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Re: vocabulary simplification: two proposals to vote on [deadline, Oct 26 midnight, GMT]

From: Reza B'Far (Oracle) <reza.bfar@oracle.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Oct 2011 09:49:25 -0700
Message-ID: <4EA83A15.6020709@oracle.com>
To: public-prov-wg@w3.org
Jim -

I disagree.  The fact that there is a process whose agent is not well 
known, or that that agent's behavior is not deterministic (random, 
chaotic, probabilistic, or some other type) doesn't mean that there is 
no agent.  I would argue that in a weather modeling system, there are 1 
or more agents that encapsulate the algorithms that model the whether 
behavior given a set of stimuli.

I would claim that there is ALWAYS an agent and that this can be 
resolved via Agent "typing" as requested on a different thread versus 
saying that there is no agent.


On 10/26/11 9:42 AM, Jim McCusker wrote:
> No, there isn't. Stellar formation doesn't happen because of specific
> agency, it just happens as an effect of gravity and having the right
> mass in the right place at the right time. Things happen all the time
> that have no agency - weather is a perfect example.
> Jim
> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 11:27 AM, Luc Moreau<L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>  wrote:
>> Hi Jim,
>> That's what my OED says:
>> A condition in which things are happening or being done.
>> Is there a notion of agency when we say "things are happening"?
>> Luc
>> On 10/26/2011 03:56 PM, Jim McCusker wrote:
>>> Then not Event. But I think a key goal of our work is to find terms
>>> that align best with the intended usage. This makes it much easier for
>>> people who are coming to the model for the first time. It's perfect
>>> that we've started with concepts, but these concepts are being
>>> grounded in terminology, and that should align with the chosen,
>>> default language.
>>> If someone can give me a counterexample where an act or activity
>>> doesn't have an implied actor, I'll withdraw my negative vote.
>>> Jim
>>> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 10:40 AM, Paolo Ncl
>>> <paolo.missier@newcastle.ac.uk>    wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> I think we are in fact reading a bit too much into this. The intent was
>>>> to simplify and harmonize the key terms used in the model.  an agent may
>>>> play a part in the activity, and we do have a way to express that, but that
>>>> doesn't have to be (does that mean we cater to eastern cultures as well? :-)
>>>> )
>>>> But I strongly advise against using the term "event" to refer to
>>>> activities that have a time duration. Events already have a clear role to
>>>> play in the model, and have no duration.
>>>> Thanks, Paolo
>>>> Sent from my iPad
>>>> On 26 Oct 2011, at 15:05, Jim McCusker<mccusj@rpi.edu>    wrote:
>>>>> On Wed, Oct 26, 2011 at 7:33 AM, Luc Moreau<L.Moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
>>>>>   wrote:
>>>>>> JimMcC indicated that activity implied a notion of agency. I am not
>>>>>> familiar
>>>>>> with this
>>>>>> interpretation. Where does it come from? He suggests 'event', but this
>>>>>> term
>>>>>> is already in
>>>>>> the document (and will be the subject of a future clarification
>>>>>> proposal).
>>>>> Activity (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/activity) is
>>>>> defined as a quality or state of being active. If you look at the
>>>>> examples at MW, all of them have some sort of agent or actor. There is
>>>>> one natural process example, which is that a volcano is active. Even
>>>>> in that case, the volcano is being considered an actor (which is fine
>>>>> in discourse, but isn't technically correct). The root word, "act",
>>>>> when used, requires an actor. An act can happen with an unknown actor,
>>>>> but there is always an entity that is behind an act.
>>>>> Using this word to describe all events (including natural events),
>>>>> especially formally in a standard, gives the model a pre-scientific
>>>>> bais (the idea that a prime mover is needed, because all events are
>>>>> acts). Note that this is actually a western bais too, as many eastern
>>>>> traditions do not require a prime mover.
>>>>> Maybe I'm reading far too much into this, but if we're looking to
>>>>> simplify, I would far prefer Event or Process (but with a clear
>>>>> explanation that it is a occurrent, not a specification of an
>>>>> occurrent) to Activity.
>>>>> Jim
>>>>> --
>>>>> Jim McCusker
>>>>> Programmer Analyst
>>>>> Krauthammer Lab, Pathology Informatics
>>>>> Yale School of Medicine
>>>>> james.mccusker@yale.edu | (203) 785-6330
>>>>> http://krauthammerlab.med.yale.edu
>>>>> PhD Student
>>>>> Tetherless World Constellation
>>>>> Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
>>>>> mccusj@cs.rpi.edu
>>>>> http://tw.rpi.edu
>> --
>> Professor Luc Moreau
>> Electronics and Computer Science   tel:   +44 23 8059 4487
>> University of Southampton          fax:   +44 23 8059 2865
>> Southampton SO17 1BJ               email: l.moreau@ecs.soton.ac.uk
>> United Kingdom                     http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~lavm
Received on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 16:50:03 UTC

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