Re: When are RDF statements asserted?

On 2006-03-28 13:24, "Richard Cyganiak" <> wrote:

> On 28 Mar 2006, at 19:31, Ora Lassila wrote:
> ...
>>> Is it correct that out-of-band information (e.g. a web page stating
>>> "All these files are up-to-date", or some nonstandard extension of
>>> RDF) is necessary before an agent can safely act upon any RDF
>>> statement?
> ...
>> IMHO, this is a question that could be asked about *any* document
>> that has
>> been published, not just RDF documents. The question is more about
>> *who* is
>> asserting. I could assert that, say, the Moon is made of cheese.
>> Whether
>> someone else chooses to *believe* this is another matter. Whether I
>> assert
>> that in RDF or in natural language is not so relevant.
> Right. When you assert this in natural language, I can use out-of-
> band information ("common sense") to decide wether to trust your
> statement or not.

Well, I guess common sense is only *one* of many ways how to make those
decisions (e.g., I am not sure that common sense would have been enough to
evaluate DanBri's example about the weapons of mass destruction).

>> The key responsibility (again, IMHO) of "Semantic Web agents" is to
>> make
>> decisions (and inferences) about what information to trust, to use, to
>> discard, to keep but not trust, etc.
> That makes a lot of sense. Am I correct when I say that RDF and OWL,
> at the current state of standardization and common practice, don't
> provide a solution for this trust problem, and application developers
> are on their own?

Yes. I don't think RDF and OWL should, per se, even provide a solution,
given that the required mechanisms can be application-specific. Could one
potentially *model* some of those mechanisms using RDF and/or OWL? Why not.

    - Ora

Ora Lassila
Research Fellow, Nokia Research Center Cambridge
Visiting Scientist, MIT/CSAIL

Received on Tuesday, 28 March 2006 21:59:20 UTC