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Re: simon:entity (or Identifiable)

From: Ryan Golden <ryan.golden@oracle.com>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2011 04:03:17 -0500
Message-ID: <4E2153D5.3010302@oracle.com>
To: public-prov-wg@w3.org
Actually, this drives to the crux of my point, which is that I do not 
believe we can be more precise.  "What can be identified"--whether it is 
stuff, stuff states, or something else--is not something our model may 
prescribe.  It is something prescribed only by the authority allocating 
the identifier within some identification scheme.  There are infinite 
authorities and infinite identification schemes.   Our model could 
therefore prescribe only arbitrary bounds for "what can be identified."

I understand the need for properties to describe the provenance.  Can we 
not define such properties on the intermediary concepts?  I.e., on 
concept:ProcessExecution/concept:Agent or concept:IVPof?

If we're interested in describing a history (Jim's case #1 from a later 
thread) or a transformation (Jim's case #2), let us make assertions 
describing the change or transformation, not assertions about the things 
themselves.  The latter has already been done for us by the authority 
allocating the identifier.


On 7/15/2011 6:55 AM, Luc Moreau wrote:
> Hi Ryan,
> It's exactly where we were about 8 weeks ago. Your proposal seems to 
> ignore
> many agreements this WG has reached. We were using the word "R" then.
> The reason why we moved into the direction of thing and IVP is that
> there is stuff out there that is changing. For provenance, we need
> something that didn't change from some perspective (or had some fixed
> value).
> For your proposal to work from my viewpoint, it needs to be more precise
> about what is identifiable. Is it a stuff or is it a state of a stuff?
> I note that all our discussions point to the fact that it is really
> hard to distinguish a stuff from its state, since it is very much a
> question of perspective.  Still, we need to be precise about what is
> identifiable. I think that the notion of properties associated with
> old:thing/f2f1:BOB is reasonable way of providing the necessary precision.
> Regards,
> Luc
> Regards,
> Luc
> On 15/07/2011 06:36, Ryan Golden wrote:
>> With apologies to Simon for hijacking his namespace, I'd like to take 
>> up Luc's suggestion to break off what he called the "simon:entity" 
>> proposal from the earlier thread into a separate thread.
>> Rationale
>> --------------
>> It should come as little surprise that some problems we are trying to 
>> solve by our design have been faced before by others in different 
>> contexts.  After poring over the thread between Simon, Jim and 
>> others, I discovered a design issue discussion at 
>> (http://www.w3.org/DesignIssues/Generic), published by TimBL, which 
>> bears a _striking_ resemblance to the discussion we're having on 
>> stuff, thing, entity, entity state, and bob.  While he does use the 
>> "R" word in some of the discussion, he makes the key observation that 
>> the identifiers we use every day have "multi-level genericity."  That 
>> is to say, some identifiers are very specific ("Halley's comet, as 
>> viewed from the Hubble telescope, on 1/1/2014, in JPG format"), 
>> others more generic ("Halley's comet").  The Web design, he states, 
>> "should not arbitrarily seek to constrain life in general for its own 
>> purposes."  Neither should we, I would argue.
>> Further, we may may make statements about "dimensions of genericity." 
>> That is to say that a) in relation to the thing it identifies, an 
>> identifier can be generic with respect to a particular dimension, 
>> e.g., in relation to the real Halley's comet, the "Halley's comet" 
>> identifier is generic with respect to time and content-type; and b) 
>> one identified thing may be generic in relation to another identified 
>> thing with respect to zero or more dimensions.  TimBL talks about the 
>> relatively small number of dimensions of genericity for electronic 
>> resources, whereas we are interested in the infinite number of 
>> dimensions (i.e., all possible properties) over which identifiers and 
>> things in the world (not just electronic resources) may vary.  The 
>> idea of "dimensions of genericity" gives what I believe to be a nice 
>> formulation for what we've been trying to discuss as "IVP of."  I 
>> leave the remainder of this discussion to a separate thread, however 
>> (please post any comments on this paragraph to that thread).
>> If I fail to express some of TimBL's ideas adequately, I strongly 
>> suggest you read the Design Note--it is brief and more well-written.
>> Proposal
>> -------------
>> Given both elegant formulations, I would like to propose we conflate 
>> the following concepts:
>>     old:stuff
>>     old:thing
>>     f2f1:entity
>>     f2f1:bob
>>     f2f1:entity state
>> Into a single concept:
>>     simon:entity (alternate suggested name: "Identifiable")
>> Which can be described as:
>>    that which an identifier represents
>> And, importantly for IVP of:
>>    A simon:entity/Identifiable may exhibit a different level of 
>> genericity in relation to another simon:entity/Identifiable with 
>> respect to zero or more dimensions.
>> --Ryan
Received on Saturday, 16 July 2011 09:03:56 UTC

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