[Crm-sig] Domain and range of P90

Martin Doerr martin at ics.forth.gr
Thu Mar 1 14:19:00 EET 2018

Dear Conal Tuohy,

Your comments well taken, first again a general note: We try since 22 
years carefully to make standards were standards are possible, and to 
take care that the most relevant semantics for integrating data are 
modelled, as long as they can be modelled at all with these means. 
Standards making in the first place means following good practice around 
the world and understanding, were a consensus appears, and interfacing 
rather than redoing to those communities that have effective competence 
in certain fields.

So: "these gaps could be filled in a manner which is clear and simple 
and interoperable" .... How much would we love to do! The point is, that 
the encoding of names has an immense complexity. The most comprehensive 
and experienced standards come from the library world. If you believe 
there is a clear and simple solution, please try to extract it from the 
library cataloguing rules (AACR2, RDA 
https://www.oclc.org/en/rda/about.html), but there is also EAC-CPF 
(http://eac.staatsbibliothek-berlin.de/) and FOAF. FOAF works badly for 
historical data, as I was informed.

The names of people are indeed an issue of interoperability. However, if 
we have a particular person described with events etc., the exact name 
itself has no further links to other kinds of facts than instance 
matching with other occurrences of the same person (not talking about 
families here). Therefore the damage to global reasoning of having 
representation problems is relatively limited. ULAN, for instance, 
registers an average of two names per known artist. All practice of 
instance matching shows, that even encoding well names, the identity 
question is not settled. Instance matching is a science and says 
everything about the respective reasoning needed, and the effectivity of 
name standards.

In each case, in which an unambiguous formulation of some properties 
cannot be achieved because the word is more complex, we can only rely on 

More comments below:

On 3/1/2018 5:02 AM, Conal Tuohy wrote:
> One of the "gaps" which puzzles me most is the example you give of 
> encoding the string value of an Appellation. I understand the 
> recommended practice is to attach the string value of a person's name 
> using P3_has_note, or actually, using a custom subproperty of 
> P3_has_note. The semantics of P3_has_note itself are weak; a note is 
> simply an "informal description" of something, so if I have a 
> particular name (an RDF resource) which P3_has_note the literal string 
> "Conal Tuohy", then I should really define subproperties so as to be 
> able to distinguish that string value from a note which really is 
> nothing more than an "informal description" of that name e.g. "A very 
> uncommon name of Irish origin". What puzzles me most about this "gap" 
> in the RDFS specification is that the distinction between a note ABOUT 
> a name, and the actual textual representation OF a name is somehow 
> considered out of scope of the CRM in RDFS. It's puzzling, because the 
> string value of a name is something which really must be encoded in a 
> standard fashion, to achieve interoperability (as an aside, my 
> personal view is that the string literal "Conal Tuohy" could be 
> attached to an Appellation using the rdf:value or rdfs:label predicate 
> defined in the RDFS spec).
I can only repeat that the instructions of using the CRM and even the 
RDFS is making your own extensions. The weak semantics of P3 ensures 
that information is reached, but not, that it is specifically 
interpreted. Since there are world-wide no comprehensive encoding 
schemes for personal names, you can reuse for instance FOAF properties 
as subproperties of CRM properties, or reuse MARC encoded strings. Both 
represent a good practice and are well defined. As long as an LOD system 
has this information, it can map between them, run instance matching 
algorithms, and display the information.

Using rdfs:label can be a solution, as well as rdfs:value, which should 
be discussed as possible recommendations. Also,
instantiating Appellation with a URI in its own right is not necessary, 
if rdfs:label is sufficient. The problem is, that rdfs:label creates 
overlapping semantics with any ontology dealing with names.  We can only 
register this fact, by admitting that there is more than one 
representation, depending on the case.
> But the important thing is that the RDFS schema should stipulate how 
> to attach this literal data rather than leave it as an open question. 
> In general these are the kinds of issues which puzzle many people who 
> approach the CRM from a position of having already worked with other 
> RDF ontologies in the cultural heritage space, and find themselves 
> wondering how they are supposed to make these details CRM work in RDF 
> in an interoperable way, without having to pick and choose from a 
> variety of techniques for "finessing" the gaps.
Yes, but only if it is feasible at all, see above.
> These kinds of gaps are serious barriers to interoperability in the 
> Linked Open Data cloud, and they need to be addressed by agreeing on 
> some encoding procedures that can be used consistently by different 
> projects on the web. It would be helpful to CRM adopters in the Linked 
> Data community if these gaps could be filled in a manner which is 
> clear and simple and interoperable. I am not in favour of just 
> offering a menu of possible approaches, especially where individual 
> projects would have to make local customisations to their schema. If 
> there is some particular value in multiple approaches, then they could 
> be published as different "profiles" that encoders could simply adopt, 
> as a whole. I think the recent effort by Richard Light (and other 
> contributors) to collate guidelines on RDF encoding is a great 
> initiative! 
> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zCGZ4iBzekcEYo4Dy0hI8CrZ7dTkMD2rJaxavtEOET0/edit 
> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zCGZ4iBzekcEYo4Dy0hI8CrZ7dTkMD2rJaxavtEOET0/edit>> 
> It deserves more input and I hope it will continue to be discussed on 
> the list. I also think the Linked Art project http://linked.art/ with 
> its "profile" of the CRM is another really good way forward.
Every profile activity is well received and encouraged. If I say "define 
your own extensions", this is of course not meant to be individuals:-D, 
but communities of practice, the larger, the better.

But in general, I ask all CRM_SIG members to develop an understanding 
for the fact that perfect interoperability by perfect cataloguing 
instructions is simply impossible, and has never been achieved. The CRM 
approach is therefore to create a hierarchy of more and less important 
semantics to be agreed on, not to have a perfect format, but to make 
mappings *possible * and to *minimize *the need for mappings.

I use to describe the dilemma in these terms:

Making Standards

The good with standards is there are so many!

When you have a standard,

You need to transform to the standard

You need to renew and adapt the standard

You need to transform to the renewed standards

Why not just transform data?

There are too many transformations, you need a standard

Therefore I ask for your understanding that my sometimes defensive 
answers are nothing against the requirement raised, but to keep the 
layering of relevance intact, otherwise any standard (as many) gets 
completely out of control in the attempt to close all gaps with a "clear 
and simple solution".

Since this is an open forum, you are all encouraged to form active 
working groups coming back with viable solutions for the gaps. These 
"gap fillers" can be additional RDFS modules. They need *NOT* be 
integral part of the official CRM version (even though the may 
become!!). RDFS is definitely designed to be *modular. *In order to 
become a CRM-SIG recommendation, they can be in a separate module.

All the best,

> Regards
> Conal
> On 22 February 2018 at 19:46, George Bruseker <bruseker at ics.forth.gr 
> <mailto:bruseker at ics.forth.gr>> wrote:
>     Dear Phil et al.,
>     I think this is a case of interpreting the label of the property
>     rather than its intention. CRM ‘has value’ isn’t supposed to cover
>     all possible meanings of the natural language interpretation of
>     has value. Rather it has a very restricted use. It is meant to
>     give the quantitive number value associated to a dimension.
>     Dimension is a class that should be used to store information that
>     results from a measurement activity. The measurement activity is
>     specified as some procedural event that has the intentional
>     objective of producing quantitative data. It is an activity of
>     interacting with the world with the intention of producing a
>     quantitive result.
>     So it would be a nonsensical, to say 'this paragraph (E73) has
>     dimension (E54 defined as a quantitive result from a measuring
>     procedure) has value “the characters in this paragraph” (E59
>     primitive value). The definition of E54 forbids it because a
>     string is not a quantity (though of course it may have a quantity…
>     that would have to be measure).
>     That of course sounds irritating. It would be nice to have a
>     property that could store all values. But then of course that
>     property would mean everything and nothing and the ontology
>     wouldn’t work for getting specific information, like the
>     quantitative results of measurement activities separate from any
>     other value ‘good’ ‘bad’ ‘ugly’ ‘monogamy’ ‘world peace’ ‘all the
>     characters in this present string’.
>     That’s the ontological argument. The practical question is why you
>     are looking to expand the scope. I’m guessing that the reason is
>     because you want a unique place to store a data value (this is a
>     guess, so please do correct my presumption if I’m wrong).
>     This seems to me to get back to the encoding issue and having a
>     standard strategy. I think that a usual suggestion could be to
>     throw it into string via P3 via note. Another suggestion would be
>     to put it in label and, as I recall, there is rdf has value which
>     could hold the actual data points. You will note, in retort, that
>     p3 handles different kinds of information so is not a good
>     solution. Point taken.
>     In any case, I would argue that increasing the range of the
>     existing property to E1 E59 clearly cannot work because that would
>     be a completely different meaning of the property and it would
>     cause all sorts of backwards incompatibilities and data problems.
>     It would really be an undoing of good information structure. That
>     being said, some sort of solution either in the ontology or as an
>     encoding formalization of where to stick the actual ‘values’ of an
>     entity ought to be found.
>     I think the right direction might already have been found with
>     CRMsci which generalizes the notion of measurement to observation.
>     Observation is a class that documents events of systematic
>     observing (without that this be measuring, a clearly distinct and
>     different real life human activity with different parameters of
>     interest) and allows the tracing of observing a value (here the
>     range is even more radical, set at E1) and setting the property
>     type. (see the definitions
>     http://www.cidoc-crm.org/crmsci/sites/default/files/2017-03-22%23CRMsci1.2.3_esIP.pdf
>     <http://www.cidoc-crm.org/crmsci/sites/default/files/2017-03-22%23CRMsci1.2.3_esIP.pdf>)
>     This has a great deal of flexibility since we need to know not
>     just the value of any random thing that someone has assigned to
>     some object, but at the very least, of what type it is.
>     Consider one of Rob’s examples:
>     ‘linguistic objects have values’
>     Linguistic Object: here do mean the characters themselves? the
>     propositional content? the darkness of the font, the font type,
>     the style of encoding. these are all potential values of the
>     linguistic object. Obviously we don’t want to let our ontology
>     toss all this in the same bucket, right? I think the same argument
>     would go for appellation.
>     Not to mention, how one could irritatingly misinterpet the
>     sentence ‘linguistic objects have values’ to imply their adherence
>     to a dogma, a political party, a certain sense of taste in dress.
>     Digital Image, I am not sure we would have a problem with, as it
>     is a mathematical object and as such I guess its properties are
>     quantitive and therefore just good old fashioned dimension.
>     All this being said, obviously you raise the issue because there
>     are things that you need to document in the real world and are
>     presently unable to encode as you would need using CRM. Obviously,
>     something like a property with the natural language interpretation
>     of ‘has value’  has an intuitive appeal. Would you give a few
>     examples of the problems areas (I would certainly not assert that
>     they do not exist), so we can think together of a solution that is
>     ontologically sound and pragmatically applicable?
>     Cheers,
>     George
>     > On Feb 21, 2018, at 7:30 PM, Franco Niccolucci
>     <franco.niccolucci at gmail.com <mailto:franco.niccolucci at gmail.com>>
>     wrote:
>     >
>     > Hm.
>     >
>     > The current way of representing something similar (but
>     different) to what you propose is:
>     >
>     > E70 Thing -> P43 has dimension -> E54 Dimension -> P90 has value
>     -> E60 Number
>     >
>     > The path starts from Things (and not CRM Entities) and ends to
>     Numbers (and not Primitive Values, i.e. also Strings, Time
>     Primitives and whatever we can invent in the future): it gives a
>     numeric value to a thing.
>     >
>     > The proposed change would allow giving, through the "new" P90, a
>     generic value defined as E59 Primitive Value, i.e anything, also
>     to E2 Temporal Entities, E53 Places etc, all subclasses of E1.
>     >
>     > What can be an example of the Primitive Value of a Temporal
>     Entity or of a Place?
>     >
>     > For example “Bronze Age”, an instance of E4 Period, cannot have
>     a primitive value whatever; it may have a Time Span and take place
>     somewhere in a Place. Time spans may P83/84 have durations,
>     instances of E54.
>     >
>     > Dimensions would need to be considered not only as something
>     that can be measured with numbers only: for example “poor - fair -
>     good - excellent” would be acceptable for the space of Values,
>     same for “strings of UTF8 characters”. It is not necessary to
>     specify what the values is, as it by definition could be anything
>     >
>     > So I would rather suggest to leave the domain of P43 as is, i.e.
>     Things only; and the range of P90, as you propose, could become
>     E59, i.e. strings or anything else to be created as subclass of
>     E59, without short-cutting the above.
>     >
>     > This allows specifying what we are talking about the Thing (its
>     length, its social value, its ranking on its Facebook page, its
>     translation into Estonian), i.e. the dimension; and how we measure
>     it if desired, - E58 Measurement Unit.
>     >
>     > Best
>     >
>     > Franco
>     >
>     > PS This discussion reminds me of a commercial advertising a
>     credit card. It showed somebody buying a ring for the beloved one,
>     paying the dinner with her, buying flowers, and ended saying that
>     one can buy everything with the card, but romance has no price.
>     >
>     > Prof. Franco Niccolucci
>     > Director, VAST-LAB
>     > PIN - U. of Florence
>     > Scientific Coordinator
>     >
>     > Piazza Ciardi 25
>     > 59100 Prato, Italy
>     >
>     >
>     >> Il giorno 21 feb 2018, alle ore 17:13, Robert Sanderson
>     <RSanderson at getty.edu <mailto:RSanderson at getty.edu>> ha scritto:
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> Definitely in favor of this.  Linguistic Objects can have
>     values. Appellations have values. Digital Images have values. Etc.
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> Rob
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> From: Crm-sig <crm-sig-bounces at ics.forth.gr
>     <mailto:crm-sig-bounces at ics.forth.gr>> on behalf of "Carlisle,
>     Philip" <Philip.Carlisle at HistoricEngland.org.uk
>     <mailto:Philip.Carlisle at HistoricEngland.org.uk>>
>     >> Date: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 4:04 PM
>     >> To: "crm-sig (Crm-sig at ics.forth.gr
>     <mailto:Crm-sig at ics.forth.gr>)" <Crm-sig at ics.forth.gr
>     <mailto:Crm-sig at ics.forth.gr>>
>     >> Subject: [Crm-sig] Domain and range of P90
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> Dear all,
>     >> Naïve question.
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> Is there any reason why P90 has value could not/should not
>     change its domain and range from:
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> Domain:                        Range
>     >>
>     >> E54 Dimension              E60 Number
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> to
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> E1 CRM Entity              E59 Primitive Value
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> I look forward to you answers
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> Phil
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> Phil Carlisle
>     >>
>     >> Knowledge Organization Specialist
>     >>
>     >> Listing Group, Historic England
>     >>
>     >> Direct Dial: +44 (0)1793 414824 <tel:%2B44%20%280%291793%20414824>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >> http://thesaurus.historicengland.org.uk/
>     <http://thesaurus.historicengland.org.uk/>
>     >>
>     >> http://www.heritagedata.org/blog/
>     <http://www.heritagedata.org/blog/>
>     >>
>     >>
>     >>
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> -- 
> Conal Tuohy
> http://conaltuohy.com/
> @conal_tuohy
> +61-466-324297
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  Dr. Martin Doerr              |  Vox:+30(2810)391625        |
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