[Crm-sig] HW: Issue 431

Martin Doerr martin at ics.forth.gr
Thu Jan 16 19:15:37 EET 2020

On 1/16/2020 3:10 PM, Bekiari Xrysoula wrote:
> Dear Martin
> We would like to remind you the HW on issue 431. You may find the 
> details in http://www.cidoc-crm.org/Issue/ID-431-make-methodology-clear
> all the best
> Chryssoula - Eleni
Dear All,

Here my proposal, in italics the additions, at three places:



A class is a category of items that share one or more common 
traits**serving as criteria to identify the items belonging to the 
class. These *properties* need not be explicitly formulated in logical 
terms, but may be described in a text (here called a *scope note*) that 
refers to a common conceptualisation of domain experts. The sum of these 
traits is called the *intension* of the class /and constitute its 
definition./ /In the CRM, a class is identified by an alphanumeric code 
and a name, for mnemonic reasons, which should not be regarded as 
definition./ A class may be the *domain* or *range* of none, one or more 
properties formally defined in a model. The formally defined properties 
need not be part of the intension of their domains or ranges: such 
properties are optional. An item that belongs to a class is called an 
*instance* of this class. A class is associated with an open set of real 
life instances, known as the *extension* of the class. Here “open” is 
used in the sense that it is generally beyond our capabilities to know 
all instances of a class in the world and indeed that the future may 
bring new instances about at any time (*Open World*). Therefore a class 
cannot be defined by enumerating its instances. A class plays a role 
analogous to a grammatical noun, and can be completely defined without 
reference to any other construct (unlike properties*,* which must have 
an unambiguously defined domain and range). In some contexts, the terms 
individual class, entity or node are used synonymously with class.

For example:

/E21/ Person is a class. To be a person may actually be determined by 
DNA characteristics, but we all know what a person is. /The scope note 
of E21 Person clarifies the exact sense of this class in contrast to 
other possible meanings of ‘person’ in natural languages. /A person may 
have the property of being a member of a Group, but it is not necessary 
to be member of a Group in order to be a Person. We shall never know all 
persons of the past. There will be more persons in the future.

scope note


A scope note is a textual description of the *intension* of a *class* or 

Scope notes are not formal modelling constructs, but are provided to 
help explain the intended meaning and application of the CIDOC CRM’s 
classes and properties. Basically, they refer to a conceptualisation 
common to domain experts and disambiguate between different possible 
interpretations. /They constitute approximate definitions. The name of a 
class is a mnemonic help for the content of the scope note and not part 
of the definition. / Illustrative example *instances* of classes and 
properties are also regularly provided in the scope notes for 
explanatory purposes.

      Naming Conventions

The following naming conventions have been applied throughout the CIDOC CRM:

·Classes are identified by numbers preceded by the letter “E” 
(historically classes were sometimes referred to as “Entities”), and are 
named using noun phrases (nominal groups) using title case (initial 
capitals) a/s mnemonics for the content of the scope note/. For example, 
E63 Beginning of Existence.

·Properties are identified by numbers preceded by the letter “P,” and 
are named in both directions using verbal phrases in lower case /as 
mnemonics for the content of the scope note/. Properties with the 
character of states are named in the present tense, such as “has type”, 
whereas properties related to events are named in past tense, such as 
“carried out.” For example, /P126 employed (was employed in)/.

  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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