[Crm-sig] Modelling an Actor carrying out an action at the Behest of Another

Jim Salmons jim.salmons at factminers.org
Thu Apr 16 03:44:54 EEST 2020

Hello Fellow SIG Members,


I have been a SIG member for over five years, silent other than my introductory comments upon requesting membership, content to listen and learn from this list while watching the evolution of the CRM. As a post-cancer #PayItForward indie #CitizenScientist, I leave the wrestling with domain-specific modeling issues to you professionals. But when this issue of agency and role-based activities by persons, etc. was raised, I felt an opportunity to contribute a comment based on deep, personal experience with this modeling challenge from my "former life" as an Executive Consultant in the Object Technology Practice of IBM Global Services in the mid-1990s. 


So my comments here are not made as a museum informatics professional but rather as a software designer and developer who has wrestled with this issue of role-based agency while trying to "Make it so" in software, as Star Trek's Capt. Picard would say.


Our engagement-based "skunkworks" was inspired by David Gelernter's book, "Mirror Worlds" (https://is.gd/mirrorworlds_at_OxfordUniPress). We explored Gelernter's ideas by creating an "Executable Business Model" framework written in IBM's Distributed Smalltalk. This framework leveraged a role-based metamodel design pattern. After my 2012-13 cancer battle, I was again inspired as I "reinvented" myself as an indie #CitizenScientist doing applied research at the intersection of #DigitalHumanities and #AI/#MachineLearning. 


The first focus during my reinvention was on the emerging technology of Open Source graph databases. In graph database technology I saw the promise of non-implementation-specific workflow specifications that could be encoded in a metamodel subgraph of the ground-truth metadata of a digital collection. With these workflow specifications included in the metamodel subgraph partition of a serial publication of, for example, historic magazine and newspaper collections, we could encode not only the collection's complex document structures and content depiction models -- based on an "ontological stack" of #cidocCRM, FRBRoo, and PRESSoo -- we could provide "soft specification" of role-based workflows for both human and machine (micro)services allowed and supported on the digital collection. This ground-truth storage specification is called #MAGAZINEgts and is the subject of my #DATeCH2017 and #DATeCH2019 poster/papers. (PDFs available via my ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jim_Salmons)


I included a high-level UML Class Diagram in our #DATeCH2017 poster/paper to briefly explain this design pattern, and have uploaded a PNG image of this class diagram to my ResearchGate.net profile here: https://is.gd/cidocCRM_role_agency_modeling. By modeling Person as Actor of Roles, the Actor intermediary class objectifies the expression of agency. Usually, a Person is the Actor of Roles on their own behalf. By providing the explicit Actor, the Person can fulfill the "acting" of a Role by delegation to an Agent, either another Person or a software 'bot'. This Class Diagram shows how a number of #cidocCRM Entities can be laid over a role-based software-executable activity metamodel.


I don't contribute this comment as an alternative to the deep discussion going on here related to this issue from professional CIDOC CRM SIG members' perspectives. I only contribute this here to provide context and a software designer/developer's experience report that I believe is relevant.


BTW, if anyone is interested in my applied research, please do not hesitate to contact me here or via private message. I could use some actual #cidocCRM expertise within my #PLN (Personal Learning Network). I am currently mentored by, among others, Andreas Maier of the FAU Germany Pattern Recognition Lab. Possible collaborations could be expressed in what will become a #DATeCH2021 paper.


>From the Cloistered Environs of the #StayAtHome World from the Far Side of The Pond,

  -: Jim Salmons :-


P.S. My personal #PayItForward goal is to contribute the #MAGAZINEgts ground-truth format and its implementation as a reference model for the 48-issue run of Softalk magazine. You will find the digital collection here: https://archive.org/details/softalkapple?sort=date. The #MAGAZINEgts work-in-process file is linked from the collection's About page at the Internet Archive.


From: Crm-sig <crm-sig-bounces at ics.forth.gr> On Behalf Of George Bruseker
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2020 3:26 PM
To: Robert Sanderson <RSanderson at getty.edu>
Cc: crm-sig <Crm-sig at ics.forth.gr>
Subject: Re: [Crm-sig] Modelling an Actor carrying out an action at the Behest of Another


Hi Rob,


Here's why I'm not sure about these two solutions:

… [snip snip – this comment is provided as ancillary supplement to the main thread via George, Robert, Martin, et al – {Please see the mailing list archive for the full #cidocCRM-specific discussion.] 

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