[sc34wg3] Draft Reference Model

Bernard Vatant sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Mon, 18 Nov 2002 16:33:22 +0100


> Thanks very much for your comments, especially those comments that
> indicate you have read the whole document

... it figures it is somehow readable  B-))

> I will attempt to answer your questions (and also to enter them into an
> issues list like that kept by Lars for the SAM. This will be useful not
> only during the discussion of the RM proper, but during the discussion of
> the SAM, in case it turns out that the RM has a clarifying effect on this
> or that point.)

If RM has no clarifying effect in some points of SAM, we'll have missed something on
either side, or both ...

>> 1. General comments on the "topic map graph".

>> The definitions are much clearer than in previous version. I think it
>> is now possible to propose a quite accurate rendition in a
>> mathematical language that graph theory people will understand (if not
>> agree with).

> I am not sure why it is necessary that graph people "agree" or
> what they would agree on in any case. "Philosophers have only described
> the world; the point is to change it." To me, the question is, does the RM
> meet the requirements? (ie, the Subject Location Uniqueness
> Objective).

I was simply pointing at the fact that graph people, as other academics, are more
or less willing to look at a model, depending on how it fits in their current view of the
world. Remember what we've heard in Seattle KT 2002 from some formal logic people ;-)

>> My concern is also to know if an axiomatization of RM4TM as
>> a mathematical graph will meet a documented and well-known type of
>> graph, or some weird form that nobody has cared to study yet.

> I reject the word "weird." <snip/>

So do I. But you know how it goes ... "How do you recognize the enemy? The enemy is silly.
For example he does not know he is the enemy, he thinks *we* are the enemy ..." (Pierre

> A graph like that proposed in the RM may seem "weird" to
> academics because they have not considered networks of typed relationships
> between subjects as an object of study. Now that, to me, is truly "wierd"
> because what could be more important? So, with this work we are providing
> new prospects of employment to many professors ;-)

Hopefully - even if it's not currently my immediate concern ;-).

What I mean is that the more you can rely on existing tools, the better off you are in
terms of communication with and support by academics, and the more you can benefit of
theoretical legacy. Mathematicians like to wander in unknown and weird land, as long as
they can find their way back and forth their known territories. That's why having the RM
not too far from being expressable with hypergraphs is good news (and the more I look at
it, the closer I see it from the HyperGraph model indeed).

>> I will investigate on all that, and could report in Baltimore if I am given the
>> opportunity to do it.

> That will be great, of course. In fact, sooner than Baltimore, if you
> like. Why wait?

OK, bandwidth permitting. But explaining those hard things F2F is always better ...

> >   Well-formed node Case 3 ("a-node")
> >   The node serves as the A endpoint of two or more AC arcs.
> > Why "two or more"? There are many cases of assertions with a single role type (take
> > "sibling" for example)

<snipped considerations on the empty set, that seem to me off the question/>

> As to your example, in the RM there is only one player of the "sibling
> role." That player, can however, be a subejct that represetns the set in
> which all the siblings are members.

Yes, but if I want to express only the sibling-ness between my brother, sisters and me
(five siblings together)
I have a single role type, right? My natural (and implemented) way to express that so far
is to create one node to represent each sibling, and link them through an association with
a single role-type (sibling). In the assertion of sibling-ness, my interest is to be able
to browse from one sibling to another one. I'm not interested in the group of siblings as
subject, and if I were, according to the RM, I'm not allowed to express an assertion with
a single AC arc. So I'm confused now. How do I express sibling-ness (or similarity, or any
equivalence relationship)?

>> ... assertion type is still optional ...

> Well, we call an assertion with no t-node "untyped." It would seem to be
> that applications could make OPs from this fact, and get whatever
> functionality they watned from that.

Hmm. Let lazy people do what they want with that facility. I won't use for myself those
untyped assertions,
untyped meaning no template ... the slippery way to haystacks ...


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