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Delegation and splitting the description of a subject over multiple document

From: Nathan <nathan@webr3.org>
Date: Thu, 13 May 2010 07:43:00 +0100
Message-ID: <4BEB9F74.3020403@webr3.org>
To: Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>

I'm quite sure that I won't have been the first to come across this, and 
have touched on it in the past.

We are fast approaching the day where we will need to delegate the 
management of certain types of information through to third parties and 
split RDF documents /descriptions of a subject over multiple documents.

A couple of common use cases would be:

Splitting everybody you foaf:knows in to a different document, a 
separate list of accounts, wishlists, favourites, things you created and 
so forth (both to keep our PersonalProfileDocuments light and HTTP / 
FOAF+SSL friendly, and in order to delegate the management of this 
information through to trusted applications)

Keeping track of pingbacks, backlinks, documents linking in - if you 
consider dbpedia.org/resource/London and a scenario where dbpedia would 
want to provide isPrimaryTopicOf links to external resources, then this 
would obviously become unwieldy and highly in-efficient to manage / 
transfer - not to mention http cache considerations with it constantly 
changing, and conflation over management of this data, it most likely 
would want to be delegated through to 1 or more third parties.

Previously I have always considered rdfs:seeAlso to be the prime 
candidate for this, however I'm increasingly of the opinion that this 
just won't cut it (certainly without additional information).

If we consider the foaf:knows example for a minute, my first instinct 
would be to create a new predicate, linking a person to a document which 
  contained who they foaf:knows - but then it dawned on me that the same 
situation would arise for many predicates (as illustrated above).

Thus, do we currently have, or can we find a single, simple way to 
express that document X contains further information for subject Y that 
primarily uses the predicate Z. (I probably described that most 

Just to throw something out and borrow from an entirely different example:

   #me rdfs:seeAlso <http://example.org/my-friends> .
   <http://example.org/my-friends> foaf:primaryTopic _:myfriends .

   _:myfriends owl:equivalentClass [
	a owl:Restriction ;
	owl:hasValue #me ;
	owl:onProperty [ owl:inverseOf foaf:knows ]
	] .

Perhaps something a bit friendlier though - thoughts?

additional considerations:
- signing the documents contents
- owl:sameAs
- dereferencing (i.e. since the subject would still be #me)


Received on Thursday, 13 May 2010 06:44:30 UTC

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