[Tdwg-tag] Object Model / Ontology Management - how we kick it off.

Renato De Giovanni renato at cria.org.br
Thu Feb 23 08:50:36 CET 2006


I think I agree with most of your points (also from previous 

Concerning the representation independent object model, I would 
suggest the same approach taken by CIDOC CRM:


It's not easy to find such clear and well documented modelling work. 

Although at a first glance it could fall into the "ontology-at-the-
level-of-laws-of-physics" category, I won't make that judgment 
because CIDOC's scope is definitely broader than ours.
Anyway, what I'm suggesting is to use the same approach and the same 
kind of documentation. Using and extending CIDOC is a completely 
different thing - probably interesting (I think), but something that 
could even be evaluated and addressed at another stage.


On 22 Feb 2006 at 15:50, Roger Hyam wrote:
> Hi All,
> It is generally agreed that we need an representation independent 
> object model or ontology of some kind. I would like to put together a 
> list of the things that need to be agreed or investigated in order to 
> do this.
> Firstly the things I believe we can all agree on (stop me if I am 
> wrong).
> *   It should be representation independent (i.e. we should be able to 
>     move it between 'languages' UML, OWL, BNF etc). 
> *   It should be dynamic (i.e. capable of evolving through time). 
> *   It should be polymorphic. This is a result of it being dynamic. There 
>     will, at a minimum, be multiple version of any one part of the model 
>     when new version are introduced.
> *   It should NOT attempt to be omniscient i.e. it will not cover 
>     everything in our domain, only the parts that need to be 
>     communicated.
> *   It will be managed in a distributed fashion. Different teams will 
>     take responsibility for different parts of it. 
> My first Question is:
> Does the centralization of the ontology need to go beyond a small 
> shared vocabulary of terms or base classes? 
> I envisage this ontology containing things like Collection, Specimen, 
> TaxonConcept, TaxonName but not defining the detailed structure of 
> these objects. It would contain a maximum of a few 10's of objects 
> and properties. TDWG subgroups would be responsible for building 
> ontologies that extend these base objects but that generally didn't 
> refer to each other - only to the core. If this is true then I think 
> the definition of the top level object falls within the remit of the 
> TAG ( in consultation with others). 
> If this is not a valid way forward what are the alternatives?
> Are their questions we should ask before this one?
> Once again I'd be grateful for your thoughts.
> Roger

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