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Re: URI lifecycle (Was: Owning URIs)

From: Hugh Glaser <hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 18:08:18 +0100
To: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>, semantic-web <semantic-web@w3.org>
CC: Linked Data community <public-lod@w3.org>
Message-ID: <EMEW3|8332c4a9128b837ee42b2833f39ba76fl4II8j02hg|ecs.soton.ac.uk|B2BF%hg@ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Hi David,
Excellent stuff.
It is important, as you do, to make statements about what is good
citizenship, and to distinguish these from what might be enforced etc..

I was about to suggest that you might want a ≥URI is deprecated≤ in your
figure, but then I found that was the title of the Event 4 section
corresponding to ≥URI is obsolete≤. :-)
I suspect that this area could do with a bit of teasing out.
For example, your description may indeed be ≥obsolete≤, as it implies no
access possible, and should never be a deliberate action by the owner (I
suspect there might be another explicit part of URI owner responsibility 1,
which is to serve the URI declaration for as long as they are able, or
something like that). On the other hand, the owner may want to discourage
use of some URIs in preference to others, so this is a deliberate act by the
owner (I am thinking of opencyc in particular here), and this is the sort of
thing I would term deprecation.

It looks like an excellent research topic to provide theories and tools for
determining when the responsibilities are being broken.

A last comment, which I know we have discussed, and you possibly disagree:
"Community expropriation of a URI"
Might have meant something else.
One of the problems is that many authors will not discharge their Statement
Author Responsibilities, but will assume that the URI is the one they want.
Over time, this may mean that the general SW uses a URI in a way other than
the URI owner intends, to the extent that it becomes irrelevant what was the
original meaning (there are many parallels for this in natural language, and
indeed it is the social process that causes language to change).

For example:
I make a statement something like
http://dbpedia.org/page/Engelbert_Humperdinck <sang> "Release Me"
(failing my responsibility to look it up because I am in blissful ignorance
that there might be more than one person with such a strange name, to me).
If I am a popular SW site, it is highly likely that this will become simply
accepted (in some sense I have become the authority, even though I am not).
Yes, I know this shouldn't happen, but it will. In fact it does. I know
someone whose dbpedia information says they played in some sports
tournaments (they didn't) because someone did not bother to check that an
existing wikipedia page referred to the person they thought.

I can identify lots of incorrect linkages already; for example follow the
owl:sameAs link from dbpedia (http://dbpedia.org/page/Iron_Maiden) to
(http://sw.opencyc.org/2008/06/10/concept/Mx4rv_L_PJwpEbGdrcN5Y29ycA), or
vice versa. No criticism intended - the thing is that I expect this to
happen - mistakes do, and we need to cope with them.

And remember that these have been created by people who care about SW and
LD; there are more to come, and some of these will find that the incorrect
"meaning" will become the norm - so I would hope that you can deal with this
situation in your paper.
I look forward eagerly to your suggestions!


On 19/05/2009 17:02, "David Booth" <david@dbooth.org> wrote:

> FYI, regarding the social responsibilities and expectations involved in
> URI ownership and use, readers may be interested in the following paper
> on "The URI Lifecycle in Semantic Web Architecture":
> http://dbooth.org/2009/lifecycle/
> It is a pre-print from the Identity workshop at the upcoming
> Twenty-first International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence
> (IJCAI-09).
> Here is the abstract:
> [[
> Various parties are typically involved in the creation and use of a URI,
> including the URI owner, an RDF statement author, and a consumer of that
> RDF statement. What principles should these parties follow, to ensure
> that a consistent resource identity is established and (to the extent
> possible) maintained throughout that URI's lifetime? This paper proposes
> a set of roles and responsibilities for establishing and determining a
> URI's resource identity through its lifecycle.
> ]]
> Comments and suggestions are invited, of course.
> David Booth
Received on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 17:09:29 UTC

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