[Crm-sig] Recording absence

Martin Doerr martin at ics.forth.gr
Tue Nov 5 18:49:52 EET 2019

Dear Martijn, All,

As you state, an empty collection does not really work, because nothing 
is curated or created. This would be "Relational Database" thinking, 
where you fill in slots.

The interesting thing is, to be clear about WHAT is negated. What is a 
"no archaeological finds at all" ?
Obviously, it needs a specification of WHAT was sought or expected 
starting the investigation. This appears to be E55 Types. So, we have a 
property "O19 <#_O19_has_found>* has found object of type (was type of 
object found by)", and its negative. This is not dramatic, to define for 
all respective properties the "categorical" equivalent, and the 
negative, once they are simple deductions, and do not proliferate.

But interesting is also the activity of seeking, but not finding. So, a 
survey is seeking, results in n encounters. Here, we have  "no encounter 
event",  no event linking to "object of type". This is more complex. The 
"no" is about the event....



On 11/5/2019 5:36 PM, van Leusen, P.M. wrote:
> Dear Athanasios,
> this same issue came up during discussion of the ontology of 
> archaeological field surveying, where we wish to (and in some cases, 
> have in fact) recorded the absence of surface finds from a specific 
> piece of investigated land. A typical situation would be, that a 
> survey team has 'walked' a field with a particular observation 
> intensity, say 20% (so 20% of the field's surface has actually been 
> inspected), and has made no archaeological finds at all. This results 
> in an 'empty' collection (0 finds), which is a valid outcome just like 
> 1, 10 or a 1000 finds would be. It was suggested by George Bruseker to 
> model such survey collections as Curated Holdings, but that only works 
> as long as there is something physical to curate - so it does not work 
> for 'empty' collections.
> So, what solutions might be possible, analogous to the options that 
> you've presented here? Either we allow Curated Holdings with zero 
> members, or we introduce negative properties.....
> Martijn
> On Tue, Nov 5, 2019 at 4:03 PM Athanasios Velios 
> <thanasis at softicon.co.uk <mailto:thanasis at softicon.co.uk>> wrote:
>     Dear all,
>     Following the Linked Conservation Data workshop and the last SIG in
>     Crete I am summarising the problem of documenting non-existence.
>     An example of non-existence is: a book cover (a particular) without
>     tooled decoration (a type).
>     Options for encoding:
>     1) As discussed here:
>     http://lists.ics.forth.gr/pipermail/crm-sig/2012-November/001873.html
>     ,
>     we could have a new E55 Type "books without decoration". This is a
>     good
>     solution but the problem is that we will need an unmanageable
>     number of
>     composite thesaurus terms to cover all possibilities, e.g. things
>     without a feature, or types of events which did not happen etc.
>     2) In past SIGs we have mentioned negative properties. This is also a
>     good solution but not quite in scope. A negative property requires
>     particulars for domain and range. So I can say that:
>     cover(E22 Man-Made Object) → NOT P56 bears feature → tooled
>     decoration(E25 Man-Made Feature)
>     This would mean that the specific book does not carry the specific
>     decoration. But I want to say that the specific book does not
>     carry any
>     decoration.
>     3) So I pestered Carlo for a few days and he says:
>     "To express negative information in an ontology, it is recommended to
>     use specific axioms. For example, to state that certain books have no
>     decorations the axiom would require to create a special class for
>     those
>     books and to make that class a sub-class of the class expression
>     'individuals with less than 1 decorations'. This will require a class
>     and an axiom to be created for each type of negative information
>     to be
>     expressed. But it has the advantage of using a standard OWL 2 DL
>     inference engine to reason about that negative knowledge, both for
>     maintaining consistency and for query answering."
>     So what Carlo thinks is that option 1 is reasonable and in fact
>     instead
>     of using simply a thesaurus, one should elevate these definitions to
>     ontology classes and axioms.
>     I would be interested to hear views from the list, as I am not
>     sure how
>     to model such statements. Those of you who have looked at this in the
>     past, do you get a sense of the scale for negation statements?
>     Thank you.
>     Thanasis
>     P.S. A parallel thought which did not capture Carlo's imagination
>     was a
>     "typed negative property", i.e. create new negative properties
>     with E55
>     as range as in:
>     cover(E22 Man-Made Object) → NOT P56 bears feature of type → tooled
>     decoration(E55 Type)
>     but I am not sure how this would translate to logic in an
>     inference engine.
>     _______________________________________________
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>     Crm-sig at ics.forth.gr <mailto:Crm-sig at ics.forth.gr>
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> -- 
> Dr. Martijn van Leusen
> Associate professor, Landscape Archaeology, Groningen Institute of 
> Archaeology
> Poststraat 6, 9712ER Groningen (Netherlands) / phone +31 50 3636717
> Chair, Examination Board for Arts, Culture and Archaeology / Chair, 
> Faculty of Arts Advisory Board for Data Management policies
> Academia page <https://rug.academia.edu/MartijnvanLeusen>
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  Dr. Martin Doerr
  Honorary Head of the
  Center for Cultural Informatics
  Information Systems Laboratory
  Institute of Computer Science
  Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)
  N.Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton,
  GR70013 Heraklion,Crete,Greece
  Email: martin at ics.forth.gr
  Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl

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