[sc34wg3] Topic map view

Robert Barta sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Thu, 26 Aug 2004 12:25:20 +1000

On Wed, Aug 18, 2004 at 05:40:31PM -0400, Patrick Durusau wrote:
> For those of you who were unable to attend the Montreal reference model 
> workshop meeting, be aware that a new term has sprung into being!
> "Topic map view"

> This is more than a theoretical question since it is one thing to do 
> data conversion on small (relatively speaking) data sets to build web 
> portals, but quite another to ask the New York Times, LexisNexis, 
> Boeing, the European Parliment, United Nations, any governmental body 
> really, to convert their data sets in order to use topic maps.

Yes, this is not always technical feasible.

> Newcomb suggested the following formulation of topic map view:
> **Newcomb**
> (a representation of a topic map of type X)

I would see this as

   - a topic map (internalized, either with all topics and assertions
     held in memory or elsewhere, or only virtual by hovering over another
     resource like a relational database)

> + (a set of rules for interpreting topic maps of type X)
> --------------------------------------------------------

   - an ontology (not only including terms and type relationships,
     but also rules, including those _when_ to merge, aka

> = (a topic map view) -- an interpretation in which everything has
>                         become explicit as a set of subject-centric
>                         information environments.

I hate it when people point to their own work, but, this sounds so
familiar to me:


> In other words, a "topic map view" is a particular way of seeing some
> particular data as a particular topic map.

That could probably be similar to



> I disagree with Newcomb's #1, but only to the extent that it claims the 
> "same subject" can be detected. Perhaps, perhaps not, but what is 
> detected is that two or more subject proxies are found to be the "same" 
> under the rules for that environment.

That rules would have to be part of the ontology, I'd assume.

> May or may not have the same 
> subject, that judgment is beyond the pale of the topic map processor 
> and/or the topic maps paradigm.

Maybe not. :-)

> Note that from a "topic map view" standpoint, any instance of what we 
> now call topic may syntax, HyTM, XTM, LTM, AsTMa, is subject to being 
You mean      ...map... ?

> viewed through a "topic map view."

That's the way the Perl software I write is built (probably others as
well): XTM, LTM, etc. are just "resources" with a well-known
syntax/semantics. When synchronized into memory (for further
processing) specialized drivers will parse these text streams

If I like the "raw" structure of the map, then I directly access the
informaion without further ado. If I need special identification of
topic then I filter this according to an ontology which defines this.

In some cases the filtered version can be computed offline, in other
cases the filtering will occur at request time.