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Re: ISSUE-26: SimpleExtension proposal

From: Antoine Isaac <aisaac@few.vu.nl>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 09:50:32 +0200
Message-ID: <465D2CC8.3080504@few.vu.nl>
To: Daniel Rubin <rubin@med.stanford.edu>
CC: Guus Schreiber <schreiber@cs.vu.nl>, SWD WG <public-swd-wg@w3.org>

 Hi Daniel,
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>>>>
>>>>
>>>> 1. Vocabulary
>>>>
>>>> The proposal introduces the following new vocabulary:
>>>>
>>>>  skos:Term
>>>
>>> Can we get the English definition of a skos:Term?
>>>
>>> Also, in terms of naming "Term," this is find if SKOS restricts 
>>> itself to modeling thesauri, but for people who are creating 
>>> ontologies to represent things in reality, "entity" would be better 
>>> than "term". In my biomedical use cases, I have examples of this.
>> I think we might have a problem here. The idea is just to create 
>> links between labels associated to concepts, not between all the 
>> things that are in the world.
>> Could you give us one of your examples?
>
> In the RadLex use case, for example, "terms" are entities in reality, 
> such as blood vessels. These are linked together via relations such as 
> "part-of" and "continuous-with".  It would be better for these things 
> to be called "Entity" instead of "Term".  I think "Entity" would be 
> consistent with terms and things in reality.
I think your "entity" proposal, I fear this is too ontology-oriented. 
SKOS exists to model knowledge organization schemes, as very specific 
intellectual constructs made of concepts (i.e. instances of 
skos:Concept), not entities in the world themselves. For this real world 
things, ontologies should be used, containing instances of owl:Class or 
rdfs:Class (notice that OWL features an owl:Thing that pretty much 
corresponds to the class of your "entities"). I think in the original 
SKOS documents there was a schema somewhere explaining this difference 
and the 'level of indirection' thingy. Alistair, was such thing 
availabel somewhere?

Then comes the term/concept problem. If you assume that you want to 
build a representation of a the RadLex KOS, the relations you mention 
("part-of") really look like conceptual relations. Are you sure this is 
not a case where "terms" should be represented by instances of 
skos:Concept (as it would also be the case for many term-based thesauri 
that do not use explicit "concepts")? When I look at the Radlex 
description on the wiki, it seems indeed the "terms" there shall be 
skos:Concepts, and the links between them should be pecializations of 
skos:broader or skos:related, which are conceptual ("semantic") relations.

This is actually another point for not introducing "term" in SKOS, but 
something else, with much less "conceptual" load, like it was for 
"label". It would be too confusing, otherwise, with half  (or even more) 
of the existing thesauri assuming a "term-based" approach.

Do you see my point(s), Daniel? And do you think the "lexicalization" 
I've proposed in another mail to replace "term" (making it closer to the 
intuition behind "label") would make things less ambiguous?

Cheers,

Antoine
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Received on Wednesday, 30 May 2007 07:50:29 UTC

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