[sc34wg3] SAM-issue term-scope-def

Bernard Vatant sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Fri, 14 Jun 2002 15:02:25 +0200

> * Graham Moore
> |
> | i.e. that scope is no more than a lazy way of stating things about
> | associations and that really to be useful associations should be
> | further qualified by other associations.

* Lars Marius
> That would land us where RDF is now, and they have been having lots of
> debates on how to qualify statements. As far as I am aware they
> haven't really solved that problem to anyone's satisfaction yet.

Yes, but we have a reification process, right? I don't see why we should follow all RDF
wrong tracks :)

> Scope is simpler, and that's also its strength, I would say.

Simplicity is paid by lack of semantic accuracy. I don't think it's a valuable trade-off,
because people use scope in a very lazy and loose way, because people are naturally lazy
and loose if not forced otherwise ... as Graham example shows.
When newcomers in topic maps land are forced into defining role specifications to explicit
non-typed or ill-defined relationships they were dealing with before, they first consider
it as a constraint. But after a while, they see the gain of accuracy they get and they
don't want non-typed relationships any more.

> For one way to strengthen scope, see Steve and Geir Ove's paper on scope[1].

I think "ad hoc" solutions proposed in this paper, as well as in the various examples you
give in your answer <snipped/> are not necessary if refinement of scope is treated in the
general framework of association reification. It is the scoping association that has to be
explicited - by specification of roles of the scoping topics, and not the nature, type or
names of scoping topics themselves.

> So I do think scope can be useful, and although I agree that the scope
> does not contain any information about what each theme is doing in the
> scope applications know this. They can figure this out either by
> recognizing the themes, or by recognizing what they are instances of.

But if this information was carried in a standard way by a role specification in scoping
association, the applications would be able to process it in a standard way, not through
an ad hoc case-by-case process.


Bernard Vatant
Consultant - Mondeca
Chair - OASIS TM PubSubj Technical Committee