This looks like a discussion a lot of us will benefit from. (01)
Both Topic Maps and OWL became "front runners" for good reasons. While
there may be applications where both may be (almost equally) suitable,
each of these approaches would be better suited for certain applications. (02)
What are those reasons (for their adoption so far)? (03)
What are the applications (best suited to each)? (04)
Where are the areas where they are pitched against one another (as
well as other approaches)? (05)
Could those of you who are spending time on these issues throw some
light on the matter, please. (06)
P.S. I am separating this into another thread, with a more appropriate
subject (to ease future retrieval.)
------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Re: [regrep-cc-review] What if? CCRIM =>
Date: Thu, 1 Jan 2004 23:27:06 -0700
From: Michael Daconta <mdaconta@xxxxxxx>
To: [ontolog-forum] <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> (09)
Hi Everyone, (010)
The subject of Topic maps versus OWL is very important to work I am
currently doing. I am participating in a group that will be
standardizing a DOD taxonomy framework and we will need to choose a
representation format. Clearly, topic maps and OWL are the two front
With regard to taxonomies, topic maps seem to have an advantage in
simplicity, while OWL has the advantage in semantic validity. Also,
some of the semantic foundations are identical in that Topic maps do
support class/subclass associations. Unfortunately, the class modeling
in topic maps is very weak. Thus, one key judgement criteria is
"how important is robust class modeling to effective classification?" (012)
Topic maps rely mostly on name-based classification (and merging) while
OWL classes have robust properties, set theoretics and mapping.
I plan on working through these details to support a recommendation in
the next few weeks. Comments, suggestions and insights are welcome. (013)
Best wishes, (014)
Michael C. Daconta
Chief Scientist, APG McDonald Bradley, Inc.
Jack Park wrote on 1/1/2004, 12:24 PM: (016)
> 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
> RDF and XTM became "at odds" with each other.
> In the end, no matter what is said and done, OWL, RDF, whatever,
> or HyTM (sgml topic maps, the original ISO 13250 dtd) are
> with which you can ship information around and have it arrive in a
> decypherable form at the other end of whatever wire is used. At
> 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
> 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 would therefore respectfully submit
> you happen to need the organizational power that comes with topic
> no matter how you construct them (yup, they have been written in OWL),
> then you must give due consideration to the one process
> makes topic maps what they are: you must merge objects which talk
> the same subject. I therefore don't think that anything out there
> has superseded topic maps.
> 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!
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