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Re: Design Issues (1) - Specialised vocab vs. extensible modular voca bs?

From: NJ Rogers, Learning and Research Technology <Nikki.Rogers@bristol.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 2003 11:58:39 -0000
To: Dave Reynolds <der@hplb.hpl.hp.com>, "Miles, AJ (Alistair)" <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
Cc: "'public-esw-thes@w3.org'" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Message-ID: <94094801.1068033519@ilrt-haako.ilrt.bris.ac.uk>

Hi Alistair

(just got back from holiday - wiki looks good btw)

Dave asked:

> By KOS do you mean "Knowledge Organization Scheme"?
> What does that cover? Are you including ontologies in there?

I'm still fuzzy on what we mean by ontologies. My understanding of 
ontologies for the semantic web is that one of their key utilities will be 
to provide a kind of umbrella 'knowledge representation' layer into which 
well developed, existent thesauri/other KOS's may be federated at key 
points. That is as well as ontologies being developed independently for 
classifying resources as per the requirements of specific user communities 
I guess. So that ontologies are very good for describing 'things' and 
relationships between things - which is great for describing resources on 
the network, & the relationship of those resources to each other and also 
real-world "things". So, ontologies are to provide us with rigorous and 
consistently applied resource description for the web, in contrast to the 
ways that thesauri/other KOS's often use inconstent/differing notions of 
subsumption, for example, in representing knowledge?

I'm waffling here & would like to invite someone to clarify things for me! 
Back to Alistair's issues:

As regards the options 1 2 & 3 you have stated for Design Issue 1:

- I think option 1 is out because it is pretty restricted in scope, given 
that there are many legacy & evolving KOS' that will be usefully employed 
in the semantic web.

- I understand your dilemma between option 2 & 3 to be whether to keep WP8 
thesauri-centric, or whether to start at a more generic place and work on 
from there, extending the core vocabulary specifically for thesauri & also 
the range of other existent KOS's (also permitting the ease of integration 
with ontologies).
I see Andy's argument about the dangers of straining to be as generic as 
I kind of feel I need an analysis of what problems Option 2 would create 
w.r.t. trying to map thesauri to other KOS's & ontologies using a WP8 core 
vocabulary. i.e. what do taxonomies, classification schemes, topic maps 
etc. use in their representation that we would be lacking if we stick to a 
core vocabulary centred on thesauri only?

I'll need to do some more reading around this issue ...

(soks is cool with me btw)

--On 04 November 2003 10:48 +0000 Dave Reynolds <der@hplb.hpl.hp.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I can't access the Wiki at the moment, and in any case don't know how you
> want comments, so I'll stick to email.
> By KOS do you mean "Knowledge Organization Scheme"?
> What does that cover? Are you including ontologies in there?
> If the answer to the last question is "yes" then I suggest avoiding 3. A
> common core for all different thesaurus and ontology schemes is in danger
> of being so generic as to be little more than raw RDF(S).
> Dave
> Miles, AJ (Alistair) wrote:
>> I've added this issue to the discussion on the RDF Thesaurus wiki page
>> <http://esw.w3.org/topic/RdfThesaurus>
>> Here is a summary:-
>> Issue 1 - Specialised vocab vs. extensible modular vocabs?
>> Although most thesauri are pretty similar, there are important
>> variations, and many thesauri deviate from the standards. Also, thesauri
>> are very similar to other KOS e.g. classification schemes, taxonomis,
>> topic maps. How do we cope with this?
>> Option 1 - Define a specialised vocabulary that covers only thesauri that
>> comply with the standards.
>> Option 2 - Define a core vocab that captures what is common to all
>> thesauri. Then define extension modules to cope with different flavours
>> of thesauri.
>> Option 3 - Define a core vocab that captures what is common to all KOS
>> (thesauri, taxonomies, classification schemes, topic maps etc.). Define
>> first level extension module for thesauri. Define second level extension
>> for flavours.
>> === Comments on Issue 1 ===
>> AJM>>
>> What we did previously ( [WWW]early draft of 8.1
>> <http://www.w3c.rl.ac.uk/SWAD/deliv81.htm>) was half way between (1) and
>> (2).
>> I would like to go for (3), but am prepared to backtrack towards (2),
>> which may happen when we hit interop with this and OWL. (3) Would mean
>> we have a way of fitting all these KOS together on the semantic web,
>> which would be a good thing.
>> Going for (3) means we have to define a core vocab. I've kind of assumed
>> this is what we are doing (tell me if you think it's a bad idea), and
>> issues below relate first to this core vocab. We need a name for this
>> core vocab, so at least we can refer to it. For now, I'm going to call
>> it the core vocab. In code, I'm using the prefix soks. Why soks? Short
>> for SuperKOS! Got any ideas about a better name?
>> CCLRC - Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
>> Building R1 Room 1.60
>> Fermi Avenue
>> Chilton
>> Didcot
>> Oxfordshire OX11 0QX
>> United Kingdom
>> Email:        a.j.miles@rl.ac.uk
>> Telephone: +44 (0)1235 445440

NJ Rogers, Technical Researcher
(Semantic Web Applications Developer)
Institute for Learning and Research Technology (ILRT)
Tel: +44(0)117 9287096 (Direct)
Tel: +44(0)117 9287193 (Office)
Received on Wednesday, 5 November 2003 06:59:35 UTC

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