Re: some questions about the ORG Ontology

Hi Joćo, all

My understanding on your question, and in reply to both Biplav and Bart's.

In short - Bart's "Post" as written makes perfect sense as I can apply 
it against in the wild examples. I disagree with Biplav - the definition 
of organization as given is deliberately non-presecriptive in order to 
encompass all scenarios. You point on perpetual vs tactical intended 
groups I would consider potentially dangerous and damaging to the 
ontology as it stands - since you base the determination on intent, and 
a subjective basis in defining short-term if an event is as used in a 
PROV context.

  * All organisations, are by definition, created to resolve or
    discharge a specific "event" or outcome of an event.

  * All organisations, are by definition, eventually disbanded, in that
    nothing lasts forever. Thus there is no organisation in human
    existance which has always existed other than the original - more
    than one person coming together to form a structured collection for
    a purpose beyond the bonds of family/genetics.

  * This in turn high-lights that all organisations, in the context of a
    complete time series of humanity, are short term, and when
    considered in a broader-context, a mere blip on the complete time
    line. (Extreme example, the International Bureau for Weights and
    Measures has been around since 1875. It defines the second as being
    "the duration of 9 192 631 770 periods of the radiation
    corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of
    the ground state of the caesium 133 atom". Cesium-133 radionuclides
    have an estimated half-life of 700 years. In that set of triple
    statements, which subject or object has a predicate of short-term?

  * A truly semantic example is when an organisation (such as the
    Catholic Church) which holds, in a triple sense, a link with a
    change event which is attributed to a foaf:Agent with an age of
    "ageless" and a knowsAbout property of "omniscient". Thus this
    foaf:Agent can be shown to have always know that the Catholic Church
    would exist, thus it could be inferred quite reasonably by a
    reasoning agent that as a skos:Concept, the Catholic Church has
    always existed.

  * A more realistic example is a government department - is the intent
    perpetual in nature? - Essentially the existance of the organisation
    cannot be predicted to exist beyond the next election, yet it can be
    shown that there has existed a perpetual intent to provide organised
    governance structure of some form which delivers a public service
    and supporting policies.

  * At the other end of the spectrum there are organisations such as the
    United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation which was set up to
    monitor the 4 week cease fire between Isreal and it's neighbours
    leading up to the truce ending the 1948 war. The intent was
    absolutely tactical. 64 years later and the 4 week mission continues...

So for Joćo - I treated all this like a little reasoning and inference 
test by the way:

1) A system describing the structure of the org:Organization 
[Commonwealth of Australia], will, in context define Australia as the 
top level in the structure, and thus the British Commonwealth is denoted 
as a Property: transitiveSubOrganizationOf.

While normally we wouldn't make additional asssertions, for the purposes 
of example, the Commonwealth of Australia has an org:headOf (our Head of 
State) with an Object of the Queen of England. (This object is itself a 
Post of the org:Organisation, and is held by Elizabeth II)

This object in turn has an org:Post object of Governor-General of 
Australia, held by a single person at a time. However it is a Post which 
must always be filled (it cannot be a null or empty value), so there 
have been multiple people who have held this Post over time. The Post 
has an org:role of "
Her Majesty's representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may 
exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen's pleasure, but subject to 
this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty 
may be pleased to assign to him."

2) Now the Commonwealth of Australia divides it's machinery of 
government (the Australian Public Service) into skos:Concept 's called 
Portfolios. Each portfolio has an org:post of Cabinet Minister, and the 
org:post has an foaf:Agent in the form of an org:OrganisationUnit called 
a Department of State, with this object having it's own 
has:subOrganisations called Portifolio Agencies. (e.g. a Department of 
Arts as the state dept, and the National Library being a portfolio agency).

Of course, such a complex system (we call it a machine for a reason), 
requires oversight, and thus there exists as a org:Post in the 
Commonwealth of Australia the position of the Commonwealth Ombudsman. 
His org:Role is to ensure that administrative action by Australian 
Government agencies is fair and accountable. Appointment of the holder 
is by statuatory appointement, (i.e - the post is appointed  by the 
Governor-General, and he has the power to compel a Minister of State to 
submit to investigation.)

Now the Ombudsman isn't doing this all by himself - he has a small 
subOrganisation working for him and he has Investigators who handle the 
complaints and the cases. Now, under the Act of Parliment governing the 
Ombudsman, "the Ombudsman may, either generally or as otherwise provided 
by the instrument of delegation, by instrument in writing, delegate to a 

/(a)  all or any of his or her powers under this Act, other than his or 
her powers under sections 15, 16, 17 and 19 and this power of 
delegation; and//
//    (b)  any power exercisable by him or her by virtue of an 
instrument of delegation referred to in subsection (7) the 
sub-delegation of which is permitted by the relevant law of the State or 
by the instrument of delegation; and//
//    (c)  all or any of his or her powers under Division 7 of Part V of 
the Australian Federal Police Act 1979./

Now in plain english this means that effectively, and legally, a 
Commonwealth Investigator at the Ombudsmans office holds the Post of 
Ombudsman in that they act for the Ombudsman in every regard by reason 
of delegation, including right of entry etc, and have the right to sign 
documents as such in making official determinations.

3) /"The fact that a Post can be held by multiple people does not seem 
to be enough, since Post could also be a direct subclass of foaf:Agent, 
in which case it could be a foaf:Group."/ - No, since foaf:Group denotes 
individual agents doing the same thing and an org:Post is a single 
object which can be held by multiple foaf:Agents concurrently or 
simultaneously by means of a change event. If the thing defining 
membership of the foaf:Group is that members org:hold an org:Post, the 
group itself cannot hold that post. However you could have a foaf:Group 
made up of org:Posts, where is:org:Post is the  defining rule.

4) /Shouldn't org:hasPost be a subproperty of org:hasSubOrganization 
(just like  org:hasUnit is)?/ I think it should be allowed to be, but 
not restricted to only being a subproperty of it.

5) /If an agent is a member of a sub organization (O2), which is a sub 
organization of an organization (O1), is the agent also a member of O1?/ 
Comes down to how you define the criteria for membership. Quite possibly 
unless a change event (e.g. legislation) specifically discludes it. 
Hillary Clinton is a member of the US Government Executive. It is a 
member of the United States. Because she can only be a member of the 
Executive if she is a member (citizen) of the US, by inference, her 
membership in the Executive means she must be a member (citizen) of the 
United States.

6) /Suppose that we're talking about a particular University, e.g., "The 
Federal University of Espķrito Santo". Would we then have different 
Posts for each of the "Associate Professors" that are members of the 
university?/  This is where I think clarification is needed. You can 
only be appointed to a Post, in contrast to a role or position (which 
you hold on the basis of merit (job interview)) or you volunteer to 
hold. In the above example, if the Posts were tenured positions 
appointed by the  Dean at his discretion, then yes - each tenured 
position by appointment is defined as  a unique post with it's own 
unique attributes such as position number, office number etc. The 
inherent inference of the has:Post proposition is that there also exists 
a class:Post of type:Associate Professor which may contain common 
attributes such as pay scale etc as well as recursive links to 
instances/objects of the class.
/7) /Is organization (domain org:Membership, range foaf:Agent) a 
functional property? (I think so.)///Yes. United Nations is an in the 
wild reference example. Member countries operating as a part of a peace 
keeping operation (domain Membership, range Agent which has a property 
of organization).

8) /Is organization (domain org:Membership, range org:Organization) a 
functional property? /Yes -

  * org:Organizantion [skos:Concept: eligibilityRequirement] [domain:
  * [domain: org:Membership] [skos:Concept eligibilityRequirement]
    [applicant within range org:Organization]
  * Therefore org:Organization [skos:Concept EligibilityType]

i.e. Eligibility for membership into an organization is based on an 
applicant being a recognised organization. Therefore membership is 
awarded on the basis that the organisation IS an organisation, and by 
inference it's status as an organisation is one of its properties.

9) /Is role (domain org:Membership, range org:Role) a functional 
property? /Yes? The only example I could think of was "The role of the 
members of the cast was ultimately to play a role in the play."... ;)


Chris Beer

On 22/11/2012 3:28 PM, Biplav Srivastava wrote:
> Hi,
> I believe organization is being used in a different "sense" 
> (collaboration) from the original scope. Specifically, GLD 
> organization should clarify semantics for groupings whose end was not 
> deterministic at the time of its creation (perpetual intent) rather 
> than collaborations/ groupings which are created to resolve a 
> specific, short-term, event and then disbanded.
> Perpetual intended grouping examples ("organizations"): UN, companies, 
> government departments, universities, disaster management centers, ...
> Tactical intended grouping examples ("collaborations"): incident 
> response teams, military operations, recovery missions
> If we mix the two, not only we confuse the reader/ user but also would 
> be incomplete. Specifically, there is a lot of work in defining how 
> collaborations should be formed, the organizations which should be 
> represented, the roles that should be played, the posts (titles) they 
> should take, etc. See [1], [2] for some background on collaborations 
> and [3] for IT technologies involved.
> We should clarify the intended sense of organization.
> Further, if we have the right experts, it may not be a bad idea to 
> take a specific collaboration example and make sure that the intended 
> semantics of organization is illustrated. For example, we can take 
> traffic incident management collaboration. Now, when we want a fire 
> department representative in an incident team to resolve a traffic 
> incident, we want someone who is in the role of fire fighting and not 
> someone who manages their finance.
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> Regards,
> --Biplav
> **
> From: 	Bart van Leeuwen <>
> To:
> Date: 	11/22/2012 04:46 AM
> Subject: 	Re: some questions about the ORG Ontology
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Hi Joćo,
> This is probably a question I should answer, I was the one who asked 
> for the post - organization change.
> I work in the field of Crisis and Disaster management, one thing I 
> wanted be able to do is express a crisis command and control structure.
> In those situations all partners in the crisis organization gather, 
> and there need to be representatives of those organizations who hold a 
> post in this new organization.
> The actual composition of the organization is highly dependent on the 
> type of incident.
> Small example, a large incident demands a predetermined organization 
> for its central command, in general this is composed of a fixed set of 
> people, and extended with concerned parties when needed.
> So if something happens in a harbor you would like to have harbor 
> authorities on the table, they take a POST as concerned party, but are 
> represented by a ORGanization through a PERSON which is available at 
> that time.
> During longer running incident the PERSON will be replaced, but the 
> ORGanization keeps its POST. So the reporting lines always go through 
> posts and not through people in this case. The same goes for the 
> governmental leader of the organization which is in highest state the 
> majors office, this ORGanization is commonly represented by the major 
> himself, but when he is not available, he could be part of the crisis 
> or just on holiday, the POST is still filled up by his office, the 
> ORGanization.
> In the earlier incarnation it was not possible to model this, PERSONs 
> were always reporting where in my case ORGanizations are reporting 
> hence the changes we did.
> as for the property assignments I think Dave should step in as the 
> author of the document.
> Met Vriendelijke Groet / With Kind Regards
> Bart van Leeuwen
> @semanticfire
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> From: Joćo Paulo Almeida <>
> To: <>,
> Date: 21-11-2012 20:26
> Subject: some questions about the ORG Ontology
> Sent by: Joćo Paulo Almeida <>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dear All,
> I have some questions about the ORG Ontology:
> Can Posts contain sub Organizational Units? This is currently allowed 
> in the ontology, but does not seem to make sense to me when I think of 
> applications and the intuitive connotation of Post. (I am still trying 
> to make sense of what are the benefits of Post being a subclass of 
> Organization. The fact that a Post can be held by multiple people does 
> not seem to be enough, since Post could also be a direct subclass of 
> foaf:Agent, in which case it could be a foaf:Group.)
> What is the difference between hasSubOrganization - when used between 
> org:Organization and org:Post - and hasPost (which has domain 
> Organization and range Post)? If there is no difference (and if one 
> insists that Post is a subclass of Organization) shouldn't org:hasPost 
> be a subproperty of org:hasSubOrganization (just like  org:hasUnit is)?
> If an agent is a member of a sub organization (O2), which is a sub 
> organization of an organization (O1), is the agent also a member of O1?
> Suppose that we're talking about a particular University, e.g., "The 
> Federal University of Espķrito Santo". Would we then have different 
> Posts for each of the "Associate Professors" that are members of the 
> university?
> Is organization (domain org:Membership, range foaf:Agent) a functional 
> property? (I think so.)
> Is organization (domain org:Membership, range org:Organization) a 
> functional property?
> Is role (domain org:Membership, range org:Role) a functional property?
> regards,
> Joćo Paulo

Received on Thursday, 22 November 2012 12:54:04 UTC