[Crm-sig] Event hierarchy relationships

Robert Sanderson RSanderson at getty.edu
Thu Jan 18 23:05:35 EET 2018

Dear all,

In a few areas of our work in modeling the resources of the Getty and other museums, we have become slightly nervous that the containment model for events/activities is not sufficient compared to the temporal-only notion of P9 / P10.

In particular, we can distinguish between two types of activity that occur during a particular context-providing super-activity.  By way of example, I’ll use the activity of getting married.

Over the course of a day there are various activities that might occur when one gets married.  There is often a ceremony, a formal dinner, and a party.  We’re happy that these are pure partitions of the overall day, and the definitions of P9 and/or P10 are suitable.
However, there are other effects that occur instantaneously, but at no particular point, that we would want to model.  In particular, the name of one of the people getting married can change … but there’s no exact instant when that happens. There is the Formation of a Group (the married couple), the Joining of the individuals to the Group, and then the Acquisition of their individually owned objects by that Group. No one carries out that Acquisition, it’s a side effect of the formation of the legal partnership.

These sorts of side-effect activities seem very different from the more human activities that have clear spatio-temporal delimitation.  They happen at the same time as “getting married” and they must be coincident with it, but they’re not an exclusive partitioning…. they’re modeling constructs for describing changes of state in the world, in this case mostly legal ones.

Other examples would be the transfer of ownership, transfer of custody, and transfer of monetary amounts that occur when some actor purchases an object. These changes of state occur necessarily within the activity context of “buying the object” but don’t happen at any specific instant within that process … at least at the scale that anyone cares to record the information for.

So … we would appreciate any advice on how to distinguish between partitioning activities and legal-state-changing activities, both being differently part of a larger activity.  They’re not motivated by each other, nor are they preparatory for each other… which leaves only consists of.  Has this come up in the past? Is there scope for a subproperty of P9 or P10?

Many thanks,

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