[tdwg-tag] RDF ontology architecture

Bob Morris morris.bob at gmail.com
Thu Oct 15 22:52:03 CEST 2009

In drafting an RDF representation of MRTG[1], I am struggling with how
close to stay to the DC and DwC minimalist style of ontology
architecture. I find this well justified by the sentence "For example,
though the data types and constraints are not provided in the term
definitions, recommendations are made about how to restrict the values
where appropriate"  in the DwC introduction[2].

What I'm struggling with is how much to slant MRTG---which uses a lot
of DwC--more toward OWL or more towards only RDF. See [3] for
discussion of the dillemma raised when you put any of the DC or DwC
RDF files into Protege4  or WonderWeb, the Manchester OWL
Validator[4]. Roughly speaking, I took [3] to be the Manchester and
Stanford axis of OWL to be saying, "In the future, don't expect to
talk about OWL without stronger typing."  {As I understand DwC/RDF,
this all is accomplished by declaring terms to be mainly rdf:Property
with the only typification coming from the assertions using the
predicate dwcattributes:organizedInClass }.

So my questions are possibly:

1. What committment does TAG have to OWL
2. Has TAG examined the applicability to TDWG of the W3 OWL 2
recommendations recently advanced to the Proposed Recommendation stage
[4], [5], or its relatives.
3. If no to 2, is there a plan to do so? Against what use cases?

A few months ago, Roger seemed to wax enthusiastic about Knowledge
Representation and  reasoning on biodiversity data, but I haven't seen
much traffic about what are the modeling requirements to support that,
or whether TAG has a plan to move that way.

Bob Morris

[1] MRTG 0.8  http://www.keytonature.eu/wiki/MRTG_Schema_v0.8
[2] DwC intro  http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/index.htm
[3] p4-feedback thread on rdf:Property
[4] WonderWeb http://www.mygrid.org.uk/OWL/Validator
[5] OWL2 Overview http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/PR-owl2-syntax-20090922/
[5] OWL2 rdf semantics

Robert A. Morris
Professor of Computer Science (nominally retired)
Associate, Harvard University Herberia
email: ram at cs.umb.edu
web: http://bdei.cs.umb.edu/
web: http://etaxonomy.org/FilteredPush
phone (+1)617 287 6466

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