FWIW, my take is that topic maps are yet another syntax specification,
lacking any logical semantics. So OWL, KIF or any other logical language
is appropriate for capturing semantics (meaning), while topic maps are
not. One can convert syntax and labels from one to the other, but
semantics will be lost. (01)
At 08:02 PM 1/1/2004 -0500, Farrukh Najmi wrote:
>Jack Park wrote:
>>Peter Yim wrote:
>>>>>Are topic maps out of the running?
>>>>Some say you need both Topic Maps and OWL, though I cannot understand
>>>>why. In my mind OWL supersedes Topic Maps..
>>Well, I can't let that one go uncommented. There was an unfortunate
>>"boxing match" between two Erics, one from topic maps and one from RDF.
>>It was held as a humorous interlude at Extreme Markup 2000. When both
>>Erics came on stage, they both sang praises of the other's "camp".
>>Unfortunately, that's not what the press picked up on. Thus it was that
>>RDF and XTM became "at odds" with each other.
>First let me say that I am not an expert on OWL or Topic maps and do not
>have a deeply rooted belief on this topic (pun intended).
>I am not aware of this boxing match. I am genuinely curious as to what use
>cases Topic Maps address that Ontologys cannot. Would it be possible to
>share some of these use cases illustrated with simple real world examples?
>Thanks in advance.
>>In the end, no matter what is said and done, OWL, RDF, whatever, and XTM
>>or HyTM (sgml topic maps, the original ISO 13250 dtd) are serializations
>>with which you can ship information around and have it arrive in a
>>decypherable form at the other end of whatever wire is used.
>But am I not correct in assuming that the nature of information that can
>be conveyed is not the same in all cases. I assume for example that we can
>all agree that OWL can convey richer information content when the use case
>is to define a rich object model for some domain (e.g. Radiology).
>>At the same time, each brings to the table some manner of underlying
>>process model and semantics. XTM, for instance, makes a minimalist
>>ontological committment to objects necessary to capture topics, which are
>>known as "the place you go to find out everything that is knowable about
>>a particular subject" and a subject is "anything you can talk about."
>Right. And this minimalistic information model behind topic maps is well
>suited for classification and discovery where inference need not be done
>based upon attributes of the topics. For advanced discovery needs where
>attributes of topics are relevant to the search I suspect OWL is a much
>I am assuming that OWL can address the simpler use case addressed by Topic
>Maps as well as the more advanced use cases.
>Are there use cases that Topic Maps address that OWL does not? If so what
>>The topic maps underlying process model simply dicates that if two topics
>>are about the same subject, they must be merged. AFIK, OWL doesn't
>>require such processing.
>I believe OWL *DOES* support semantic eqivalence between two topics:
>What is it missing?
>>I would therefore respectfully submit that, if you happen to need the
>>organizational power that comes with topic maps, no matter how you
>>construct them (yup, they have been written in OWL), then you must give
>>due consideration to the one process requirement that makes topic maps
>>what they are: you must merge objects which talk about the same subject.
>>I therefore don't think that anything out there today has superseded
>Please clarify above statement as I am not sure I understand what Topic
>Maps offer that is not covered by OWL.
>>In the end, there are ways to construct ontologies such that they are, by
>>default, topic maps, and nobody needs to know you did that.
>>2004 is shaping up quite nicely already!
>Indeed. I am excited to get more actively engaged in ontolog forum. Happy
>new year every one.
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