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RE: candidate and deprecated concepts

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2004 05:43:53 -0400 (EDT)
To: Carl Mattocks <carlmattocks@checkmi.com>
Cc: Stella Dextre Clarke <sdclarke@lukehouse.demon.co.uk>, "'Miles, AJ (Alistair) '" <a.j.miles@rl.ac.uk>, 'Leonard Will' <l.will@willpowerinfo.co.uk>, public-esw-thes@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.55.0410090131520.3293@homer.w3.org>

Trying to clarify:

two different things can get changed - "what is the preferred term for a
concept" and "what concept to use in a particular thesaurus".

Stella's example of having had a concept for each kind of tropical fruit, and
then saying "banana USE tropical" is actually deprecating, for the purpose of
a given thesaurus, the concept "banana". It doesn't mean that the concept of
banana somehow disappears, just that its use has been replaced by something
else. In this context it is easy to say that a concept replaces or is
replaced by another. It is easy to define a thesaurus as being a collection
of concepts, and say that a thesaurus replaces or is replaced by another.

It is reasonably easy to say that some parts of a thesaurus are
forwards/backwards compatible with some other parts of a different thesaurus.
For example a new thesaurus that lumps bananas and mangoes together isn't
backwards compatible with an original one that identifies them, unless there
is a concept for the lumping together in the original. But the original is
forwards compatible with the new one since you don't lose anything (in the
context of what the new thesaurus tells you) by using its interpretation.

(Al and I wrote some stuff up about how to do this. The code looks ugly,
because its designed to work across the open environment of the semantic web,
but it's actually pretty simple in practice - the diagrams would be much
cleaner :-)

If you deprecate a term, you just make it a non-preferred and make a new
preferred term. You might want to make a "deprecatedPreferred" as a
subproperty of altLabel (or whatever it's called), and you might want to be
able to note the date when something was deprecated (in which case you need
to be able to use an anonymous node in modelling it, not just a literal, but
the mechanics boil down to putting a date in the right place). This means you
can compare usage with what applied at the time - an important check on
quality control, since people using the right thing at the right time is
different from people not noticing something has changed.



On Fri, 8 Oct 2004, Carl Mattocks wrote:

>Al et al ( ? :-}) :
>Since I also believe this type of 'concept evolution' information is
>valuable .. for discussion purposes I propose we use -
>the notion of UseVersioned (that includes start & end time when version
>was current) to identify when a particular 'Thesaurus Concept' is (was)
>the preferred 'term' for indexing and /or query purposes;
>the notion of BroaderTermSuperceded to identify when the conceptual
>framing (the collection of narrower terms) has been modified.
>ok ?
><quote who="Stella Dextre Clarke">
>> No time to explore this in detail. But there is a grey area in the
>> definition of "concept", concerning broad concepts and narrow concepts.
>> The concept of Tropical products is quite a broad one, broader than
>> Tropical fruits and much broader than Bananas. So in one sense it holds
>> all those narrower concepts within it, and the broader term becomes the
>> preferred term for those narrower concepts. In this sense, the narrower
>> concepts are still there, whether or not their presence is revealed by
>> providing a non-preferred term. Another way to look at it is to say No,
>> you should use Tropical products only in the context of queries or
>> documents that deal with the subject broadly. And when narrower
>> preferred terms are present, that is what we do say. But when the
>> narrower terms are non-preferred, pointing to the broader one, we
>> usually allow that broader term to be used for all the narrower concepts
>> within its scope. Sorry, I am not articulating this well. It is just a
>> pragmatic way of dealing with concepts that works fine when you have
>> trained people using the thesaurus. But open to all sorts of hazards
>> when the process is automated.
>> Must dash. Not sure if that helps.
>> Stella
>> *****************************************************
>> Stella Dextre Clarke
>> Information Consultant
>> Luke House, West Hendred, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8RR, UK
>> Tel: 01235-833-298
>> Fax: 01235-863-298
>> SDClarke@LukeHouse.demon.co.uk
>> *****************************************************
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Miles, AJ (Alistair) [mailto:A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk]
>> Sent: 08 October 2004 15:44
>> To: 'Stella Dextre Clarke'; 'Leonard Will'; public-esw-thes@w3.org
>> Subject: RE: candidate and deprecated concepts
>> Hi Stella,
>>> It is unusual to drop a concept altogether.
>>> Normally one
>>> provides a lead-in entry pointing to the broader concept that
>>> covers the
>>> scope of the preferred term that is now to be "deprecated".
>> ... but this *is* to drop a concept, and say 'now use this concept
>> instead', surely?
>>> Much more likely would be to decide that that subject area should be
>>> indexed at a much shallower level of specificity. So, for example, in
>>> a thesaurus for agricultural products, it might be decided that
>>> tropical products should no longer be covered in detail. Where
>>> previously you had
>>> Bananas, Pineapples, Brazil nuts etc as preferred terms ( with a
>>> hierarchy of BTs such as Tropical fruits all the way up to Tropical
>>> products), you might leave just one term "Tropical products" to cover
>>> all of these. In the thesaurus you would organise entries such as
>>> "Bananas USE Tropical products" - perhaps hundreds of such
>>> entries. Now
>>> where is the "deprecated concept"?
>> The 'deprecated concepts' are all of the concepts that where previously
>> reified in the thesaurus by the presence of a preferred term which is no
>> longer preferred.
>> (I.e. Every preferred term in a thesaurus reifies a concept.
>> Non-preferred terms expand upon and refine the meaning of a concept.  If
>> you change a term from preferred to non-preferred, you are essentially
>> dropping a concept from the thesaurus.)
>>> I don't warm, either, to the idea of a concept getting "replaced" by
>>> another one, unless they are so close that you would treat the two as
>>> quasi-synonymous. You are hardly going to replace Bananas with Washing
>>> machines?
>> But in the above example, you are suggesting that the concept with
>> prefLabel 'Bananas' should be replaced (in indexing metadata) by the
>> concept with prefLabel 'Tropical products'.
>>> So the idea of a "deprecated concept" just feels a bit alien.
>> I am sensitive to this.  I'm just looking to find a way to model and to
>> represent (in RDF) at least some of the features of the change process
>> ... I have the idea that this information explicitly captured would be
>> valuable.
>> Al.
>>> Stella
>>> *****************************************************
>>> Stella Dextre Clarke
>>> Information Consultant
>>> Luke House, West Hendred, Wantage, Oxon, OX12 8RR, UK
>>> Tel: 01235-833-298
>>> Fax: 01235-863-298
>>> SDClarke@LukeHouse.demon.co.uk
>>> *****************************************************
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: public-esw-thes-request@w3.org
>>> [mailto:public-esw-thes-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Miles, AJ
>>> (Alistair)
>>> Sent: 07 October 2004 15:42
>>> To: 'Leonard Will'; 'public-esw-thes@w3.org'
>>> Subject: RE: candidate and deprecated concepts
>>> I'm actually thinking about supporting candidate/deprecated *concepts*
>>> (and not terms), which brings a slightly different set of
>>> requirements.
>>> Al.
>>> ---
>>> Alistair Miles
>>> Research Associate
>>> 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
>>> Tel: +44 (0)1235 445440
>>> > -----Original Message-----
>>> > From: public-esw-thes-request@w3.org
>>> > [mailto:public-esw-thes-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of Leonard Will
>>> > Sent: 07 October 2004 15:20
>>> > To: 'public-esw-thes@w3.org'
>>> > Subject: Re: candidate and deprecated concepts
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > In message
>>> > <350DC7048372D31197F200902773DF4C05E50C7D@exchange11.rl.ac.uk>
>>> >  on Thu, 7
>>> > Oct 2004, "Miles, AJ (Alistair)" <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk> wrote
>>> > >
>>> > >The paradigm (as I understand it) in the thesaurus world is
>>> > for terms (or
>>> > >concepts) to go through three stages: candidate, accepted,
>>> > deprecated (i.e.
>>> > >replaced).
>>> > >
>>> > >We can use dcterms:replaces and dcterms:isReplacedBy to
>>> > describe concept
>>> > >replacements I think (although how to handle replacement
>>> > with combinations
>>> > >is uncertain yet).
>>> >
>>> > If use of a term is discontinued, it is good practice to retain it
>>> > as a non-preferred term, with a USE pointer to the term or
>>> combination of
>>> > terms that should be used in future for the concept that it
>>> > represented.
>>> > A history note should indicate when it was used for indexing.
>>> >
>>> > I don't think that you need to distinguish between "deprecated" and
>>> > "non-preferred" terms, which you would express as altLabels. As you
>>> > have noted, you do however have to handle combinations such as:
>>> >
>>> > "physics education  USE  physics  AND  education"
>>> >
>>> > Leonard
>>> > --
>>> > Willpower Information       (Partners: Dr Leonard D Will,
>>> > Sheena E Will)
>>> > Information Management Consultants              Tel: +44
>>> > (0)20 8372 0092
>>> > 27 Calshot Way, Enfield, Middlesex EN2 7BQ, UK. Fax: +44 (0)870 051
>>> > 7276
>>> > L.Will@Willpowerinfo.co.uk
>>> > Sheena.Will@Willpowerinfo.co.uk
>>> > ---------------- <URL:http://www.willpowerinfo.co.uk/>
>>> > -----------------
>>> >
>Carl Mattocks
>co-Chair OASIS (ISO/TS 15000) ebXMLRegistry Semantic Content SC
>co-Chair OASIS Business Centric Methodology TC
>v/f (usa) 908 322 8715
>Semantically Smart Compendiums

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
SWAD-E http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/Europe         fax(france): +33 4 92 38 78 22
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Received on Saturday, 9 October 2004 09:43:54 UTC

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