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Re: [ontolog-forum] [Fwd: [ubl-lcsc] Models for generating CCT and Data

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Patrick Cassidy <pcassidy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 02:26:43 -0500
Message-id: <40419433.6010206@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Doug --
   Thanks for your input.
   The descriptions you provide below conform to a logical structure
where a Code is a subclass of Identifier, with one important
caveat:  if "Identifier" is somewhere deliberately defined as
something that *cannot* be a Code, then of course these would have to be 
disjoint classes and cannot be related by the subclass relation.
    It is certainly possible that someone may have a reason to
make a distinction of that type, but in my experience
it is usually done in domain ontologies only because the
domain expert or domain ontologist wanted a catchall
"other" category to handle miscellaneous cases, not because
there was any logical requirement to represent things that
way.  I think that is bad ontological design and sure
hope that such a disjunction has not actually been
    Your usage comments conform to how I read the brief
description of Code in the UBL spec -- they seem to want to
restrict its use only to "Attributes" as interpreted
in a UML diagram.  That's OK.  The representation of
UBL "Code" in an ontology can include such specialized
usage requirements, and it can still be a subclass of Identifier,
provided that the designers did not perversely define
"Identifier" as disjoint with "Code".
    In the latter case the two classes would have to be disjoint
subclasses of a common more general class of identification strings.    (01)

     Pat    (02)

================    (03)

Douglas McDavid wrote:    (04)

> One way that identifier and code have been differentiated in my 
> experience is:
> Identifier is a data surrogate for something that is of interest to the 
> enterprise. Examples would be a Social Security number or employee 
> identification number.
> Code is one of a set of valid values that conveys a characteristic of 
> something otherwise identified. So a market segment code might be 
> applied to a customer who is identified by a SSN or customer identifier.
> This is just one way that these concepts can be used. Polysemy is always 
> with us!
> Doug McDavid
>     (05)

Patrick Cassidy    (06)

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