[Crm-sig] HW: Issue 410 - basic concepts intro

Athanasios Velios a.velios at arts.ac.uk
Wed Jun 5 15:35:00 EEST 2019


Dear all,

Following a discussion with Martin I am attaching the introduction to
basic CRM concepts for the CRM document which is to be followed by the
graphical representations and examples. We anticipate changes when all
material is considered together.

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Introduction to basic concepts

The following paragraphs explain core CRM concepts.
The CRM can describe entities which remain relatively stable with the
passing of time (E77 Persistent Item) and have identity based on the
continuity or continued availability of their properties. These include,
among others, monuments (e.g. E22 Human-Made Object) and mental ideas
(e.g. E28 Conceptual Object). These entities are prone to change through
human activity, biological, geological or environmental processes, but
are regarded to exist as long as such changes do not alter their essence
(their identity). For example, the Great Sphinx of Giza may have lost
part of its nose, but there is no question that we are still referring
to the same monument as that before the damage occured, since it
continues to represent significant characteristics of an overall shaping
in the past which is of archaeological relevance.

The CRM also includes entities (E2 Temporal Entity) which are themselves
time-limited processes or evolutions within the passing of time. They
necessarily involve an affected material, social or mental environment,
in the form of E77 Persistent Items or continuous substance, such as the
atmosphere.  They include among others making things by humans (E12
Production) and geological events (E5 Event). Once these entities occur,
they can only be experienced through observation or recordings. Evidence
of such entities (E2 Temporal Entity) may be preserved on material
objects being permanently affected or recorded through oral history.

Therefore a basic distinction of records modelled through the CRM is
between instances of E77 Persistent Item (endurants) and instances of E2
Temporal Entity (perdurants). In most cases this distinction is adequate
to describe database records. In exceptional cases, where we need to
consider complex combinations of changes of spatial extent over time,
the concept of spacetime (E92 Spacetime Volume) also needs to be
considered. E92 Spacetime Volume describes the entities whose substance
has or is an identifiable, confined geometrical extent that may vary
over time, fuzzy boundaries notwithstanding. For example, the built
settlement structure of the city of Athens is confined both from the
point of view of time-span (from its founding until now) and from its
changing geographical extent over the centuries, which may become more
or less evident from current observation, documents and excavations.
Even though E92 Spacetime Volume is an important theoretical part of the
model, it can be ignored for most practical documentation and modeling
tasks.

We explain these concepts with the help of graphical representations in
the next sections.


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All the best,

Thanasis

--
Dr. Athanasios Velios
Reader in Documentation
Ligatus
University of the Arts London
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