Event significance

Our journalists want to be able to indicate the significance of an 
event to one or more entities.  Consider hurricane Katrina.  It had 
a high significance to (among others) New Orleans, Louisiana, the 
oil industry.  So how could we indicate this in NewsML 2?  It is 
rather challenging, as we're talking about the interaction between 
a number of subjects:
-  the event itself (a hurricane)
-  the city of New Orleans
-  the state of Louisiana
-  the oil sector

As has been mentioned today in another thread, the NewsML 2 
approach is to design and use our own metadata structures and to 
write transforms which can convert these metadata structures to RDF.
That way we can write XML which is very compact, easy to understand,
expressive, and easy to convert to RDF, eg:

  <subject code="iso3166-2:US-LA" relevance="80" confidence="80" 
    <sameAs code="usps:LA"/>
    <childOf code="iso3166-1:US"/>
    <title xml:lang="en">Louisiana</title>
    <title xml:lang="fr">Louisiane</title>

For more details, see the NewsML 2 draft Technical Specification [1].

So how can we design in significance?  My current thinking is that 

-  Add a significance attribute to the subject element.

-  State that when this attribute is applied to a subject which 
   represents an entity, then the value of the attribute represents 
   the significance to that entity of any nearby subject which 
   represents an event.
What do I mean by "nearby"?  If a <bag/> has been used to group the
subjects, then nearby means within the bag.

If a <bag/> has not been used to group the subjects, then nearby
means within the item metadata.

BTW, I imagine that an event could have a type of "event", eg:

  <subject code="nc:03007000" type="typ:event">
    <childOf code="nc:03000000"/>
    <title xml:lang="en">Meteorological disaster</title>
    <title xml:lang="fr">Désastre météorologique</title>
which would make it easier to figure out which of the subjects is
the event.

If other events were present, eg:

  <subject code="nc:03005000" type="typ:event">
    <childOf code="nc:03000000"/>
    <title xml:lang="en">Flood</title>
    <title xml:lang="fr">Inondation</title>

then the significance relationship would encompass all of them.

Note that an event or set of events often has a different 
significance for different entities.  For example, Katrina had 
some impact on the US Space Shuttle program, but this effect was 
minor compared to the effect on New Orleans.

Similarly, consider a large company buying, or investing in, a 
small company.  The effect of the transaction on the large company 
may be small, but the effect on the small company may be large.

This is why the significance has to be directly associated with the
subject representing the entity, not with the subject representing
the event.

Please let me have your comments.

[1] http://www.iptc.org/NAR/1.0/specification/

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Received on Friday, 10 March 2006 21:04:04 UTC