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Re: DBpedia 3.2 release, including DBpedia Ontology and RDF links to Freebase

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2008 15:31:33 -0500
Message-ID: <4921D4A5.1000007@openlinksw.com>
To: Juan Sequeda <juanfederico@gmail.com>
CC: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, John Goodwin <John.Goodwin@ordnancesurvey.co.uk>, Sean Bechhofer <sean.bechhofer@manchester.ac.uk>, Jens Lehmann <lehmann@informatik.uni-leipzig.de>, Chris Bizer <chris@bizer.de>, public-lod@w3.org, Semantic Web <semantic-web@w3.org>, dbpedia-discussion@lists.sourceforge.net

Juan Sequeda wrote:
> As anybody considered reusing the DBpedia ontology?
> Juan Sequeda, Ph.D Student
> Research Assistant
> Dept. of Computer Sciences
> The University of Texas at Austin
> http://www.cs.utexas.edu/~jsequeda <http://www.cs.utexas.edu/%7Ejsequeda>
> jsequeda@cs.utexas.edu <mailto:jsequeda@cs.utexas.edu>
> http://www.juansequeda.com/
> Semantic Web in Austin: http://juansequeda.blogspot.com/
> On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 2:09 PM, Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de 
> <mailto:richard@cyganiak.de>> wrote:
>     John,
>     Here's an observation from a bystander ...
>     On 17 Nov 2008, at 17:17, John Goodwin wrote:
>     <snip>
>         This is also a good example of where (IMHO) the domain was
>         perhaps over specified. For example all sorts of things could
>         have publishers, and not the ones listed here. I worry that if
>         you reuse DBpedia "publisher" elsewhere you could get some
>         undesired inferences.
>     But are the DBpedia classes *intended* for re-use elsewhere? Or do
>     they simply express restrictions that apply *within DBpedia*?
>     I think that in general it is useful to distinguish between two
>     different kinds of ontologies:
>     a) Ontologies that express restrictions that are present in a
>     certain dataset. They simply express what's there in the data. In
>     this sense, they are like database schemas: If "Publisher" has a
>     range of "Person", then it means that the publisher *in this
>     particular dataset* is always a person. That's not an assertion
>     about the world, it's an assertion about the dataset. These
>     ontologies are usually not very re-usable.
>     b) Ontologies that are intended as a "lingua franca" for data
>     exchange between different applications. They are designed for
>     broad re-use, and thus usually do not add many restrictions. In
>     this sense, they are more like controlled vocabularies of terms.
>     Dublin Core is probably the prototypical example, and FOAF is
>     another good one. They usually don't allow as many interesting
>     inferences.
>     I think that these two kinds of ontologies have very different
>     requirements. Ontologies that are designed for one of these roles
>     are quite useless if used for the other job. Ontologies that have
>     not been designed for either of these two roles usually fail at both.
>     Returning to DBpedia, my impression is that the DBpedia ontology
>     is intended mostly for the first role. Maybe it should be
>     understood more as a schema for the DBpedia dataset, and not so
>     much as a re-usable set of terms for use outside of the Wikipedia
>     context. (I might be wrong, I was not involved in its creation.)
In a nutshell, YES!  This is much much clearer and less problematic than 
the generic "ontology" moniker.

DBpedia colleagues: I think we should qualify what currently exists as a 
Schema or Data Dictionary for the DBpedia data set (or Data Space) :-)

>     Richard



Kingsley Idehen	      Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Received on Monday, 17 November 2008 20:32:19 UTC

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