<XML> Abstract Data Model for Taxonomy

Leigh Dodds ldodds at INGENTA.COM
Thu Feb 24 11:24:21 CET 2000


> The spring is coming, the crocuses are in bloom, it's time to come up
> with a formal model.

Some questions:

1. Firstly is it possible to express items like

"Feature often present by mis-identification"
(I came across this somewhere, but can't recall the posting/webpage)

I note you've already highlighted seasonal variations as a problem.
To that I'd add geographical, and developmental (i.e. age of

2. It seems to presuppose a Linnean viewpoint i.e. Kingdom,
Phylum, etc. Gregor has previously pointed out that the
reality is much more complex. Multiple hierarchies
can be produced. For example, how would the model be used to express
DNA/Protein data? Physiological versus Molecular hierarchies?

[See (RQT) Character and item hierarchy from Gregor
posted on 1/12/99 - I'd include a URL, but the ListServ archive
seems to require a username/password]

3. I assume that the list of Feature/Properties will not be
fixed, but can be extended at will?

Apologies if this seems overly critical, I'm just trying to get
my head around things.

Fundamentally I think that an RDF (or even Groves) model of
the data will be extremely useful. However I'm concerned that
the presence of items like 'TaxonomicClass' in the model doesn't
capture the range of flexibility that Kevin, Gregor and the others
have stated as a requirement.

I'd welcome some further discussion/information of your model.



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