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[ontolog-forum] N-ary Relationships

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Duane Nickull <dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 17:37:13 -0700
Message-id: <42D5B3B9.8080204@xxxxxxxxx>
I split this out as a separate thread.    (01)

One thing that is very ambiguous about the use of the concept maps and 
OWL is the exact nature of several of the relationships.    (02)

Given the attached diagram entitled "temperature-example", there are 
several questions that are unanswered.  I find the whole set of examples 
flawed.    (03)

Steve has a temperature?  No - that is wrong!  Yes - Steve has a 
temperature, however we cannot ever be sure what it is.  A much more 
accurate statement is that Steve was associated with an event where 
someone (part of an agency) measured his temperature.  They did this 
using a procedure (tested it with a thermometer stuffed under his tongue 
for 30 seconds), possibly an instrument (type and brand of thermometer) 
and it was conducted at some geo-spatial coordinates.  The example given 
is worthless if you get more than one declaration since you would need 
the extra information to determine which set of information is more 
accurate a current.  How can you say he has a trend without knowing the 
time attributes?  Is a digital, infrared thermometer pointed at the back 
of Steve's throat given the same "weight" of accuracy as his mother 
feeling his forehead?  I think not.  This is almost as flawed as the 
Protege groups' Wine example.    (04)

The second diagram entitled purchase example inverse also raised some 
issues IMO.  An inverse relationship is no where hear robust enough.  
The SUMO model is the one they need to consider. SUMO is the only 
ontology i have seen that seems to cover all the possible range of types 
of binary associations. It is not clear from the concept map if the 
relationships are able to determine simple things like is the buyer even 
aware of the purchase assuming the red inverse arrow was not present.  
The N to N relationships discussion on the other thread would encompass 
the nature of all relationships beyond the immediate binary predicates.  
Example: Is John (the Buyer) aware of the price?  No one has published a 
convention for interpreting concept maps that clarifies this. Can OWL 
clarify this?  Does the awareness traverse across multiple nodes?  If 
John is the buyer role of the transaction, is he automatically aware of 
all the aspects of the purchase?  I find it unnecessary that "birthday 
gift" is an aspect of the purchase concept itself.  I would presume that 
such a reason is a factor associated only with John in his role as Buyer 
as a motivating factor.    (05)

Duane    (06)

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