[Crm-sig] PLEASE VOTE: Compatibility with CRM

Richard Light richard at light.demon.co.uk
Wed Oct 23 17:18:18 EEST 2019

I think no.

In addition to Rob's comments below, and the need to change 'intented' to 'intended', I have reservations about the definition of partial conformance (and by extension of full conformance).  For a start, are we trying to characterize systems, or data?  The text starts off talking about data, then later on talks about systems. They are different things.

My view is that it is useful to define conformance for data, because that helps people decide what they can do with that data. Conformance of systems I think is a less useful concept.  In particular, I don't think that having a system support every single CRM class and property is something to push for.

As regards data instances, I see 'full conformance' as meaning that the data is already in a form, or can be programmatically converted into a form, where all the classes and properties expressed by the data are taken from the CRM and meet the CRM's cardinality constraints. (I don't think we need to mention inheritance: this is 'baked into' the CRM model.)

'partial conformance' is where, after a similar optional conversion, some of the classes and properties in the data are taken from the CRM.  However, that raises another question: what is the conformance level of data where some of the classes and properties are non-CRM, but an 'extension ontology' is provided which defines all of these classes and properties, and maps them all to 'parent' classes and properties in the CRM?  Surely this is to be encouraged, and should be seen as 'more' conformant than data in which some classes and properties are CRM, and the rest is 'any old stuff'?

I agree with Rob's reservations about letting users decide what counts as 'no loss of meaning'.  One suggestion is that we could ask them to implement round-tripping between the native form of the data and its CRM-compatible expression.


On 22/10/2019 21:44, Robert Sanderson wrote:


Some issues that could be fixed, but don’t lead me to conclude that it should be a straight No … however if it is about conformance (which I believe it is) then it is a potentially legal issue as to claims of systems and we should be careful with what we say.

Suggested edits:

  *   Typo:  “enconding” for “encoding” in the first paragraph.
  *   The title is about “compatibility” but the text is about “conformance”. These are very different things. I think the title should be Conformance with the CRM.
  *   The sentence starting “Conformance pertains” doesn’t make sense as currently structured. Skipping the first part of the or clause, it reads:  “Conformance pertains either to […] or intended for transport to other environments.”  I think it should be:  Conformance pertains to data which is either made accessible … or intended to be transported to other environments.
  *   The conformance rule is ambiguous. I can claim conformance by supporting one class, as “conformance does not require complete …”.  Given the introduction later of “partially conformant”, the first paragraph should define “fully conformant” as supporting all of the classes and properties defined in the document. The next paragraph talks about conformance again, with a very different rubric.  I can be fully conformant in a system that manages only Identifiers, but the previous paragraph would require this to be partially conformant.
  *   The documentation system paragraph talks about compatibility and conformance. It should only talk about conformance, or we would need the definition of “compatible”
  *   The “without loss of meaning” is based on the subjective opinion of an indeterminate audience, yet is a core part of the determination of conformance. My Identifier system is thus fully conformant, yet implements only one class and no properties because I, as the audience, judge it to be so.


From: Crm-sig <crm-sig-bounces at ics.forth.gr><mailto:crm-sig-bounces at ics.forth.gr> on behalf of Bekiari Xrysoula <bekiari at ics.forth.gr><mailto:bekiari at ics.forth.gr>
Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2019 at 1:28 PM
To: "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] PLEASE VOTE: Compatibility with CRM

Dear All

Following the decisions of the current working group meeting, we invite
you to vote if you accept the text  about the compatiblity with CRM in
the version 6.2.6. This text is the same with the one found in the iso
version(rev 2014).

The text is the following:

Compatibility with the CRM

Users intending to take advantage of the semantic interoberability
offered by this International Standard should ensure conformance with
the relevant data structures. Conformance pertains either to data to be
made accessible in an integrated environment or intended for transport
to other environments. Any enconding of data in a formal language that
preserves the relations of the classes, properties, and inheritance
rules defined by this definition of the CIDOC CRM(definition document),
is regarded as conformant.
Conformance with this definition document does not require complete
matching of all local documentation structures, nor that all concepts
and structures present in this definition document be implemented. This
definition document is intented to allow room both for extensions,
needed to capture the full richness of cultural documentation, and for
simplification, in the interests of economy. A system will be deemed
partially conformant if it supports a subset of subclasses and
subproperties defined by this definition document. Designers of the
system should publish details of the constructs that are supported.
The focus of this definition document is the exchange and mediation of
structured information. It does not require the interpretation of
unstructured (free text) information into a structured, logical form.
Unstructured information is supported, but falls outside the scope of
conformance considerations.
Any documentation system will be deemed conformant with this definition
document, regardless of the internal data structures it uses; if a
deterministic logical algorithm can be constructed, that transforms data
contained in the system into a directly compatible form without loss of
No assumptions are made as to the nature of this algorithm. "Without
loss of meaning" signifies that designers and users of the system are
satisfied that the data representation corresponds to the semantic
definitions provided by this definition .


YES for accepting,

NO for not accepting,

by Oct. 25 2019.

all the best


Chryssoula Bekiari
Research and Development Engineer

Center for Cultural Informatics / Information Systems Laboratory
Institute of Computer Science
Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)

N. Plastira 100, Vassilika Vouton, GR-700 13 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Phone: +30 2810 391631, Fax: +30 2810 391638, Skype: xrysmp
E-mail: bekiari at ics.forth.gr<mailto:bekiari at ics.forth.gr>
Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl/index_main.php?l=e&c=231

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