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Re: The semantics of rdfs:label

From: Christopher Welty <welty@us.ibm.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 11:30:26 -0400
To: Lars Marius Garshol <larsga@ontopia.net>
Cc: public-swbp-wg@w3.org, public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF1BF973FD.B42817B2-ON8525707C.005485BB-8525707C.00552F72@us.ibm.com>

I'm not sure there is an official answer to the question.  But I have a 
lot of experience with it that I can share.

A big problem when displaying graphs is deciding how to label the nodes, 
and to a lesser degree the edges.  Imagine your nodes represent people or 
organizations, and you have a number of different choices for names.  The 
process for choosing the best label can be quite complex.

Given the definition of rdfs:label, "may be used to provide a 
human-readable version of a resource's name," coupled with our experience, 
we prefer that the property have one value, that represents the result of 
the (again, often complex) processing required to choose the best label.

If you make rdfs:label the super-property of other "name" properties, then 
typically you will aggregate together all the values and as a result you 
will still be faced with the problem of choosing which one to use when the 
graph is displayed, and you still need a place to put that value once you 
pick it.

Now, of course, there is not always one and only one label that works for 
all occasions.  We have found that a shortLabel and longLabel property are 
also useful.


Dr. Christopher A. Welty, Knowledge Structures Group
IBM Watson Research Center, 19 Skyline Dr., Hawthorne, NY  10532
Voice: +1 914.784.7055,  IBM T/L: 863.7055, Fax: +1 914.784.7455
Email: welty@watson.ibm.com
Web: http://www.research.ibm.com/people/w/welty/

public-swbp-wg-request@w3.org wrote on 09/14/2005 08:59:18 AM:

> There is an important point about the human semantics of rdfs:label
> that is not clear to the RDFTM task force, and which is very important
> for us.
> The RDFS specification says about rdfs:label that it
>   "may be used to provide a human-readable version of a resource's
>   name."
> This makes it sound as though this is the common super-property of all
> RDF properties with name semantics, such as dc:title, foaf:name,
> skos:prefLabel, etc
> However, some people tell us that this is not the case, and it
> certainly doesn't seem obvious that this is the case.
> Does anyone know? Is there an official answer to this question?
> -- 
> Lars Marius Garshol, Ontopian         <URL: http://www.ontopia.net >
> GSM: +47 98 21 55 50                  <URL: http://www.garshol.priv.no >
Received on Wednesday, 14 September 2005 15:31:00 UTC

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