[tdwg-tag] Part-of in RDF/OWL

Hilmar Lapp hlapp at nescent.org
Wed Sep 21 23:56:50 CEST 2011

On Sep 21, 2011, at 5:11 PM, Gregor Hagedorn wrote:

> 1. generic part-of relations of concepts.
> Example: the taxpub nomenclature section is part of the taxpub  
> treatment
> We consider using DublinCore for this. We found nothing in SKOS for  
> this.

I would use DC partof / haspart for this. This, I think, will make you  
most likely to use the same vocabulary and properties as many others  
who state relationships between publications, their parts, and things  
connected to them (such as, for example in the case of Dryad, data  
packages and their parts).

> 2. part of relations of things: both petal and sepal are part of the  
> corolla.

I would use RO. This is a well-defined relationship, and will make you  
use the same as many others who express relationships between  
anatomical parts, or organisms and their parts.

> Bob Morris recommends the ro ontology: http://obofoundry.org/ro/
> However, this one says that it is undergoing strong changes in the  
> near future.

I wouldn't worry about this (but see below). The plan is to roll (most  
of) the relationships currently in RO into BFO (Basic Formal  
Ontology). They'll continue to exist, but will then receive different  
URIs. Since there are lots and lots of ontologies and projects that  
use RO (for example, using it is one of the OBO Foundry criteria for  
membership), there's already a requirement to make this reasonably  
painless for users, which is perhaps part of the reason that it still  
hasn't happened yet.

The one caveat is that once these are in BFO and you apply them as BFO  
properties, by doing so you subscribe to the BFO worldview for  
semantic purposes, strictly speaking. For most practical purposes and  
applications that's likely of negligible if any consequences, except  
if you plan to make processes (in the BFO sense) bear qualities (in  
the BFO sense). And there's something about 3D immaterial extents in  
BFO that's the subject of controversy, but I forget the details (which  
says something already).

> 3. When documenting legacy xml ontologies, the xml variant requires  
> documenting a difference between element and attribute children.

What's an XML ontology? Isn't that an oxymoron?

: Hilmar Lapp  -:- Durham, NC -:- informatics.nescent.org :

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