[tdwg-tapir] TAPIR searches and entities

"Döring, Markus" m.doering at BGBM.org
Fri Apr 7 18:25:32 CEST 2006

I had a talk with Gregor and the others this week to find out whether TAPIR is suitable for SDD. Apart from the known recusive issue we were concerned about one major search problem I would like to introduce you to:

Imagine a simple concept "ontology" with a specimen linked to identifications with a taxon-name and an identifier (person).

If I want to do a combined search on the identifier AND the taxon name I actually have 2 ways of asking the query.

1) use the same identification object to do the AND. In SQL this would be:

SELECT * FROM specimen s JOIN identification i ON xxx WHERE i.taxon_name = "Abies alba" AND i.identifier="Markus"

2) dont require the identifier to have done the identification of the required name, but to be an independent constraint. In SQL you would use an alias of that table:

SELECT * FROM specimen s JOIN identification i1 ON xxx JOIN identification i2 ON xxx WHERE i1.taxon_name = "Abies alba" AND i2.identifier="Markus"

This gives different results.
And it is a common query in SDD when searching on characters.

As far as I can see TAPIR cannot handle this, as a TAPIR request doesnt know about the relations between concept. The entities, classes whatever you would like to call it. A loose list of independent concepts really doesnt seem to work. We might need to know about the class relations/multiplicity at least on a high level. In general this could be taken from an XML Schema as well as OWL, RDFS or alike.

Or we could prescribe a TAPIR service what to do in such cases. If a complex AND query is received we could prescribe to resolve that query in way #1 (i think its the more common intention). But then noone would be able to ask questions of type2.

Maybe we could discuss this further in the TAG meeting, Session 4: Integration of Existing Technologies with a Core Ontology?

I do not have an answer yet to that question, but I wanted to spread the problem before the TAG meeting.

Looking forward to meet you all in Edinburgh,

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