... and what about un-merging? RE: [sc34wg3] Documenting merging rules in TMDM

Bernard Vatant sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
Mon, 15 Mar 2004 09:27:10 +0100

Just two quick thoughts - I have really no bandwidth to jump seriously in the debate

1. Dmitry writes : "TMCL will require only one constraint - haveSameSubject"

I deeply agree with that viewpoint. IMO the standard should simply define the rules under
which subjects are to be considered the same or different : distinction between SIDPs and
other properties. What the applications will do with that, merging or otherwise, is their
own business. So maybe the whole notion of "merging rules" is to be striken from the

2. There has always been an over-focusing on merging.  Un-merging has been completely
overlooked, as if merging was a monotonous, non-reversible process. Are topics like black
holes, that can only grow with time? Be aware that black holes eventually destroy about
all information coming from the objects they have incorporated (except mass, electrical
charge and cinetic momentum values, which does not make much).
But in knowledge management and science, a fundamental process is the discovery that what
was considered so far a single subject is in fact more than one. Complexity growth is a
process completely opposite to formation of black holes : it creates new information about
new subjects. I thought all those were properties of A, but A turns out to be B and C and
D ... that I previously all mixed together, so I now want to un-merge A and distribute
properties between B, C, and D.

IOW : do we make provision for merging to be a reversible process ?


Bernard Vatant
Senior Consultant
Knowledge Engineering
Mondeca - www.mondeca.com