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Re: Minutes of last week's (Dec 2) HL7 ITS RDF Subgroup / W3C HCLS COI call -- Review of FHIR ontology approaches (cont.)

From: Lloyd McKenzie <lloyd@lmckenzie.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 2014 16:12:17 -0700
Message-ID: <CAJ860JKpxRZwtkNqUA7_QzhD28QjLvrZ5wHwyVqU+SkSREj2hw@mail.gmail.com>
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Cc: Grahame Grieve <grahame@healthintersections.com.au>, w3c semweb HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>, "its@lists.hl7.org" <its@lists.hl7.org>
I think that any ontology we create will have to be produceable in an
automated fashion from the FHIR artifacts.  Any introduction of
hand-editing would be unacceptable from a maintainability and consistency
perspective.  So we're looking at mechanical, no matter what.  The question
is what the mechanical outputs would be.

--------------------------------------
Lloyd McKenzie

+1-780-993-9501



Note: Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the opinions and positions
expressed in this e-mail do not necessarily reflect those of my clients nor
those of the organizations with whom I hold governance positions.

On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 1:51 PM, David Booth <david@dbooth.org> wrote:

> Possibly a dream ontology would link to more other ontologies, such as
> upper level ontologies, but other than that I view it as more of a
> stylistic difference: more oriented toward a human conceptualization that
> is natural to express in RDF (i.e., reflecting RDF's natural style).
>
> But one problem is that the whole notion of a dream ontology is very
> subjective, and this means that it is apt to take a lot more work to reach
> convergence on it.  That is why I think it is important to prioritize a
> mechanical ontology first, so that we can progress as rapidly.  If at some
> later point we wish -- and we are able -- to converge on a dream ontology
> then that's great, and it could complement the mechanical ontology for
> those who wish to use it.  But I think it would be a big mistake to try for
> that at the outset.
>
> Again, the distinction between mechanical ontology and dream ontology is
> qualitative, fuzzy and subjective: to the extent that we can make a
> mechanical ontology that is human friendly and natural to RDF, that would
> of course be ideal.   I just want to guard against going down a potential
> rat hole from the start.  :)
>
> David
>
> On 12/08/2014 02:24 PM, Grahame Grieve wrote:
>
>> can you explain your dream ontology more? what sort of things does it do?
>>
>> Grahame
>>
>>
>> On Tue, Dec 9, 2014 at 6:01 AM, David Booth <david@dbooth.org
>> <mailto:david@dbooth.org>> wrote:
>>
>>     Hi Lloyd,
>>
>>     On 12/08/2014 01:35 PM, Lloyd McKenzie wrote:
>>
>>         I think we need to define our objectives for the RDF
>> representation.
>>         Mine are as follows:
>>
>>
>>     Great list!  My comments . . .
>>
>>
>>         1. It must be possible to round-trip from XML/JSON through RDF
>>         representation
>>
>>
>>     +1
>>
>>         * This includes retaining information about order of repeating
>>         elements
>>
>>
>>     Is the order of repeating elements semantically significant in FHIR?
>>     I.e., would it affect or use of the interpretation of the
>>     information?  If not, then why do you view this as important?
>>     (Playing devil's advocate here, to elicit the rationale.)
>>
>>         * Needs to allow for extensions where-ever they can appear,
>>         including
>>         simple types (date, boolean, etc.)
>>
>>
>>     +1
>>
>>         2. We want to be able to represent instances as RDF
>>
>>
>>     +1
>>
>>     and Profiles as OWL/RDFS
>>
>>     +0.9.  I think the profiles MUST be represented in some form of RDF,
>>     but whether it is done using OWL, RDFS or some combination of OWL,
>>     RDFS and something else (SKOS?) I think should be a judgement call
>>     that is made as we go along.
>>
>>         3. Syntax needs to be "safe" when dealing with modifier extensions
>>         4. Syntax should support vocabulary bindings to code, Coding and
>>         CodeableConcept - including dealing with extensible value sets and
>>         multi-code system value sets
>>         5. Syntax should enforce constraints that are representable in
>>         RDF (i.e.
>>         schema constraints, regular expressions, etc.)
>>
>>
>>     Can you explain what you mean by syntax in the above?  For example,
>>     if Turtle is used to serialize the RDF, what would the above points
>>     mean?
>>
>>         6. In the RDFS/OWL, should expose at least minimal annotation
>>         information for display
>>
>>
>>     +1
>>
>>     BTW, there's another distinction that Eric Prud'hommeaux used to
>>     distinguish between different ontology styles or goals.  I think he
>>     referred to one style as a "mechanical" ontology, which might be
>>     fairly directly derived from the FHIR spec and is oriented mainly
>>     toward ease of round tripping between RDF and XML or JSON.  The
>>     other style is a "dream" ontology, which is friendlier and more
>>     natural for humans to view and may take more work to converge upon.
>>       The two are not mutually exclusive, of course, but in prioritizing
>>     our work effort I'm of the opinion that we should FIRST go for the
>>     mechanical ontology, and once we've got that sufficiently nailed
>>     down, we could try to figure out a dream ontology, with the ability
>>     to automatically translate instance data between the two.
>>
>>     Thanks,
>>     David Booth
>>
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Received on Monday, 8 December 2014 23:13:07 UTC

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