Fwd: [Moderator Action] Re: reportsTo in the Org Ontology

For some reason, this didn't go through to the list.

        -- Sandro

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	[Moderator Action] Re: reportsTo in the Org Ontology
Date: 	Thu, 08 Nov 2012 15:35:35 +0000
From: 	Joćo Paulo Almeida <jpalmeida@ieee.org>
To: 	W3C public GLD WG WG <public-gld-wg@w3.org>

Hi Dave,

Sorry it took me so long to respond. I have been away for a while.

>>>>The first thing that caught my attention was the "reportTo" relation in
>>>> the Org ontology.
>>>> Currently, the domain and range are a union of foaf:Agent and
>>>> (Where in the previous April 2012 version it was only foaf:Agent).
>>>> In my opinion, foaf:Agent should be excluded from the domain and
>>>> because "reportsTo" is always a relation in the scope of
>>>>organizations and
>>>> never a relation of Agents outside the context of membership in an
>>>> organization. Let me clarify this with an example: Alex may report to
>>>> Paulo in the scope of his membership to UFES, but Joćo Paulo may
>>>>report to
>>>> Alex in the scope of his membership to The Victoria Chess Club.
>>> Firstly, one reason for going for the union rather than simply
>>> the range to org:Post was for backward compatibility. This is, after
>>>all, a
>>> ontology that has been in use for a couple of years, not something
>>>that was
>>> developed by this working group. So some care has to taken over
>>> things.

Will you please point us to examples of usage of the org ontology that we
can use to justify arguments of backward compatibility? This would also
help us in understanding the intended semantics of the various elements of
the ontology.

>> Ok... But then the semantics of "reportsTo" when used between
>> foaf:Agents is different from the semantics of "reportTo" when used
>> between org:Posts...
>True to some extend but there is quite a close correspondence in the
>relationship. In the foaf:Agent case the subject reports to the
>identified agent. In the foaf:Post case the subject reports to whatever
>agent fills that post.

I am still puzzled with "reportsTo", ? I've had the chance to look into
this in more detail:

org:Post is a subclass of org:Organization

org:Organization is a subclass of foaf:Person

Thus, org:Post is a subclass of foaf:Agent.

This means that the union in the domain and range would be unnecessary (as
foaf:Agent would cover all the possibilities).

Further, it would mean that org:Organization is within also the domain and
range of reportsTo. In fact, "reportsTo" can be applied to any combination
of foaf:Agent, org:Organization, org:Post, foaf:Group? all with different

I think that saying that org:Post is a subclass of org:Organization could
be part of the problem here. It leads to other questions such as: what is
the semantics of "subOrganizationOf" when used between posts? And
between a post and an organization? Do you have examples for this? And
what about foaf:birthday (a property of foaf:Agent)? This would also be an
property of an org:Post.

By the way, there are several problems with the non-normative picture in
the working draft. Including the omission of "specialization" between
foaf:Agent, org:Organization and org:Post.

>> The semantics of "reportTo" between foaf:Agents
>> is that the agents have some kind of reporting relationship in the
>> scope of some (undetermined) organization. In this case, it would be
>> unreasonable to expect that "reportsTo" is acyclic between
>> foaf:Agents...
>> In contrast, the semantics of "reportsTo" between foaf:Posts is that
>> there exists some kind of reporting relation in the scope of a
>> specific organization. In this case, "reportsTo" may as well be
>> acyclic, as suggested (?) in the current document in a usage note for
>> "headOf".
>That's a different issue. It is possible that the comment on acyclic
>relationships is too strong.

Ok, so how should this be processed into the current draft? (Sorry for the
question, I am new to this!) do we track these issues somehow?

>The harm in removing it is lack of backward compatibility and the fact
>that people sometimes just want to say something simple like "fred
>reports to jim".
>I've some sympathy with what you are saying here, but am not yet
>convinced the change is justified. Maybe we should see what feedback we
>get from Last Call?

I still need to understand the implications of the "Last Call" status...

Joćo Paulo

Received on Thursday, 8 November 2012 19:32:07 UTC