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Meaning of RDF:Statement

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 12 Dec 1999 11:17:19 -0500 (EST)
To: RDF Interest Group <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
cc: swick@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.20.9912121106490.10847-100000@tux.w3.org>

Here's a puzzle: is an RDF Statement (ie. a triple in reified form, an
instance of the class Statement) a representation of some "stating" of a
subject/predicate/object triple, or a representation of the abstract
statement that is being asserted?

I believe the model spec is a little unclear on this, but that the answer
should be that there are two distinct concepts ('assertions events' or
'statings' versus 'statements') and that our reified 'RDF Statement'
objects model the latter. A particular statement, then, could be asserted
by different people on different dates in different contexts. Each of
these claims might have PICS-labelesque attributes such as being 'by'
some agent, 'on' some date. Whereas the statements themselves are

Three questions:

1. Does this distinction seem clear?

2. Does my reading of the meaning of 'RDF Statement' seem correct?

3. If so, can we use algorithms such as those Sergey proposes to assign
globally unique, identical identifiers to each statement to facilitiate
data aggregation? (eg. any occurance of [bill clinton]
--livesIn->[America] could have a canonical statement URI generated,
like uuid:423423532453443 such that all graphs including reference to this
statement could usefully be aggregated). Each 'stating' of the claim that 
[bill clinton]--livesIn->[America], by contrast, could have a different
URI since it would happen of a different date by a different agency.

Am I making any sense?


Received on Sunday, 12 December 1999 11:17:20 UTC

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