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Re: [ontolog-forum] Modeling a money transferring scenario

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Simon Spero <ses@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 6 Jan 2011 13:08:15 -0500
Message-id: <AANLkTin0p1Ew2QmNHbcxy=kdqQTKvzWiBJVatq3ibbu5@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 7:28 AM, Selcuk Bozdag <sbozdag@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

The absolute classes(i.e. concepts) are Bank, Money, Customer and Account. When it comes to represent a money transfer between two accounts, I suggested to create another class named "MoneyTransfer" on which one can create object properties such as transferDate, amount etc. On the flip side, others put the MoneyTransfer class aside and preferred to create an object property named "transfersMoney" which has a domain and range of Account. However it is obvious that transfersMoney property is just a relation between to individuals representing none of the date and amount information.

[Other people have given pointers to domain specific  ontologies so I'll just chip in with a few more general points]
Some ontology languages allow relationships to have more than two arguments; for the example given one could say (transfersMoney ?SENDER ?RECIPIENT ?AMOUNT ?DATE ?TRANSFER-ID).  

In languages like OWL that only allow for binary relations, you are going to have to create an intermediate object of some kind.

 If only one of the arguments has a real identity, you can wrap up all the others in an anonymous object and relate the main object to this anonymous object. The usual example of this pattern is relating a person to a mailing  address with several fields.

However, in the example, there are several  objects that have identities, so you would create an intermediate object that all of the arguments relate to. 

Tm1 types TransfersMoneyObject.
Tm1 hasSender <sender>. 
Tm1 hasRecipient <recipient>.
Tm1 hasAmount <amount>.
Tm1 hasDate <date>.
Tm1 hasTransferID <id>.
TransfersMoneyObject is starting to look like a MoneyTransfer... The fact that this object has properties that relate to the money transfer event, rather than to either of the account directly (date, amount, transfer-id) strongly indicates that treating MoneyTransfers as individuals in their own right  is the best approach.


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