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

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Wed Oct 27 20:59:54 CEST 2010

Thanks, Hilmar.

I must admit that I was initially confused about your earlier post, because
you seemed to be saying the same thing that I was saying (at least from the
perspective of logic).  However, I now realize that the problem was a
semantic one: i.e., the specific definition of the word "intersection".  I
was not even aware that there was an OWL definition for this term, and thus
certainly I was not using it in a way that is consistent with that
particular definition.

I'll add the word "intersection" to the long list of homonymous and
ambiguous (out of context) terms in our domain ("name", "class", "type",
"natural key", "significant", etc.).

Meanwhile, what would be an appropriate term to use for what I originally
meant, that would not collide with a more specific definition in some
particular space?

Some possibilities:

An Occurrence is a combination of an Individual and an Event.
An Occurrence is a coupling of an Individual and an Event.
An Occurrence is a pairing of an Individual and an Event.

Perhaps we need a comprehensive glossary of terms to cover the entire
spectrum of biodiversity informatics, including both the biological terms
and the informatics terms. 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org 
> [mailto:tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of Hilmar Lapp
> Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 8:36 AM
> To: Blum, Stan
> Cc: tdwg-content at lists.tdwg.org
> Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] Treatise on Occurrence, tokens, 
> and basisOfRecord
> Hi Stan:
> On Oct 27, 2010, at 3:31 AM, Blum, Stan wrote:
> > 1) An Occurrence is the intersection of an Individual and an Event 
> > (has place and time dimensions); and
> > 2) an Occurrence is an Individual bounded by (in) space and time.
> >
> > It would be incorrect to truncate #2 as: "an occurrence is an 
> > individual", or even to say that an individual is_a (kind of) 
> > occurrence.
> I wasn't trying to say that Rich is inconsistent. I was 
> trying to make the point that if we want to model and express 
> things with explicit semantics, we need to also properly 
> choose our terminology, as in any domain of science. In OWL, 
> the term intersection has an already defined meaning in the 
> language. If A is an (is equivalent to an) intersection of 
> classes B and C, any reasoner will automatically infer that A 
> subClassOf B, and A subClassOf C. If such inference is 
> incorrect, I suggest that we shouldn't call it an 
> intersection to begin with. Avoids misunderstandings down the road.
> In fact, I think this is fully in line with the rest of your post.
> 	-hilmar
> --
> ===========================================================
> : Hilmar Lapp  -:- Durham, NC -:- informatics.nescent.org :
> ===========================================================
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