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Re: Species Concept Mapping RDF fixes and question, should the species be ?represented as a class? Class SpeciesConcept => Class Species Cougar

From: Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>
Date: Thu, 03 Dec 2009 19:58:30 +0100
Message-ID: <4B180A56.6050408@few.vu.nl>
To: Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>
CC: Peter DeVries <pete.devries@gmail.com>, public-lod@w3.org, dmozzherin@gmail.com
Hi Richard,

> On 2 Dec 2009, at 16:36, Antoine Isaac wrote:
>>> On 2 Dec 2009, at 02:40, Peter DeVries wrote:
>>>> I was thinking that the species itself should be a class so that 
>>>> individuals
>>>> of that species would be instances of that class.
>>>> Probably another skos:Concept class.
>>>> So an individual species concept class like that for the Cougar 
>>>> would be an
>>>> instance of a skos:Concept (SpeciesConcept) class and also be a 
>>>> skos:Concept
>>>> class (Cougar) of it's own.
>>>> Individual animals would be instances of the skos:Concept class 
>>>> (Cougar).
>>> Two issues.
>>> 1. I don't think that individual animals should be typed as 
>>> skos:Concepts, but rather as something like ex:Specimen or ex:Animal. 
>>> So, the Cougar class should be a subclass of ex:Specimen or ex:Animal 
>>> rather than of skos:Concept. In the words of Bernard Vatant, 
>>> skos:Concepts are "library business objects" (or "taxonomist business 
>>> objects"?); Bob the cougar in the zoo next door doesn't seem to fit 
>>> that definition.
>> Well, couldn't your questioning put the other way round? I thought 
>> that Peter was indeed starting from items that are very much 
>> "taxonomist business objects", hence very easy to represent as concepts.
> One simply has to be aware that skos:Concepts in a skos:ConceptScheme 
> are not the same as the real-world entities they stand for, and Peter 
> has to be clear which one he is talking about.


>> And in fact, while I understand that it is not very intuitive to have 
>> Bob the cougar as a skos:Concept (even though it is technically 
>> allowed), I see less problems for dealing this way with the class of 
>> cougars...
> Mentioning that you see less problems without going into any detail is 
> not exactly useful. I see more problems.

Yes, I should have been clearer.

In fact the most important argument (as I understand it from the discussion you started at [1]) against considering a given entity as a skos:Concept is that this entity may not have been designed as part as a knowledge organization endeavour. It is for example rather far-stretched to say that a person like Michelle Obama was conceived as part of a knowledge organization system. 

My point is that this is less problematic for classes, as these are items of a knowledge organization system from the start. They are also "taxonomist business objects", aren't they? So we could easily treat them as skos:Concepts.
We have in fact touched this aspect in some parts of the SKOS documentation [2,3,4]. I'd be very interested to know whether you think this is wrong view!



[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-esw-thes/2009Nov/0000.html
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/NOTE-skos-primer-20090818/#secskosowl
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/skos-reference/#L896
[4] http://www.w3.org/TR/skos-reference/#L1170

>> Best,
>> Antoine
>>> 2. I'm not sure if it's wise to use the same URI for the Cougar 
>>> "concept" and the Cougar "class". I don't think that this "punning" 
>>> is against any spec, but it will cause endless head-scratching among 
>>> potential users of your data. It would be more straightforward to 
>>> mint a separate URI for the class, and relating it 1:1 to the species 
>>> concept using an appropriate property (there's probably one in UMBEL; 
>>> if not, mint your own -- maybe "speciesClass"). Since you own the URI 
>>> space anyway, minting new URIs would be cheap.
>>> This kind of punning between concepts, things and classes is an 
>>> interesting issue, and I'm afraid that it's not yet well understood. 
>>> Avoiding it puts you on the safe side.
>>> That being said, can you talk a bit about your motivation for wanting 
>>> to re-use the same URI?
>>> Best,
>>> Richard
>>>> This should work with OWL2 but I don't know how well it will work 
>>>> with the
>>>> LOD.
>>>> Also I created a VERY preliminary OWL document that would contain a 
>>>> much
>>>> more complete representation of the species.
>>>> My thoughts are that these OWL documents would be used to help 
>>>> determine
>>>> what specimens are instances of what species concept.
>>>> The goal would be to provide an OWL document for those who need a more
>>>> complete description of what we mean by the URI, while
>>>> also providing a much lighter RDF representation that could be used for
>>>> concept mapping etc.
>>>> However, I don't know if I am going about this in the right way.
>>>> Below are my VERY preliminary examples of what these OWL documents 
>>>> might
>>>> look like.
>>>> The example has some attributes that I thought should be included in a
>>>> species document, but it does not have everything that would like to
>>>> eventually include.
>>>> http://rdf.taxonconcept.org/owlses/v6n7p/2009-12-01.owl
>>>> Doc's at http://rdf.taxonconcept.org/owlses/v6n7p/owl_doc/index.html
>>>> The common classes etc, would eventually be moved to a separate 
>>>> ontology
>>>> that would be imported into each individual species ontology.
>>>> And these ontologies will need to be fixed so that they work 
>>>> together, I
>>>> don't think they do right now.
>>>> Thanks in Advance, :-)
>>>> - Pete
>>>> ----------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> Pete DeVries
>>>> Department of Entomology
>>>> University of Wisconsin - Madison
>>>> 445 Russell Laboratories
>>>> 1630 Linden Drive
>>>> Madison, WI 53706
>>>> GeoSpecies Knowledge Base
>>>> About the GeoSpecies Knowledge Base
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
Received on Thursday, 3 December 2009 18:59:06 UTC

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