[tdwg-content] Treatise on Occurrence, tokens, and basisOfRecord [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Bob Morris morris.bob at gmail.com
Mon Oct 25 06:12:37 CEST 2010

Steve misinterprets me.  My warning is not that a term always applies
to a certain type of resource by asserting that the term has an
rdfs:domain.  It is that a term is given an rdfs:domain then that term
\only/ applies to a resource that is of rdf:type that domain.  That is
the formal semantics of rdfs:domain. It is somewhat the opposite of
the usual meaning  of "domain" as used by mathematicians. My position
is that it should not be done without substantial thought, because it
closes the world somewhat, and the open world assumption is a hallmark
of rdf.

Bob Morris

On Sun, Oct 24, 2010 at 10:21 PM, Paul Murray <pmurray at anbg.gov.au> wrote:
> On 24/10/2010, at 10:02 AM, Steve Baskauf wrote:
> Bob has warned us about the dangers of asserting that a term always applies
> to a certain type of resource by asserting that the term has an rdfs:domain
> . However, we should not avoid attempting to assert that a resource is
> itself of a certain type.  Describing the "type" of a resource is an
> important part of letting potential users assess the possible fitness of use
> of that resource.
> Absolutely. Removing the domain and range specifiers from the properties
> does rather take the "semantic" out of "the semantic web". The difficulty,
> however, is getting them right.
> For instance: at the moment I am attempting to apply the DwC properties to
> our data at biodiversity.org.au. Our data has a fairly strict distinction
> between a name and a taxon.
> Taxon http://biodiversity.org.au/apni.taxon/54321 has
> name http://biodiversity.org.au/apni.taxon/2422 . To mark up these entities
> using the DwC properties, I would want to add
> scientificNameID
> nameAccordingToID
> higherTaxonConceptID
> to the taxon record, and
> acceptedNameUsageID
> namePublishedInID
> originalNameUsageID
> to the name record.
> Now ... arguably the name record by itself can be taken as being the
> "nominal" taxon concept. But that's not really what our data means. As it
> is, I can add the properties without asserting that the name is a taxon.
> However, I can think of two approaches to adding the domain. On the one
> hand, you could simply wear the implication. Yes indeed: an APNI "name" all
> by itself is indeed what DwC means by the word "taxon". Alternatively, the
> vocabulary could be corrected. A third approach: declaring my own property
> and stating that it is a superproperty of DwC:acceptedNameUsageID, seems
> like rather too much work.
> By the way: is this the correct place to complain about missing bits and
> pieces in the DwC vocabulary?
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Robert A. Morris
Emeritus Professor  of Computer Science
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125-3390
Associate, Harvard University Herbaria
email: morris.bob at gmail.com
web: http://bdei.cs.umb.edu/
web: http://etaxonomy.org/mw/FilteredPush
phone (+1) 857 222 7992 (mobile)

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