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Re: blog: semantic dissonance in uniprot

From: <samwald@gmx.at>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 13:20:03 +0100
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org, david@dbooth.org
Message-ID: <20090324122003.261020@gmx.net>
To: Oliver Ruebenacker <curoli@gmail.com>, Michel_Dumontier@carleton.ca

>   Can any one name a real world example of where confusion between an
> entity and its record was issue?

I would say that 80% of the RDF/OWL ontologies lingering somewhere on the web are examples. They are just so ill-designed that nobody wants to use them, and nobody CAN use them. The creators of these ontologies were unknowingly meandering between thinking describing things-in-reality, concepts, and abstract database records while creating these ontologies; a no-mans-land where almost any statement is somehow valid, and where there are thousand different ways to talk about a thing, because you are not really sure WHAT you are talking about.  
Design processes like these lead to the kinds of difficulties described in the classic paper "Are the current ontologies in biology good ontologies?" [1]. I have worked with such ontologies, but they are bordering on being completely unusable -- at least for me.

[1] http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nbt0905-1095

Cheers,
Matthias Samwald

DERI Galway, Ireland
http://deri.ie/

Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution & Cognition Research, Austria
http://kli.ac.at/
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Received on Tuesday, 24 March 2009 12:20:43 UTC

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