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|Cc:||"[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx|
|Date:||Wed, 9 Jan 2008 12:04:06 -0600|
I would really like to see response from the semantic community on this question, since the XML hierarchy described illustrates concerns I have about implicit semantics when applying XML approaches.
Initially I thought the different paths through the hierarchy demonstrated different 'sense' of meaning in an intensional manner, like the well known 'morning star' and the 'evening star' examples accomplish. But on further consideration it appears that they have different referents, a buyer in one case and a seller in another case, assuming that a buyer and seller on a purchase order cannot be the same referent. So in some sense there is not a different context, but rather a different name with a different referents, so no problem of context here, nor a problem of different sense with the same referent.
The following describes a few of my simple attempts to understand the semantics of the hierarchy.
Let's assume the domain of discourse contains real world obects that are:
Let's assume that Humans have names, and expecially first names for this example.
I can imagine different types of semantic realtionships defined for the hierarchy, some make sense and others don't.
Option 1: Class/SubClass relationship hierarchy with membership rule stating that a member of a subclass is a member of the parent class, and so on
From the above XML hierarchy a BuyerParty is not an instance of a PurchaseOrder so semantic model definition does not appear to work. Also an instance of a Name is not an instance of a human but rather a social property associated with a human.
Option 2-: Aggregation relationship - where the parent class is constructed from members of other classes. An example would be a car with component elements of 'engine', 'exhaustsystem', 'steeringsystem', etc.
In the car aggregation example we can clearly define an aggregation semantic relationship to define a model that will represent all of the elements of a car.
Is a purchase order constructed in the same manner? I don't think so since the real world referents are not elements of a purchase order but have other semantic relationships to a purchase order.
Does a PurchaseOrder have as a constituent element a Buyer or Seller? I suspect that a Buyer or Seller has some form of commitment relationship represented by the purchase order instance.
The committment semantic realtionship could be stated as:
Does a BuyerParty really have as a constituent element a FirstNameOfHuman? I suspect that a name is not considered a constituent element of a human but rather a social property associated with a human for identification purposes. Thus I would think that the semantic relationship between BuyerParty and FirstNameofHuman would be some form of property identification relationship.
Option 3 - Defined Semantic Relationships
With these new relationships we have a new semantic structure as follows.
PurchaseOrder ------purchaseCommittment ---- BuyerParty
------supplyCommittment ---- SellerParty
BuyerParty ------ hasIdentifier ---- FirstNameofHuman
SellerParty ----- hasIdentifier ---FirstNameofHuman
This type of structure clarifies the semantic relationships between purchase order information elements and the referents in the domain that the purchase order entails. I have used simple binary property relationships between terms representing objects in the domain. Obviously with this semantic structure it is possibled to represent in an explicit semantic manner the conventional meanings asociated with the information elements of a purchase order and the relationships to the terms used for referents in the domain of discourse.
So I think that these different hierarchy examples do not represent different contexts with different semantic interpretations as a result of context shifts, but rather different labels having different referents. I also think that the semantics of the XML hierarchy are not explicit in the XML representation and could be misinterpreted by software developers not familair with the uses and conventions associated with prushase orders. Worse different organizatiosn may have different semantic understandings of the information elements of a purchase order due to their organizations business rules or processes.
Use of XML for Context Metadata
This discussion I leave to the larger community, of whether simple XML elements could be useful in a context representation, I suspect not.
John A. Yanosy Jr.
As someone who mapped XML to EDI and other formats, this statement gave us
lots of things to think about:
On 1/8/08 6:47 AM, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> * Syntax. The syntactic function of context is to group, delimit,
> quote, or package a section of text.
The issue arises when one builds automatic mappers based on metadata
artifacts stored in a registry-repository. Even if we sit down and agree on
the semantics of "First Name of Human Being" as a data element and give it a
metadata representation term of "FirstNameOfHuman" (type=string) and
constrain the instance values of a list of pre-approved names, there is a
syntactic context issue at mapping.
If it appears in Xan XML instance of a purchase order using the Xpath syntax
in the hierarchic context of:
The exact same data element has slightly different semantics (strictly in
the context of mapping to another instance of XML) if it appears in a
different hierarchic context of:
As the BuyerParty vs. Seller Party hierarchic context qualifies the data
Is this the type of syntax context you refer to?
"Speaking only for myself"
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