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Re: [ontolog] UBL proposals for codesets?

To: ontolog@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: MDaconta@xxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 11:35:12 EST
Message-id: <ba.2e88f72d.2aeec140@xxxxxxx>
Hi All,

This is an interesting difference of opinion on the meaning of a code in a
code set.  I do not believe you associate the semantics with the code itself
but with the code set or list.  In other words, the code is just an index
into a code set.  So, I would say that the burden for understanding the
semantics of a code lies with the code set and not with an individual
code.  The only burden a user of the code has (in terms of semantics)
would be to properly refer to its code set.  In turn, the code set, should
refer to an ontology that explains the semantics behind the codes.

Just my 2 cents,

- Mike

In a message dated 10/28/2002 9:03:00 AM US Mountain Standard Time, Robert.Miller@xxxxxxx writes:

       "A code is a representation of some thing, normally text, abbreviating it to a shortened, encoded form, and usually of the same consistent lenght within a code list.  In essence it is an abbreviation."

The implication I have read from this definition is that the 'text' the code represents is the end of the line, from a semantic viewpoint.  But the reality is that the code is a pointer to a collection of semantic information, at least some of which is likely to be of semantic significance to the application processing the information in which the code is imbedded.  I've studied the existing X12 code lists at some length, and have yet to find a code list that does not identify semantic properties beyond that of the 'text' used to describe the code. 

Michael C. Daconta
Director, Web & Technology Services
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