Re: Representing quantification in RDF

If all you want is syntax, with active components being black boxes, then
there is nothing to prevent you from using RDF, or S-expressions, or even
C++ syntax to encode quantification.  If you want to ``specify'' or
``represent'' or ``describe'', then you need much more.  In particular, you
need some way of saying what the syntax means.  RDF does not provide a
mechanism for this, nor do diagrams.

If you think otherwise, please provide an example.

Peter Patel-Schneider
Bell Labs Research

From: "Seth Russell" <>
Subject: Re: Representing quantification in RDF
Date: Sat, 5 May 2001 12:10:01 -0700

> From: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <>
> > > Every computer has "active components";  they are called programs.  Any
> > > program can be given a URI;  therefore it can be referred to from the
> > > "syntactic formalism" of an RDF graph.  We should be able to easily
> design a
> > > schema in RDF to point to object oriented programs that would implement
> any
> > > known behavior such as the computing of inferred statements.
> > >
> >
> > But RDF has no notion of a program, so this doesn't help!  You would need
> > to have a semantics for a programming language as part of the meaning of
> RDF.
> > If you have no idea within RDF of what the active components are doing,
> > then there is no way to representing anything using these active
> > components.
> The meaning and behavior (to a running system) of every arc label can be
> described in RDF syntax to whatever level of detail that we wish.  I have no
> idea what you mean by "as part of the meaning of RDF" since RDF has nothing
> that I would call meaning ... as per your own words, it is just syntax.
> > Remember, the idea is not to implement active behavior, the idea is to
> > incorporate active behavior into RDF.
> I don't know what it might mean to "incorporate active behavior into RDF" or
> in any kind of wffs for that matter.   Behavior is in a totally different
> dimension from strings of signs.  Now the transmission, reception, and
> respond to strings of signs by agents,  that is behavior.
> >To do that the active behavior has
> > to be explained within the semantics for RDF.
> We can specify the algorithms of active behavior in RDF, and we can
> represent the semantics of the arc labels we use to represent those
> algorithms, and we can connect those representations to computer resources
> that will animate the behavior described by the algorithms in the
> appropriate context.  Other than that, I don't see any usefulness.
> I am a dyed in the wool pragmatist ... meaning can only be found in action
> and interaction ... to me the rest is just smoke and mirrors and shuffling
> of signs... it never gets anywhere.
> Seth

Received on Sunday, 6 May 2001 10:44:36 UTC