[sc34wg3] 5.4.3 Topic Characteristics

Patrick Durusau sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Sun, 16 Nov 2003 10:57:57 -0500


Working my way through the lastest draft of ISO/IEC 13250-2 and ran 
across the following section:

************5.4.3 Topic characteristics***********

A topic characteristic is a topic name, occurrence, or association role 
belonging to some topic. A topic characteristic assignment is a 
statement that a certain topic characteristic belongs to a certain 
topic. In the data model this is represented by the inclusion of an 
information item representing a topic characteristic in the value of a 
property of a topic item. Any topic characteristic assignment 
constitutes a statement about the subject represented by the topic.

The properties of topic items that do not represent topic 
characteristics are not statements about the subject; they are 
statements about the topic. As such they are part of the topic map 
machinery, rather than statements about the subject represented in the 
topic map.

**********/5.4.3 Topic characteristics***************

To test my understanding, let me fill in the topic characteristics and 
non-topic characteristics to make sure I have everything in the right boxes:

With reference to 5.4.6 Properties, topic items have the following 

Topic characteristic:

1. [topic name]
2. [occurrences]
3. [roles played}

Non-Topic characteristic:

4. [subject identifiers]
5. [subject locator]
6. [reified]
7. [source locators]
8. [parent]

Is this correct?

What has me puzzled is that I would take [subject identifiers] and 
[subject locators] to be statements about the subject, in much the same 
was as [topic name] or [occurrences]. True they have that "TM" machinery 
feel to them but not any more so than any of the topic characteristics.

What is the basis for [subject identifiers] and [subject locators] not 
being statements about the subject, assuming I have the distinction correct?

I may be missing a perfectly obvious reason for the distinction (or have 
the distinction wrong altogether!) hence the questions.

Hope everyone is having a great day!


Patrick Durusau
Director of Research and Development
Society of Biblical Literature
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model

Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work!