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Re: [ontolog-forum] What the difference re., Data Dictionary, Ontology,

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2014 07:29:07 -0500
Message-id: <52FE0C13.5000205@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On 2/14/14 6:56 AM, Frank Guerino wrote:

I think Rich Cooper's feedback caused me to go back and do some research.  Along with some minor changes to their definitions, I would flip Syntax and Grammar.  The results would look like:

Data Dictionary defines "data" by giving you details about that data element (e.g. Attribute/Field Name, Description, Data Type, Constraints, etc.)

Yes, as any description of Data boils down to describing (or defining):

1. entity types -- classes, subclasses, properties, and subproperties
2. relation semantics -- covering domains, ranges, transitivity, equivalence, symmetry, inverses etc..

A Term is a word that is accompanied by a Definition.

Maybe "references" instead of "accompanied" since a Term has the duality of denotation and description/definition reference.

Vocabulary is usually a listing or grouping of words that are common a domain of context (usually without definition).

But FOAF and Schema.org are vocabularies, and I don't think anyone would consider them devoid of definition.

Glossary is a more detailed Vocabulary that is tied to a specific and limited Context.  Unlike a Vocabulary that only provides a list or grouping of words or terms that are common to a context, a Glossary provides the long name, short name or acronym, and a description/definition.  It rarely gets into a things like synonyms and antonyms.

Dictionary is often used interchangeably with a Glossary but is often considered to handle much more, like getting into phonetics, derivations, etc.

Data Model is a representation of how to aggregate and interrelate Data, which is defined by a Data Dictionary.  This includes but is not limited to things like Primary and Foreign Key representations, how to deal with permutations, time, history, and much more.

RDBMS colloquialism.

Taxonomy is a categorization of "anything"… Words, Glossaries, Types, etc.  Taxonomies can take on multiple forms, such as lists, hierarchies, interactive facets, etc.

Syntax is a set of rules for structuring elements, such as words and symbols to create things like phrases, sentences, and paragraphs.

Grammar is a means of defining how words are used to create meaning, within a Language.

Language is the inclusion of all of the above.

You left out signs i.e., its signs, syntax, and entity relation semantics. The roles that entities play in a relation is vital to understanding what the relation means. Even something as basic as an IRI denoting the subject, predicate, and object of a relation lays the foundation for powerful insights what a particular relationship implies.

An Ontology is the development of a combination of one or more of all of the above with the intent to facilitate higher order activities, such as communications, translation, learning, understanding, teaching, and making decisions.

At this juncture, I am of the opinion that Ontology and Data Dictionary are synonyms modulo RDBMS marketing which has successfully claimed (at least temporarily) ownership of:

1. data dictionary
2. database
3. data model .

In similar vein, RDF has made a play for:

1. vocabulary
2. ontology.

BTW -- I forgot to add Schema to my original question :-)


[1] http://bit.ly/1cchBvV -- My Glossary of Terms . 


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