Re: PROV-ISSUE-19: is this observable or not observable?

Hi Graham,

I personally had never considered observability as essential property in 
the context of provenance.
I am fine with the option that you propose.  I would even go further, 
and venture the following proposal.

PROPOSED: IVPT may or may not be observable

What do you think?


On 08/06/11 18:31, Graham Klyne wrote:
> Hi Luc,
> Luc Moreau wrote:
> > The reason why I raised the issue is that over the WE, when discussing
> > with Kai, this notion of observability popped up.
> OK.
> My take on "observability" would be along the lines of there being an 
> available method by means of which information directly about the 
> thing observed could be obtained.
> For concepts, I would think this amounts to some way in which 
> authoritative information about the concept can be accessed.  For 
> concepts for which there is no such authoritative information, then 
> they aren't (directly) observable, but may be "indirectly observable" 
> (which I would treat as not observable) though (e.g.) assertions made 
> by other people.
> Example: "truth".  I don't suppose there's any way in which this 
> concept is directly observable.  But there are any number of 
> philosophical discourses on truth that might be cited as giving us 
> indirect information about truth (e.g. Tarski, Quine, etc.)
> This suggests to me that we may want to have an identifier for the 
> concept, even if there are no direct "observations" associated with 
> it;  I hazard that it has no direct provenance.  But we can still say 
> that Tarski, Quine, etc. say things about the concept of truth.
> It's a viewpoint ... with which you may reasonably disagree.  But I'd 
> hate us to get hopelessly tangled in this debate when there are other 
> useful things we can make progress on.  Would it be an option to say 
> that for some things we don't (yet) know whether or how they can be 
> observed?
> #g
> -- 
> Luc Moreau wrote:
>> Hi Graham,
>> The reason why I raised the issue is that over the WE, when 
>> discussing with Kai, this
>> notion of observability popped up. I think Jim also mentioned it in 
>> another thread (apologies,
>> if I got it wrong).  In all fairness, I thought we had to discuss this.
>> Given that we have indicated that we want to track the provenance of 
>> things, which may
>> be physical, digital, CONCEPTUAL or otherwise, I don't know what 
>> observability means
>> when things are conceptual.
>> I take note of Carl's pointers to definitions of observability in the 
>> physical world.
>> I would argue that even in the digital world, observability is not 
>> straightforward.  In the provenance
>> challenge, we have seen techniques instrumenting code, i.e. adding 
>> constructs to record provenance.
>> In that case, can we say the system observed what was happening? or 
>> was it programmed to
>> record provenance synchronously with its execution?
>> Regards,
>> Luc
>> On 07/06/11 12:06, Graham Klyne wrote:
>>> May I suggest we see if this is an issue in light of the proposed 
>>> definitions?
>>> #g
>>> -- 
>>> Luc Moreau wrote:
>>>> Dear all,
>>>> When we discussed the notion of 'Invariant View or Perspective on a 
>>>> Thing, there were
>>>> suggestions that it should be observable, and counter-suggestions 
>>>> that it should not be.
>>>> It would be good to discuss both sides of the argument, in an 
>>>> attempt to reach consensus.
>>>> Best regards,
>>>> Luc

Received on Wednesday, 8 June 2011 21:02:30 UTC