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

Julian H humphries at mail.utexas.edu
Fri Oct 29 01:05:49 CEST 2010

Stan, it does my heart good to see both the continuing relevance of 
that lengthy weekends discussions (and BBQ), and how much we actually 
got "right."

At 02:13 PM 10/28/2010, Blum, Stan wrote:
>This "three-way" was the essence of the definition used in the ASC model.
><copied text, from
>page 24>
>Entity Name: COLLECTING-EVENT (Supertype)
>The act of collecting zero or more COLLECTING-UNITs at a particular LOCALITY
>and TIME.
></copied text>
>Other CollectingEvent properties discussed included the conceptual
>equivalents of: CollectingMethod, Collectors (0-many), StatedDateTime, and
>StatedLocality (=verbatimLocality).
>Note that the zero-or-more cardinality on collecting-units (covering Roger's
>observed absence) was discussed at some length and kept intentionally.
>(I'll try to find John Damuth's very funny proposal to establish the
>department of NULL collections at the Smithsonian.)  I think observations
>were also discussed as a type of collecing-unit, but they weren't included
>in the draft and I don't remember why.  Perhaps because the focus was on
>collections, and observations would have expanded the scope too much to be
>dealt with adequately.  Also, the model did not include in a structured way
>was any measure of collecting (sampling) effort.  That would have been
>relegated to text in a collecting method or collecting event remarks
>(inadequate for quantifying abundance).
>Back to the issue of event definition:  If Event is defined as just the
>conjunction (association, intersection, join) of space and time, there is
>nothing to tell you why this particular interval is of interest. From the
>old school information modeling perspective, the definition should say WHAT
>happened. In our biodiversity domain, it implies the act of trying to
>collect or observe and that implies a collector/observer and something
>collected/observed, including zeros.  I see Joel just posted support for
>that notion.
>And just to show that I'm not completely stuck in 1992, in the MVZ model --
>a more detailed model for mammal, bird and herp collections, completed as
>recently as 1996 -- recognized a distinction between the number (count) of
>items observed and the number collected.
>Our challenge is still to how to accumulate these artifacts of
>conceptualization in an organized way, and to record how much support there
>is for particular concepts.
>On 10/28/10 10:09 AM, "Arlin Stoltzfus" <arlin at umd.edu> wrote:
> > On Oct 28, 2010, at 11:58 AM, joel sachs wrote:
> >
> >> Hey Rich, Hilmar, Paul, and everyone -
> >>
> >> I liked the definition from a couple of weeks ago:
> >>
> >> "An occurrence is a tuple consiting of time, place, individual, and
> >> some
> >> optional properties."
> >>
> >> What's that lacking?
> >
> >
> > Nothing, but the form of "occurrence" as a 3-way relation between a
> > thing, a place and a time might be less amenable to formal reasoning
> > than some other formulations, depending on how its rendered.
> >
> > I thought that was the reason others had introduced "event" as place +
> > time.   Otherwise, what is the reason for "event"?
> >
> > Arlin
> > -------
> > Arlin Stoltzfus (arlin at umd.edu)
> > Fellow, IBBR; Adj. Assoc. Prof., UMCP; Research Biologist, NIST
> > IBBR, 9600 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD
> > tel: 240 314 6208; web: www.molevol.org
> >
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> >
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