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SKOS to RDFS/OWL ontology mapping

From: Miles, AJ \(Alistair\) <A.J.Miles@rl.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2005 18:54:19 +0100
Message-ID: <F5839D944C66C049BDB45F4C1E3DF89DEE9D85@exchange31.fed.cclrc.ac.uk>
To: <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Cc: "Dan Brickley \(E-mail\)" <danbri@w3.org>

Hi all,

Danbri and I talked some more in Amsterdam last week about the requirement to be able to assert a relationship between a concept in a SKOS concept scheme and a class, individual or property in an RDFS/OWL ontology.  

For example, I may have the following ...

  eg:A a skos:Concept; skos:prefLabel 'People'.

... and I want to assert a relationship between eg:A and the foaf:Person class.

Or another example, I may have ...

  eg:B a skos:Concept; skos:prefLabel 'Tony Blair'; skos:broader eg:A.

  eg:C a foaf:Person; foaf:name 'Tony Blair'.

... and I want to assert a relationship between eg:B and eg:C.

This is revisiting a discussion we had on this list last year, in relation to a proposal for a 'skos:denotes' property, see thread starting from [1].

See also the section 'Relationship to RDFS/OWL Ontologies' in the SKOS Core Guide [2].

Danbri has convinced me that a property for asserting a relationship between a resource that is a SKOS concept, and resource that is an individual/class?/property? in an RDFS/OWL ontology, where the former is an 'abstraction' or 'conceptualisation' of the latter, would be a good idea.  Danbri has some sound practical reasons why this is worth considering, which I'll leave to him to describe :)

The proposal last year was for a property called 'skos:denotes', but I didn't think the name was right, and we spent some time trying to come up with alternatives.  The best we have so far is for a pair of inverse properties called 'skos:it' and 'skos:as', where 'skos:it' points from a SKOS concept to some thing in an ontology that it is a conceptualisation of, and 'skos:as' points in the other direction.

I think, rather than getting bogged down in whether one resource is really an 'abstraction' or 'conceptualisation' of another, or which resources are 'abstract' versus which resources are 'real' (which is possibly as confusing as trying to answer the question: does philosophy exist?) we should focus on the practical problem of trying to link these two modelling paradigms (thesauri/terminologies and ontologies) which are now living side by side in RDF.  

So the two questions to consider are: (1) should we put some sort of property pair for linking SKOS concept schemes to RDFS/OWL ontologies into SKOS Core, and (2) if so, what should they be called?

Without wanting to detract from the seriousness of this proposal, as a humorous aside Danbri has pointed out that 'skos:it' would look great on a t-shirt.

I'll leave it there for now.



[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/2004Sep/0041.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2005/WD-swbp-skos-core-guide-20050510/#secmodellingrdf

Alistair Miles
Research Associate
CCLRC - Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Building R1 Room 1.60
Fermi Avenue
Oxfordshire OX11 0QX
United Kingdom
Email:        a.j.miles@rl.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1235 445440
Received on Thursday, 2 June 2005 17:54:21 UTC

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