W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-prov-wg@w3.org > July 2011

Re: Agent Sub-Types

From: Paolo Missier <Paolo.Missier@ncl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 21:01:45 +0100
Message-ID: <4E249129.6070208@ncl.ac.uk>
To: public-prov-wg@w3.org

leaving (1) aside as we seem to agree on the specifics of Trust:
> Paolo -
> In the case of "Trust", I think your solution works and it solves the problem.  There was another thread where someone suggested 
> (I don't remember who now, sorry) the same thing for system vs. human (this is the user-agent vs. agent vs. etc.) discussion.  In 
> that case, it doesn't work.
> So, here are my thoughts on your email:
>  1. Thanks for the solution of "Trust" being an attribute of some sort.  This will work.  Either you and/or I should send out a
>     separate email as proposal to see what the greater group thinks.
>  2. On profiles, I also responded to this, I'm very weary of profiles.  There are lots of standards with profiles that have
>     flopped.  At least my strong preference is to be as specific as possible in the model and would rather risk being wrong on the
>     specific versus generic side given examples like HTML, etc. where standards are more successful in gaining adoption when
>     erring on the side of specific.  I also realize we don't want to venture too far in there, but I think you get my point.
I do share your concerns on profiles. But you will agree that a line must be drawn somewhere in terms of our scope?  the only 
criterion that comes to mind (not having implemented standards myself) is to stop when it becomes "domain-specific". Is that the 
idea?  Even then, at some point you will have to give instructions for extensions, as your standard cannot be closed. The crucial 
difference with HTML is that we are not defining a formatting language, which we can confine to what we choose to, instead we are 
introducing concepts that seem to belong in some upper ontology, which by their nature are there to be extended.
> There is also another question that has come up that I do not find an answer to that I believe is crucial to be answered in order 
> for more concrete definition on entities:
> Does the provenance of an entity begin beyond its physical origination?
> I'd like to get a binary answer from the perspective of this working group.  All the materials that I have studied regarding 
> provenance in the past indicates a "Yes" to above so I had assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the answer is "Yes".  But I think 
> it's crucial we answer this question and document it on the wiki.
Crisp off-the-cuff answer: provenance begins as early as there are observers that can make assertions to record it.
However, you seem to refer to "when a thing assumes its current identity". That I don't know, but I have argued elsewhere that it 
doesn't matter. I can talk about the provenance of a car in terms of its components before they were assembled into a car, and the 
fact that the car had no identity before the assembly process does not bother me.

atb -Paolo
> On 7/18/11 10:50 AM, Paolo Missier wrote:
>> Reza,
>> it's worth trying to make progress on this as we are in the process of editing a document draft.
>> I can see the dilemma:
>> - the less you specify in the model, the more you risk incompatibilities as different implementations make their own choices to 
>> fill the gaps;
>> - but by adding specific extensions to the top-level concepts in the model, you risk to make those choices arbitrary.
>> But in this specific instance, I believe that "trusted" is one specific qualification of "Agent" that does not belong to the 
>> model, rather it belongs to applications that use the model (i.e., to /assess some measure of trust/).
>>   But I see your need for a "placeholder" where I can assert something about how trust for Agents. This is fine: let Trusted not 
>> be a sub-class of Agent, but let "Trust properties" can be properties of Agent. Would that be a problem?  Any application that 
>> knows about trust would fill in into those properties.
>> To repeat my proposal, I see Agent as a Role that any first-class entity in the model can take on when it is involved in 
>> relations that concern activities.
>> The general lesson I see from this thread is that we urgently need to discuss how principled extension mechanisms ("profiles") 
>> make it into our proposal.
>> atb -Paolo
Received on Monday, 18 July 2011 20:02:17 UTC

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