RE: Semantic relation BroaderPartitive/ NarrowerPartitiv


The Topic Maps to RDF conversion as a part of the TM4L project,
announced in my previous mail was completed recently. Our conversion
strategy (among many others) was aimed at maximum reuse of the RDF
vocabulary which also impacts the expressivity of some aspects of Topic
Maps concepts. For example the predefined (in TM4L) Topic Map
associations such as Instance-Of and Superclass-Subclass are mapped to
rdf:type and rdfs:subClassOf. For the predefined Whole-Part and Related
association we wanted to  provide mapping to skos:narrowerPartitive and
skos:related. Since we have not received any response to my previous
email to this list we decided to convert them to normal  RDF properties.
However using the skos vocabulary (the same way we use dc vocabulary) is
still in our agenda. 

Your feedback on this mater will be appreciated.

Below is the original announcement sent to various semantic web and
Topic Maps mailing lists regarding the new release of TM4L supporting
conversion between Topic Maps and RDF.


= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = == = = = = = = = = = = = =
= = = = = = = = 

A new version of the TM4L Editor, based on TMAPI, is now available. TM4L
is an e-learning environment providing authoring and browsing support
for creating ontology-based learning content and/or structuring digital
repositories. TM4L utilizes topic map-based overlay structures that
encode domain knowledge and connect it to (learning) resources, which
are considered relevant to a specific domain. Its interface is
translated into 9 languages including Spanish, German, French, Chinese
(Traditional and Simplified), Japanese, Danish, Bulgarian, and Nepali.

The features added recently to TM4L include:

- conversion between Topic Maps and RDF data
- plug-in architecture enabling users to add new features
- topic map querying capabilities
- visual topic maps editing
  + more ...

The latest version of TM4L can be downloaded from 

As always your feedback is appreciated! 


From: Dichev, Christo 
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 7:39 PM
Subject: Semantic relation BroaderPartitive/ NarrowerPartitiv


We are in a process of implementing Topic Maps to RDF mapping this
summer as a plug-in to our TM4L editor
( TM4L supports four
predefined associations: Type-Instance, Superclass-Subclass, Whole-Part
and Related. In this mapping project we try to use well recognized
vocabularies. There is a pretty good match between the TM4L predefined
associations and the SKOS basic semantic relations. One of my concerns
is the semantic relation BroaderPartitive/ NarrowerPartitive. At the end
of the last week I wrote a private email to Alistair to share my concern
(see below). He responded to my question and concerns but also advised
me to report the problem to ( 

I think that partitive relations are very important in classifying and
organizing the world important not to be addressed. For example, in
learning context,  concepts are typically organized in a class-subclass
taxonomy. However in terms of learning collections they are organized
into chapter-subchapters, sections-subsections, also into Spring-2007,
Fall-2007,... etc. This is just one example of a general relation with
significant practical implications: any composite item is defined in
terms of part-whole, even basic elements like molecules-atoms-electrons.

I am aware of the problems with part-hole. However I feel that some
restricted version(s) should be included in SKOS. It is better to have a
few standard definitions rather than unpredictable amount of user

For example I would prefer to map 

            Topic1		--> whole-part	 --> Topic2
          Topic1	    --> skos:narrowerPartitive      -->  Topic2

 Instead of using something like the following:

<owl:TransitiveProperty rdf:about=""/
<> >
    <owl:inverseOf rdf:resource="">
    <rdfs:range rdf:resource=""/>
            Topic1		--> whole-part	 --> Topic2
              Topic2		--> isPartOf  	 -->  Topic1


Hi Christo,

Thanks for letting me know about this. The semantic relation extensions
such as broaderPartitive have always been part of a "SKOS Extensions"
vocabulary, which is where we put stuff we weren't sure about at the
time of publishing the current drafts, see:

[1] <>

We haven't yet talked about whether these will become part of the
normative specification of SKOS when we develop the W3C recommendation,
or whether these will be published as an informative "Note", or whether
they'll be published at all. So there's no problem with you using them,
but there's no guarantee they'll be part of the final SKOS

To give you an idea of where we're at, the Semantic Web Deployment WG
has just published the first draft of the SKOS Use Cases and
Requirements [2], and is starting to address some of the main issues [3]
(such as interoperability with OWL etc.).

If it's important that SKOS support specific semantic relation
extensions, then it would be really helpful if you could send an email
to with some basic information about your
requirements and your use case - this would give us a basis for raising
an issue, which would put it on our agenda.



[2] <>
[3] <>

Alistair Miles
Research Associate
Science and Technology Facilities Council Rutherford Appleton Laboratory
Harwell Science and Innovation Campus Didcot Oxfordshire OX11 0QX United
Tel: +44 (0)1235 445440  

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dichev, Christo []
> Sent: 23 June 2007 00:09
> To: Miles, AJ (Alistair)
> Subject: SKOS partitive relations
> Hi Alistair,
> We are in a process of implementing Topic Maps to RDF mapping this 
> summer as a plug-in to our TM4L editor 
> (
> <> ). We intended to use

> the SKOS vocabulary for mapping the TM4L built-in association such as 
> Superclass-Subclass, Related-to and Whole-Part. From the SKOS  Core  
> Guide that I printed a couple of years ago I remember that 
> BroaderPartitive / NarrowerPartitive were included in the proposal. 
> But now it seems that this taxonomic relationship is missing in the 
> last version.
> I would appreciate your comment on this issue since it affects our 
> mapping decisions.
> Christo

Received on Monday, 15 October 2007 18:43:32 UTC