[Crm-sig] Causation and events

Martin Scholz martin.scholz at informatik.uni-erlangen.de
Mon Oct 10 17:22:29 EEST 2011

Hi Martin,

I have no real application. The question rather evolved from a discussion about 
family relationships and how to relate the conception event and the 
corresponding birth event (see scope notes P96/97). IMHO, influence is too weak; 
causation would be more appropriate (apart from the fact that P15 can't be 
applied). As for our discussion, we do not worry about conception any more, but 
the question remained. That's why I formulated it abstract and general.

Thanks for your explanations on how the CRM treats (or should treat) causation.
I further found Issue 45 and remarks in the reports of the 2nd and 3rd joined 
meeting of the CIDOC Special Interest Group and ISO/TC46/SC4/WG9. Is this the 
discussions you referred to or is there even more documentation on this?

As there are a lot of properties in the CRM that imply causation or 
interpretation in general (some of these already mentioned) I consider their 
existence now being due to documentational practise. Interpretational 
propositions in general, including causation, are dicouraged, though. Right?

Then there is a remaining question:
Why can only E7 Activities be influenced? Things or people could well influence 
E5 events in general, like forces of nature. Of course, one could ask, how the 
event would have taken place, if there wassn't that influence, but that's also 
true for E7.


Am 07.10.2011 14:19, schrieb martin:
> Dear Martin, Agnes,
> On 10/7/2011 12:53 PM, Martin Scholz wrote:
>> Hi Agnes,
>> Am 06.10.2011 16:51, schrieb Agnes Thomas:
>>> Hi,
>>> isn't it that both P15i_influenced and P17i_motivated have domain and
>>> range E1_CRM_Entity? So it shouldn't be a problem to use it with
>>> E5_Event as well as E7_Activity.
>> Unfortunately this is not the case. The range of both is restricted to E7
>> Activity (for the inverse, i.e. the domain of "normal" property is restricted to
>> E7 Activity)
> Exactly. This link is for cases in which some person or group take up impressions
> or orders which we regard as having had an effect on the reported activity.
>>> There is also P123_resulted_in, but with domain and range
>>> E77_Persistent_Item. It would be really useful to have it for E5/E7,
>>> too.
>> P123 has its domain restricted to E81 Transformation, which is a subclass of E5
>> Event. This is an interesting property. If I remodel my examples and replace the
>> caused event E5 by some material or immaterial event outcome (an E77), I can
>> express the causing event as cause for the outcome:
>> The eruption of Vesuv (E81 Transformation) had as result (P123) the ruins of
>> Pompeii (E77).
>> A stabbing (E81) resulted in (P123) a dead person X (E77).
> This is correct, and an additional detail to the solution I have described: It again
> takes "causal" and "effectual" events as one process, the "transformation". It describes
> the view I mentioned, that we regard as efect of the event not another event, but the persistent
> state of things after it. It is correct to characterize an event as Activity, Death and
> Transformation simultaneously, if the dead body is an object in a museum or otherwise
> subject of extended documentation afterwards. Please note, that the CRM is not prescriptive!
> We should first ask ourselves, what we want to document and what the formal queries for
> a research question should be. To create in a knowledge base an instance of a dead body for the
> beauty of being able to say that is not useful.
>> This is not exactly what I was looking for (event to event), but it may be an
>> interesting alternative! Although, it's fine for the examples above, I wonder if
>> the restriction to E81 will lead to problems in causal relations.
>>> For the Hellespont Project (modelling historical events taken from an
>>> ancient greek text), a further question would be how to distinguish
>>> exactly between E5_Event and E7-Activity. Is the Persian War an
>>> E5_Event or an E7_Activity?
> This may not be the right question. One cannot "distinguish" between a class and its
> superclass. Rather, the question is, what properties an instance must have to
> qualify also as instance of the subclass.
> Hence: the Persian War is an E5_Event. Is the Persian War also an E7_Activity? We can fairly
> assume plans for any war. So, any war is also an Activity.
>> I think, the key phrase in the scope note is that E7 is an "action intentionally
>> carried out" by a single person or a group. As to my understanding, a car
>> accident would thus not be an E7 unless it is provoked on purpose. Neither would
>> be manslaughter/unintentional killing. In the case of a war, I think there is
>> always the possibility for both parties not to battle, so it's an E7.
>> In documentational practise, I can imagine that intentionality is really hard to
>> prove or reject.
> Exactly. In the CRM-SIG discussions, we decided that intentionality
> is not to be seen to require pre-existing plans, only "active" participation. I may
> a car accident rather as activity as long as it is not provoked by heart stroke or failure.
> But in case of doubt, the more general class is always the correct choice, as Martin suggests.
> The question of classification is secondary to the use of relationships. I'd argue that registering a
> car-accident as Event with participants, possibly being also death of somebody, is adequate
> to describe the case.
> If someone describes a car accident due to high speed as E7_Activity, a query assuming only
> E5_Event for an accident will still give the correct answer, due to the smart subsumption...
> Still, Martin, it would be nice for us to learn about your application.
> Best,
> martin
>> Martin
>>> Agnes.
>>> Zitat von Martin Scholz<martin.scholz at informatik.uni-erlangen.de>:
>>>> Hello,
>>>> how can causation be modeled between two events A and B?
>>>> Examples:
>>>> The eruption of Vesuv (E5 Event) caused the destruction of Pompeii (E5).
>>>> A stabbing (E5 Event / E7 Activity) caused the death of X (E5).
>>>> As far as I can see, there is no direct way, i.e. no property for that.
>>>> In the last example P15 influenced could be applied if the stabbing
>>>> is modeled
>>>> as E7. But influence is weaker than if not different from causation. Also, it
>>>> cannot be used for the first example, as P15 only applies to E7
>>>> Activities, not
>>>> E5 Events in general. Is there a reason for that? Events could be influenced,
>>>> too, for example a flood by a dam.
>>>> P20 had specific purpose again can only be applied to the last
>>>> example. Although
>>>> it implies causation, the meaning would shift to willful killing and exclude
>>>> accidental death.
>>>> A circumscription would be to define an event C and state
>>>> C P10 contains A
>>>> C P10 contains B
>>>> A (P120 occurs before OR P119 meets in time with OR P116 starts) B
>>>> and infer that therefore there must be some causal connection
>>>> between A and B.
>>>> But this is awkward and very indirect.
>>>> If there are no better solutions, I propose the introduction of a property
>>>> PXXX caused (domain&    range: E5).
>>>> Martin Scholz
>>>> --
>>>> Martin Scholz, Dipl-Inf.
>>>> Artificial Intelligence Division
>>>> Department of Computer Science
>>>> University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
>>>> Haberstr. 2
>>>> 91058 Erlangen
>>>> martin.scholz at informatik.uni-erlangen.de
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Martin Scholz, Dipl-Inf.
Artificial Intelligence Division
Department of Computer Science
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Haberstr. 2
91058 Erlangen

martin.scholz at informatik.uni-erlangen.de

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