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

Martin Doerr martin at ics.forth.gr
Thu Apr 16 17:53:23 EEST 2020

Dear George, All

Here some more analytical thoughts:

On 4/14/2020 6:47 PM, George Bruseker wrote:
> Dear all,
> Here is a minor modelling issue which may or may not find your 
> interest in these times of quarantine. The modelling conundrum is the 
> following:
> Sometimes in an activity, the activity is carried out by a named 
> individual but it is carried out on the behest of an organization or 
> someone acts in their capacity as the representative of an organization.

The first thing we should distinguish is if this representation is a 
permanent or a temporary one.

The second, if the activity is regarded as an activity of the Group in 
its entirety, or as an activity within the activities of the Group.

For instance, at FORTH, we as researchers are not entitled to speak in 
the name of FORTH, but the products of our work are propriety of FORTH.

See also the concept of "procura" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Procuration

Generally, if some consequences cannot be inferred from the atomic 
description, we may need "redundant" modelling, representing respective 
facts in addition to the causal relation.

> Examples:
> The Conceptual Modelling (E7) is carried out by George Bruseker (E21) 
> as representative of Takin.Solutions (E74)
> The Diplomatic Reception (E7) is carried out by Ms. Diplomat (E21) as 
> representative of the Canadian Government
> Ie: we want to say that at this time (when E7 occurred) this actor 
> (E21) did the action (p14) but also to qualify this participation not 
> through a role but to say that this person was not acting as an 
> individual but at the time was employed by, working for, acting on the 
> behest of some other entity E74.
> One the one hand you could say, just document that the actor was a 
> member of some group through a join and leave event and then you could 
> calculate that they were a member of that group at the time of the 
> event. I think this doesn't work because a) it is obtuse and b) it 
> cannot be inferred that because I am a member of some group at some 
> time that the actions I take in that time span are then me acting on 
> behalf of that group. Obviously, I guess.
Yes, indeed.
> So next potential solution. I think that p14.1 in the role of, won't 
> cut it, because that would only point to a role 'diplomat' 'conceptual 
> modeller' whatever. This does not create the relation to the instance 
> of E39 actor which the E21 acts on behalf of/under the auspices of.

We can use two P14 carried out by links, in which the activity is that 
of the Group P14.1 in the role of : "employer", and P14.1 in the role 
of: "implementer".

This describes well the incidental connection between employer and 
employee in actions on behest of the employer.

Note, that all such proposals should be documented, and a good practice 
of role types be collected!

Alternatively, and compatible with that, would be a description of an 
overarching activity of the Group, such as "Conceptual Modelling 
Research" at FORTH ICS CCI, and my individual works as "forms part of" 
the larger one.

> You can't just say that the E21 p107i is current or former member of 
> E74 because a) acting on behalf of someone else doesn't necessarily 
> imply membership in a group together and b) this will not say that the 
> person _at that time_ was acting on behalf of / in relation to the 
> other Actor anyway (see above).
> A classic solution might be to create a one person E74 group called 
> 'representative of x organization on this night' and then put the 
> person in that group and then have the group carry out the action. 
> While logically it sounds like a solution (and doesn't call for new 
> additions to the model) but it would be counterintuitive to a user, 
> creating entities that the user wouldn't imagine to think of or use.

I would reject such a solution, because there is no substance of 
identity to such a one-person Group. This should be restricted to 
offices and procurators.

In these cases, the relationship is clear.

> Another option would be to do event partioning and then say that the 
> person participated in a sub activity in which they were 
> 'representing' x. I also think this creates a lot. of complication and 
> is not self explanatory as a modelling solution (half the time you 
> should look for actors carrying out the activity under p14 and half 
> the time under a sub event of E7 with a special type).

That is actually not a problem. See above. I would not use a 
"representing" x, but "forms part of". I think the concept of an 
overarching activity is very clear. The "part of" implies the "on behest 
of". .

We always need to complement search by deductions, inferences between 
the general and the specific. Therefore "half the time you should look 
for actors carrying out the activity under p14 and half the time under a 
sub event of E7 with a special type" is not an argument at all. The 
closure of all reasonable paths is what people must look at. A good 
practice guide should enumerate such solutions.

The solution is monotonic in two directions, which is very important:

A) start with the individual activity, not knowing on who's behalf. 
Adding later a forms part of.

B) start with the Group activity, not knowing the implementer. Adding 
later the subactivity.

The same holds for the two roles solution above.

> So I don't find any of my imagined solutions very satisfactory. What 
> do other people think? Does anyone have a solution that I haven't 
> thought of with existing CRM mechanics? If there isn't a pre-existing 
> solution, do you ideas on how to cover this scenario?
> I encounter it relatively frequently.
> One solution I could imagine would be a new .1 type property off the 
> PC14 class that would be something like 'as representative of'. I am 
> not wedded to such a solution, but I suggest it because I think it 
> might link to a more general issue that it is difficult to express 
> 'manner' in a grammatical sense with CRM and somehow the .1 properties 
> aid with this important kind of construct.

I do not like it, because it sounds linguistically nice, but leaves the 
form of representation under-determined. It cannot distinguish between 
representing an organisation, such as a procuration, and carrying out a 
task as employee.

I think we should introduce some specializations of "was motivated by" 
for commissioning, which has a clear sense. Could be for CRMsoc.



> Anyhow just food for thought.
> Best,
> George
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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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