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Re: When does a document acquire (web) semantics?

From: Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 2 Feb 2010 08:41:19 +1000
Message-ID: <a1be7e0e1002011441s29b97687tf622b2b83bc18df5@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jim McCusker <mccusker@gmail.com>
Cc: John Madden <john.madden@duke.edu>, w3c semweb HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, Oliver Ruebenacker <curoli@gmail.com>
On 2 February 2010 08:16, Jim McCusker <mccusker@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 4:53 PM, John Madden <john.madden@duke.edu> wrote:
>> Hi Oliver,
>>        (For a medical document, it might not be *me* that insists on this
>> claim; it might be my employer/hospital.
>>        They don't want people attributing meanings to the document other
>> than those they have had a chance
>>        to approve, because they don't want somebody claiming the RDF/OWL
>> they published led to a subsequent
>>        adverse event (by, e.g. being used in a decision support system at
>> some later time that attributed a different
>>        meaning to some vocabulary item). So for example they might only
>> allow locally defined classes properties
>>        to be used in the graph.)
> To me, this sounds a little ridiculous. Anyone can make an ontology that
> "misinterprets" the data in the original document by adding superclasses and
> superproperties. The employer/hospital cannot prohibit someone else's
> ignorance.

People regularly misinterpret medical documents currently by examining
them without the proper medical training. Adding superclasses etc or
deleting elements as they feel necessary is just formalising the
process where normal people interpret advice given by medically
trained people.

Even if hospitals perfect a DSS system based on RDF and/or OWL for
internal use, it is unlikely they would publish the resulting
documents for patients to consume. OWL is a very brittle and sensitive
language, and even minor additions to its "truth" statements could
make the consequences different.

Hopefully patients and doctors never rely on purely logic driven DSS
for their only source of medical information, as much as an ideal
semantic web would have that as a goal. Some common sense is always
necessary to at least filter the bad data out before giving it to a
computer for its rule-driven opinion.


Received on Monday, 1 February 2010 22:41:52 UTC

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