[sc34wg3] Topic Maps Reference Model posted (new draft)

Michel Biezunski sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
28 Feb 2005 18:29:34 -0500

Bernard, Murray

I agree with most of what you say. I am advocating to
use the word "Perspective" to designate a TMA (or an ontology,
which is basically the same).

The reason why I prefer the word "perspective" is that it
immediately conveys the notion that it is a particular
point of view rather than being the absolute, true, essential
nature of things (that's why the term "ontology" is so misleading).

However, I wouldn't consider a totally relativistic perspective.
Here is how I see things working. In the worlds there are:

- things (such as mountains, they just *are* and maybe some of them have
          never ever been seen by any human being and therefore don't
          have even names)
- subjects (units of meaning or understanding. That's what I as a 
            human am trying to convey to another human )
- proxies (expression of subjects in a given language or syntax)
- perspectives (set of rules to which proxies must comply)
- views (set of proxies treated as a unit)

I have tried this recently in a semantic-web-oriented audience.
People get it when I used the word "perspective". It's so much
simpler to understand!

Let me know what you think.


On Mon, 2005-02-28 at 17:57, Bernard Vatant wrote:
> Patrick and all
> Some first comments on the new TMRM
> First point that strikes me is that main (only?) focus is now really on *subject
> identification process* - unless I have a strong personal bias towards seeing my own
> obsessions everywhere. A TMA appears to me as nothing more than a context in which a
> certain set of *subject identification rules* hold - which should be made explicit by the
> TMA in order to be interoperable with other contexts.
> The document still speaks, though, but IMO more out of an old habit than anything else,
> about *subject identity* as something that could, at least in theory, be defined in some
> absolute way. But actually it is mainly interested in *ways of identifying subjects* by
> comparing their proxies' properties in a given TMA context, or across several contexts.
> Accordingly, it implicitly admits that definition of any absolute identification process,
> IOW definition of absolute subject identity outside the context of any TMA, is neither
> feasible, nor even desirable. Very much agreed!
> My hunch is that the next step will be to get rid altogether of the notion of (absolute)
> subject identity, the same way in the last century Quantum Mechanics has get rid of the
> notion of (absolute) real-world object. The same way a quantic object only appears (IOW
> "comes to existence") through some interaction with the observer, a subject always appears
> in some process of conversation between various actors - humans and/or computers. And the
> same way non-ambiguous interpretation of a quantic experiment is possible through a
> well-defined explicit experimentation protocol, non-ambiguous subject identification needs
> a well-defined explicit processing context (call it TMA if you like).
> All in all, it goes in the direction a bunch of people have been trying to plough for
> quite a while now in various places, and that I keep tracking on universimmedia blog.
> Strangely enough, all the references in Annex A had been posted lately there ... such a
> convergence makes me figure that something is in the air. Either we are all go wrong
> together, or it's really the way ahead now.
> Second point is that disclosure of identification rules is certainly a necessary condition
> to allow interoperability across various TMA, but I'm convinced it will never be
> sufficient to ensure "universal" interoperability.
> Quoting the introduction
> "... indications of subjects are recognized only within limited ontological, cultural
> and/or technological contexts. If we want to gather all the information about a given
> subject but the ways in which the subject is indicated are ontologically, culturally,
> and/or technologically diverse, our task is only possible if we know what those ways are,
> and how they work."
> I agree with the first sentence, but would happily restrain the second one to acknowledge
> that all we can expect is to provide ways to extend as far as possible contexts of
> identification, across various TMA using different identification rules, providing those
> rules are not as different as even their sheer comparison becomes impossible. There is a
> breaking point where comparison of rules would need either some universal rule language,
> or the recursive exercise of identification of concepts used by the rules exposed ...
> IOW, it would be sensible for the document to acknowledge the limits of the process it
> defines, and the relativity of its central concept, subject identity (switching to subject
> identification). That would not make the RM less universal. On the opposite, to
> acknowledge identification relativity, but providing tools to arbitrarily extend the
> context in which it can be applied, is in fact more powerful that pretend to grasp
> universal identity.
> My 0.02
> Bernard
> **********************************************************************************
> Bernard Vatant
> Senior Consultant
> Knowledge Engineering
> bernard.vatant@mondeca.com
> "Making Sense of Content" :  http://www.mondeca.com
> "Everything is a Subject" :  http://universimmedia.blogspot.com
> **********************************************************************************
> > -----Message d'origine-----
> > De : sc34wg3-admin@isotopicmaps.org
> > [mailto:sc34wg3-admin@isotopicmaps.org]De la part de Patrick Durusau
> > Envoye : samedi 26 fevrier 2005 22:34
> > A : sc34wg3
> > Objet : [sc34wg3] Topic Maps Reference Model posted (new draft)
> >
> >
> > Greetings!
> >
> > Just a quick note to let everyone know that a new version of the Topic
> > Maps Reference Model was posted earlier this month.
> >
> > http://www.isotopicmaps.org/TMRM/TMRM-5.0/TMRM-5.0.pdf
> > (or in HTML: http://www.isotopicmaps.org/TMRM/TMRM-5.0/TMRM-5.0.html)
> >
> > This will be balloted (CD) prior to the meeting in Amsterdam in May.
> >
> > Comments, suggestions and discussion are welcome.
> >
> > Hope everyone is having a great day!
> >
> > Patrick
> > --
> > Patrick Durusau
> > Director of Research and Development
> > Society of Biblical Literature
> > Patrick.Durusau@sbl-site.org
> > 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!
> >
> >
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> > sc34wg3@isotopicmaps.org
> > http://www.isotopicmaps.org/mailman/listinfo/sc34wg3
> >
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Michel Biezunski
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