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Re: [SKOS]: [ISSUE 44] BroaderNarrowerSemantics

From: Joseph Tennis <jtennis@u.washington.edu>
Date: Thu, 13 Dec 2007 23:06:11 -0800
To: "public-swd-wg@w3.org" <public-swd-wg@w3.org>
CC: "public-esw-thes@w3.org" <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Message-ID: <C3876B63.653E%jtennis@u.washington.edu>
Sorry to swoop in here, but I did want to point something out that might help.  I suppose yours is a problem if we assume LCSH expresses thesaural relationships by listing a BT, i.e., it that it is a thesaurus.  However, LCSH is not a thesaurus, it’s a different creature altogether – it’s a ‘subject heading list,’ and does not adhere to the model of a thesaurus, and as a consequence BT does not mean the same thing to LCSH as it would to vocabularies built to comport to Z39.19.  I believe the problem is with how we model the diversity (rather than the uniformity) of these vocabularies and their uses.


Joseph T. Tennis
Assistant Professor
The Information School of the University of Washington

On 12/13/07 2:24 PM, "Simon Spero" <sesuncedu@gmail.com> wrote:

On Dec 13, 2007, at 10:49 AM, Reul, Q. H. wrote:

For these vocabulary to be fully across multiple applications (as intended), I believe that semantic relations can't be either "transitive" or "non-transitive". Otherwise, the working group should give proper guidelines on how to deal with such occurrences.

My reading of Z39.19-2005  §8.3 is that  hierarchical relationships in thesauri should always be transitive; §8.4 makes it clear that associative relationships need not be (see e.g. §

I've been looking at this issue rather closely lately in the context of the Library of Congress Subject Headings.   If BT  relationships in the LCSH are treated as if they were, um, Broader Terms,  the inferences one obtained are rather idiosyncratic.   If SKOS is altered to make  broader less-transitive, it would certainly make converting the LCSH to SKOS easier.  Unfortunately, it would also make the resulting vocabulary much less useful.    It's not SKOS's fault; it's the data.

 Incidentally, the problem is less to do with Cows as Mammals, and more to do with Doorbells as Mammals...

Mammals → Primates → Hominids → Human beings → Ethnology → Acculturation → Diffusion of innovations → Technology transfer → New products →
Design, Industrial → Engineering design → Structural design → Building → Building fittings → Door fittings → Doorbells

Received on Friday, 14 December 2007 07:06:49 UTC

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