[crm-sig] Re: FRBR: what is a 'tower' ?

martin martin at ics.forth.gr
Tue May 6 14:16:25 EEST 2003

Dear All,

I had continued this dialogue with Maja, when I got the following questions from

Maja Žumer wrote:

> In fact I would like to fucus on another very much related issue:
> why are we developing this particular OO model? What are we
> trying to accomplish? To clarify the original FRBR model? To make
> it better understood by non-librarians? To get ready for the
> actual OO implementation? Other reasons? I believe the answer to
> this question is essential.
> Best regards
> Maja

As I am not part of the FRBR working group, I can only answer on
behalf of myself:

 From the point of view of the CIDOC CRM Special Interest Group,
the ultimate goal is to connect library, archive and museum
knowledge. An object-oriented model, with the qualities of a formal
ontology, provides a common language to disambiguate meaning and
to identify overlap and shared concepts between different metadata
and data models. We are convinced, that this is currently the only
viable method to integrate information in such a wide domain.

Based on such a model, various effective implementations can be
done in a straight-forward way, which typically do not use
object-oriented middle-ware.

So for me:
It is not to get ready for an actual OO implementation, but for
a set of implementions with semantic interoperability, no matter
of what technology. The key is the unique interpretation of
implemented data structures.

A model that represents FRBR as an idiosynchratic librarian's view
without connection to other conceptualizations we share as humans
is not helpful. We are interested in a model where the link into
museum and archive information is explicit and well understood.
So it is to make FRBR better understood by non-librarians and make
librarians better understand non-librarian concepts that relate to
library information.

The current formulation of FRBR contains a few ambiguities,
that could be clarified in a more formal ontological model.

In our Symposium in Washington we had the feeling, that there is
enough ground and good reason to enforce collaboration between
museum and library experts.
Therefore I would like to invite the FRBR working group to a common
meeting with the CRM-SIG, where we could acquire a common
understanding of the methodological issues of modelling our
knowledge and in the sequence explore the possibility of direct
collaboration and harmonized development.

(Please see also:

All the best,



  Dr. Martin Doerr              |  Vox:+30(2810)391625        |
  Principle Researcher          |  Fax:+30(2810)391638        |
  Project Leader SIS            |  Email: martin at ics.forth.gr |
                Information Systems Laboratory                |
                 Institute of Computer Science                |
    Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)   |
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          Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl               |

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