument against committing appears to be that one would then
> lose interoperability.

I think 'committing' is too strong. IMHO this should be an option (perhaps
the default) but it should be easy to override this.

I wrote about this and how RDFUnit deals with it in the public-shapes list

Here's details on how we have it as the default option but easily
overridable by the user on runtime


> I very much agree that both SPIN and OWL constraints have very flexible
> mechanisms for associating constraints with particular nodes in an RDF
> graph.  It is not the case that the only constraints that you can use in
> these schemes are those that belong to an ontology.
> I also very much agree that in many cases information will be produced and
> consumed inside a particular entity (such as a company) where strict
> control is possible.
> peter
> On 11/26/2014 03:02 PM, Holger Knublauch wrote:
>> I am puzzled about the purpose of this topic here. What are we trying to
>> achieve?
>> There are tons of statements that I disagree with here in this thread. In
>> particular we should not cloud our design of a new language by situations
>> that
>> were created with open world/reasoning languages like OWL and RDF Schema.
>> The
>> fact that those languages have been there first does not mean that they
>> are
>> the only interpretation of semantic web technology. Property reuse across
>> ontologies was often driven by data merging use cases (via rdfs:domain
>> inferencing). If you take RDFS/OWL inferencing out (which we hopefully
>> do),
>> then the desire to reuse properties is much less relevant.
>> In the end, the shapes language should allow designers to chose how they
>> publish their constraints, and there are already plenty of techniques to
>> either work around global definitions (e.g. redefining terms), or separate
>> constraints from class/property definitions into different named graphs.
>> So I
>> am not sure what this discussion is about here, and how it would
>> influence our
>> technology choices.
>> I also want to highlight that we are not just talking about "the Semantic
>> Web"
>> as a whole. I believe most successful applications of this technology are
>> actually inside of closed company networks, where strict semantic
>> contracts
>> can and have to be enforced.
>> Holger
>> On 11/27/2014 8:36, Eric Prud'hommeaux wrote:
>>> * Peter F. Patel-Schneider <> [2014-11-26
>>> 07:20-0800]
>>>> On 11/26/2014 05:46 AM, Eric Prud'hommeaux wrote:
>>>>> * Peter F. Patel-Schneider <> [2014-11-26
>>>>> 05:11-0800]
>>>>>> One usually uses an external URI, like foaf:mbox, because one wants
>>>>>> interoperability of meaning.  However, I do not believe that
>>>>>> complete interoperability of URI meaning should be mandated.  I also
>>>>>> do not believe that complete interoperability of URI meaning is
>>>>>> possible.
>>>>>> Further, I believe that effective interoperability can be achieved
>>>>>> without mandating use of defining definitions.  For example, I may
>>>>>> decide that I don't want to use the "static" part of the definition
>>>>>> of foaf:mbox. Interoperability should remain for most purposes.
>>>>>> Particular commmunities can, if they want,  require stronger
>>>>>> conditions on shared meaning.  Perhaps it would be possible to set
>>>>>> up a community that achieves complete interoperability of meaning.
>>>>>> However, I very strongly believe that "the web" cannot be such a
>>>>>> community, and thus that W3C recommendations should never mandate
>>>>>> it.
>>>>> It sounds like if I'm not feeling lucky, I should never consume data
>>>> >from anyone with whom I've not written up some contract. What would
>>>>> that contract say? "I agree to use the vocabularies according to their
>>>>> documented semantics. I will not use terms if I don't understand their
>>>>> semantics."
>>>> I don't think that you have to have a direct contract with that
>>>> other party. There could be some out-of-band information about that
>>>> other party, for example that they are a participant in some
>>>> community.  There could also be information in documents, such as
>>>> the use of logical properties, like rdf:type or owl:imports.  Sure a
>>>> particularly perverse player could use these properties differently
>>>> than you expect, either intentionally or inadvertently, but using
>>>> logical properties in a non-standard fashion is something that
>>>> should only be done, in my view, with great trepidation.
>>>> (Of course, I'm actually going against web practice here somewhat.
>>>> There are many situations where logical properties are not used
>>>> correctly.  Consider owl:sameAs, for example.)
>>>>  Merging data from different sources can be problematic even if the
>>>>>> use of defining definitions is mandated.  Data can be incorrect,
>>>>>> after all.
>>>>> I suspect you are being a bit provocative here,
>>>> Not at all, I've held this position from the very beginning of my
>>>> involvement with the semantic web.  I and others have forcefully
>>>> argued it at various meetings, and have affected W3C recommendations
>>>> thereby.
>>>>  and I'm playing along
>>>>> nicely. Surely we needn't jettison this fine bathwater just because
>>>>> it's slightly sullied by a baby. It's quite practical to say that I
>>>>> will respect, or at least not contradict, the properties of foaf:mbox
>>>>> even if there's an assertion elsewhere in that ontology that the moon
>>>>> is a subclass of Things made of green cheese. What's the actual
>>>>> screw-case if I use <>?
>>>> Well, you do commit to lots of unusual things in this case.  For
>>>> starters, there are several minimum and maximum temperatures.
>>>> If you commit to the DBpedia ontology you get a number of unusual
>>>> consequences, like Berlin being a mountain and Lambeau Field being a
>>>> city. You also commit to unusual definitions of many categories.
>>>> For example, all windmills are buildings, all libraries are
>>>> educational institutions, chess players are athletes, saints are
>>>> clerics, baronets are british royalty, professors are scientists.
>>> OK, let's take a fairly pessimal case and utter
>>>    dbp:Deep_Blue :wonAgainst dbp:Garry_Kasparov .
>>> and this peculiarly entails that Deep Blue is a dbp:Athlete.
>>>    dbp:Deep_Blue a dbp:Athlete .
>>> No one will have any problems consuming our little assertion unless
>>> their logic somehow interacts with the wikipedia hierarchy, in which
>>> case they're already marrying an ontology with known bugs.
>>>  I care about this sort of thing because I want to use the
>>>> consequences of web information in my systems.  I don't want to have
>>>> to commit to too much, however.  I also want to be able to commit to
>>>> some things and see when the sources that I do use have committed to
>>>> other things.  I certainly don't want to have to commit to the
>>>> entire web to use any of it.
>>>> peter

Dimitris Kontokostas
Department of Computer Science, University of Leipzig
Research Group:

Received on Thursday, 27 November 2014 05:49:23 UTC