[Crm-sig] 511 e-vote

Francesco Beretta francesco.beretta at cnrs.fr
Wed Mar 24 10:08:20 EET 2021

Dear Martin,

It is to me to thank you so much for taking the time to restate the 
whole issue from the point of view of the methodology used to develop 
the CRM, making very clear the reasons for the decision that was taken 
by the SIG. I understand your arguments and they are certainly robust in 
the point of view of the scientific method, and more specifically physics.

My concern is about the adoption of the CIDOC CRM by a larger community, 
making it a widely used ontology in the domain of digital humanities and 
social sciences, which are interconnected with museums and other GLAM 
actors, all of them being active in the domain of cultural heritage, for 
conservation or for scientific exploration.

Restricting the scope of the E16 Measurement class after years of use in 
a more generic sense, whether or not it is the substance intended by the 
insiders from the beginning, poses in my opinion a problem which I think 
should be analysed from this larger point of view. More in general the 
methodology the SIG adopts to develop the CRM should in my opinion take 
into account this development towards a larger community of users and 
the need expressed by more and more people and projects to have an 
ontology to fill the interoperability gap in cultural heritage domain 
intended in a broad, multi-disciplinary sense.

These considerations also apply to the articulation between the 
different extensions in the CRM family, in which the approaches of the 
different disciplines can be expressed more clearly, and refer to wide 
spread standards in the different domains, leaving CRMbase with a 
generic character that makes it the pivot of interoperability. It should 
be noted that the growing demand is not only for data integration but 
also, and especially, for new information production.

I personally advocate the adoption of CIDOC CRM in the context of this 
broader vision, and often seek to make clear to external users 
methodological choices taken by the CRM SIG, and the meaning of aspects 
of the ontology that are less directly understandable, without specific 
training, in communities wishing to adopt it. And I believe, especially 
when I compare our activity with that of the maintainers of other 
standards, such as TEI, that a more community driven approach in the 
development of the CRM would facilitate its understanding and adoption, 
and thus further enhance the value of all the work that has been done 
over the years to develop the robust model that we know and cherish.

With all my thanks and best wishes



Dr. habil. Francesco Beretta

Chargé de recherche au CNRS,
Axe de recherche histoire numérique,
Laboratoire de recherche historique Rhône-Alpes

14, Avenue Berthelot
69363 LYON CEDEX 07
+ 33 (0)6 51 8 4 48 84

Le projet dataforhistory.org <http://dataforhistory.org/> – Ontology 
Management Environment OntoME <http://ontome.dataforhistory.org/>
Projet "FAIR data" en histoire 
Le projet symogih.org <http://symogih.org/>– SPARQL endpoint 
Portail de ressources géo-historiques GEO-LARHRA 
Portail de ressources textuelles 
<http://xml-portal.symogih.org/index.html> au format XML
Cours Outils numériques pour les sciences historiques 

Le 23.03.21 à 21:47, Martin Doerr via Crm-sig a écrit :
> Dear Fancesco,
> Thank you very much for reconsidering and withdrawing your veto. By 
> mistake, I send my message before finishing it.
> Please let me be more analytical about the arguments.
> Your arguments in the SIG meeting have been well understood and well 
> respected, and been evaluated against the alternatives and *by no 
> means *ignored or *regarded as irrelevant*.
> Summarizing the arguments pro:
> 1) Even though the range of P39 until 7.1 was E1 CRM Entity, it should 
> never has been used in CRM applications for things other than 
> instances of E70 Thing. Therefore, the range of P39 should be 
> restricted at least to E70 Thing.
> 2) According to the scope note of E16, a Measurement is the result of 
> observing a physical thing.
>    The old and new scope note begins:
> "This class comprises actions measuring quantitative physical 
> properties and other values that can be determined by a systematic, 
> objective procedure of direct observation of particular states of 
> physical reality."
> 3) Determining or inferring instances of P43 has dimension can be the 
> result of different kinds of processes.
> For instances of E28 Conceptual Objects, these processes are not E16 
> Measurement, but evaluation of results, as *clearly stated in the old 
> scope note*:
> "Properties of instances of E90 Symbolic Object may be measured by 
> observing some of their representative *carriers*...." and
> "Regardless whether a measurement is made by an instrument or by human 
> senses, it *represents the initial transition from physical reality to 
> information without any other documented information object in 
> between* within the reasoning chain that would represent the result of 
> the interaction of the observer or device with reality. Therefore, 
> inferring properties of depicted items using image material, such as 
> satellite images, *is not regarded as an instance of E16 Measurement*, 
> but as a subsequent instance of *E13 Attribute Assignment.*"
> 4) Since the processes for inferring instances of P43 has dimension 
> can be documented using E13 Attribute Assignment, it is not necessary 
> that the range of P39 includes non-physical things in order to 
> document how a dimension of an instance of E70 Thing was found. This 
> is already described in the old scope note.
> Of *paramount importance* is the interpretation that a measurement 
> implies the *physical presence *of an object of evidence. Physical 
> presence is one of the most fundamental reasoning processes in the 
> CRM, which must not be abandoned or confused. In how far results are 
> repeatable, precise etc. is *all *secondary to the fact that a present 
> physical thing has empirically be evaluated.
> Therefore, the *e-vote is  about the consistency *of the correction of 
> the scope notes with the basic meaning of the old scope note of E16, 
> and the correct propagation of all ramifications of the already 
> decided reduction of the range of P39.
> 5) Since in version 7.1 we do, for good reasons, no more require all 
> properties of compatible extensions to be subproperties of CRMbase 
> properties, S21 Measurement in CRMsci needs no more be subclass of E16 
> Measurement for formal reasons. The *inadequate range of P39* however 
> *prevented* developing adequate generalization of E16 Measurement in 
> CRMsci. The decision to reduce P39 to E18 Physical Thing in the ISO 
> standard to come *enables* CRMsci to be developed as it should. Not 
> doing it, *would have blocked CRMsci* for a decade.
> Please allow me to answer below your statements:
> On 3/23/2021 3:20 PM, Francesco Beretta via Crm-sig wrote:
>>>> Dear all,
>>>> as already stated in the SIG meeting, I'm concerned with 
>>>> monotonicity, and more largely with substantially changing the 
>>>> substance of a class without changing its identifier: E16 remains 
>>>> E16 but "measuring the nominal monetary value of a collection of 
>>>> coins" is now _excluded_.
> As stated above by citing the old scope note, I kindly ask you to 
> consider that we have good reasons not to regard the decision as 
> "substantially changing the substance" of E16, but as respecting the 
> very substance, in contrast to border cases.
> It is not true that "measuring the nominal monetary value of a 
> collection of coins" is now _excluded_. It is true that it no more 
> explicitly meantioned as an important application. It was deleted 
> because it is amgiguous about the evaluation method, and therefore 
> regarded as not particularly useful.
> The paramount application of E16 is conservation technology in museum, 
> monuments, and archaeometry, not counting pixels of images or money. 
> Would you indeed disagree?
>>>> So what about all project's using E16 for that ? Not to mention the 
>>>> surface of Places as geometries and so many projects using E53 
>>>> Place for representing a geographical place ? The surface of a 
>>>> place cannot be measured ?
> If you have followed e-mail discussions last year, we discussed that 
> the surface of a Physical Feature, including settlements etc., can 
> quite well be measured with the new model and *falls under E18 
> Physical Thing*.
> In 7.1, E53 Place does not have P43 has dimension anyway, because E53 
> Place is not subclass of E70 Thing.
> You may have missed in the last meeting that the assignment of 
> dimensions to E53 Place was *decided *as a *new issue* for edition 
> 7.2, because it needs more thinking.
> Issue 511 starts from a useful consistency check :  "E54 Dimensions 
> are associated directly with E70 Things using P43 has dimension.  So 
> not every class can have dimensions, only those that are descendents 
> of E70.
>>>> However E16 Measurement's property P39 measured has a range of E1 
>>>> CRM Entity, meaning that while (for example) an E53 Place cannot 
>>>> have a dimension, it can be measured to have a dimension. This 
>>>> seems inconsistent that an entity that cannot have dimensions can 
>>>> still be measured.
>>>> I propose that the range of P39 measured be changed to E70 Thing to 
>>>> resolve this inconsistency."
>>>> Because of this argument : "My argument about measuring 
>>>> non-physical things is that it does not constitute an observation 
>>>> process, but an abstraction from observable things. We can always 
>>>> use Attribute Assignment for such evaluations. So, we can assign 
>>>> the word count to a text, without using E16 Measurement."
>>>> after a quite short discussion (in proportion to the relevance of 
>>>> the issue) we vote about the restriction of this same class to a 
>>>> quite different substance than the long period one.
> Excluding, e.g. the monetary value of an entity, which is purely 
> abstract.
>>>> My argument was rebutted in the SIG saying the replacement is 
>>>> Attribute Assignment and algorithms can do the job in the data. I 
>>>> partly agree but it seems to me that, given the radical change of 
>>>> substance, the consistency of the information produced before 
>>>> version 7.??? will be lost.
> This is confusing the decision. The class is not restricted to a 
> radical change of substance, but reduced in scope. If you disagree, 
> please make constructive arguments to the above. Please consult those 
> who do measurements in their daily practice.
> It is simply logically wrong that information produced before version 
> 7.??? will be lost. The migration path provided is definitely 
> loss-free from a technical point of view.
>>>> So why then not create a new class, with a new ID and a new 
>>>> substance, restricted in the mentioned sense, and deprecate E16 if 
>>>> wished but leaving it as is for the sake of consistency of legacy 
>>>> information and monotonicity ?
> This argument has been understood in the SIG meeting. It would however 
> be a new issue, not 511. I hope you are aware that you require 
> priority of counting coins and words over the whole discipline of 
> conservation technology and archaeometry, which measues as described 
> in the scope note of E16. Is that really what you advocate for?
> Concluding, CRM SIG takes the issue of monotonicity *utterly serious.
> *You may have missed the argument in the SIG discussion that we have 
> evaluated:
> The "con" of a backwards incompatibility before going to ISO,
>        of applications which are *not core*, with a *loss-free* 
> migration path,
>       and together with *another set* of migration instructions.
> against to "pro" of a consistent model of measurement, in scope notes 
> examples and properties,
>              which will enable the development of a scientifically 
> correct wider model
>                of measurement in CRMsci.
> and against delaying the decision of a monotonicity break for a time 
> when the new ISO standard will be underway.
> I hope I could clarify with the above my and CRM-SIG's deep respect 
> for all arguments and absolute sincerity to evaluate all arguments on 
> a rational, comprehensible basis, including yours you described in the 
> meeting and repeated above.
> All the best,
> Martin
>>>> Given these arguments, I vote:
>>>> VETO.
>>>> All the best
>>>> Francesco
> -- 
> ------------------------------------
>   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
>   Vox:+30(2810)391625
>   Email:martin at ics.forth.gr   
>   Web-site:http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl
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