[sc34wg3] Documenting merging rules in TMDM

Kal Ahmed sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Sat, 13 Mar 2004 14:21:09 +0000

It seems to me that this kind of functionality could be done as part of
TMCL. I am thinking that there could be constraints such as if X is true
of topic A and Y is true of topic B then topic A and topic B must be

If TMCL does indeed build on TMQL then I think that we would end up with
a highly expressive language not only for constraining topic maps but
also for prescribing merging rules.



On Sat, 2004-03-13 at 13:07, Steve Pepper wrote:
> I omitted to draw your attention to the fact that the
> Topic Maps Data Model was recently approved as a CD by
> National Bodies. Congratulations to everyone involved!
> There were some useful comments from Japan and the US which
> we will have to consider. I would like to address one of
> them here.
> The US National Body considers it to be a "severe defect"
> that there is no means of "documenting an extension to
> the data model for additional merging rules" in the TMDM.
> While I disagree on the severity of this "defect", I agree
> that there might be a real user requirement here that we
> should try to satisfy.
> In order to see how the requirement might be satisfied, it
> would be useful to have a representative selection of the
> kind of merging rules the US NB is talking about. Quite
> apart from anything else, this would ensure that we have
> the same understanding of the requirement.
> I would therefore urge everyone, and the US National Body
> in particular, to put forward examples of the kind of
> merging rules we need to be able to express, so that we
> have something tangible to discuss in Amsterdam.
> To get the ball rolling, I will propose a couple of simple
> ones myself:
> R1  Merge topics that have the same name in the same scope.
> R2  Merge topics that have identical occurrences of type
>     'home page'.
> R3  Merge topics of type 'person' that have identical
>     occurrences of type 'email address'.
> R4  Merge topics of type 'company' that have one or more
>     names in common are 'located in' the same 'country'.
> R5  Merge topics that play the role of 'parent' with respect
>     to the same topic.
> Some questions:
> Q1. Are these examples of the kind of thing the US NB is
>     thinking of?
> Q2. How representative are they?
> Q3. What other examples can you come up with?
> Q4. What would be an example of the most complicated kind
>     of merging rule you think the standard should be able
>     to document?
> Q5. Should it be possible to document the rules in a
>     formal, machine-processable manner?
> Q6. Should it be possible to express rules using criteria
>     that are not present in the topic map to which the
>     rules apply? (In my examples, all rules are expressed
>     in terms of constructs in the topic map in question.)
> Q7. Should the merging rules cover the merging of anything
>     other than topics?
> If we get answers to these questions, and a representative
> set of merging rules, we might be able to resolve this issue
> in Amsterdam.
> Best regards,
> Steve
> --
> Steve Pepper <pepper@ontopia.net>
> Chief Strategy Officer, Ontopia
> Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 34/WG 3
> Editor, XTM (XML Topic Maps 1.0)
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Kal Ahmed <kal@techquila.com>