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Subject: [OASIS Issue Tracker] (EMERGENCY-143) ETL: Re-written section 2.3

Jacob Westfall created EMERGENCY-143:

             Summary: ETL: Re-written section 2.3
                 Key: EMERGENCY-143
                 URL: https://issues.oasis-open.org/browse/EMERGENCY-143
             Project: OASIS Emergency Management TC
          Issue Type: Improvement
          Components: EDXL-CAP 
            Reporter: Jacob Westfall

Replace the previous section 2.3 with this re-written content:


To âtypeâ something is to declare something as sharing similar characteristics to things that went before it. If those characteristics create a classification, whether formally or informally, then a âtypeâ is declared. One can then use a type in a sentence (i.e. âan object of type Xâ, or more commonly, âan X objectâ). This understanding is the basis for how âtypingâ works in any system.

For example, using a term like âapple pieâ. The object of interest is a pie classified as being of type apple (as compared to other pies). The same concept exists when using a term like âhot pieâ, the object of interest is still a pie but this time classified as being of type hot.

Both typing schemes in this example serve a purpose, but the type classification âappleâ is more substantial than the type classification âhotâ, as âhotâ is open to wider opinion and interpretation. The difference extends from âappleâ being a word that is able to describe another thing (a noun), whereas the word âhotâ does not. The word âhotâ, as used here, is simply a qualitative modifier (an adjective) that describes some quality of the object. This distinction is important.

When a noun functions as a type, like âappleâ does in âapple pieâ, it is referred to as a noun adjunct. Noun adjuncts are not the object in a sentence and only serve to modify another noun. Adjuncts as types generally make for easier type comparisons with other types as opposed to adjectives. For example, âappleâ compared to âberryâ, is an easier comparison to react to as opposed to âhotâ when compared to âwarmâ. Comparing adjectives is more subjective. Typing strategies focusing more on noun adjuncts, and less on qualitative modifiers, often make comparisons easier to interpret.

Furthermore, as an additional advantage, noun adjuncts can have their own modifiers. For example, âredâ, which is a modifier for âappleâ, leading to the combination âred appleâ, which is a more narrowly defined multi-word modifier for âpieâ. Multi-word modifiers improve the precision of types, but conversely can also grow in number if left unchecked. Overuse can lead to lists too large to be manageable or effective.

This interpretation of type will figure prominently in this document.
What is an Event Type?


When an alerting authority identifies a hazardous or concerning event as a âsubjectâ event, it is helpful if the alerting authority and audience both have some prior understanding of the expected impacts of the event. That prior understanding comes from associating the subject event to a known event type. Defined event types assist in communicating to an audience the impacts of any single subject event.

The OASIS CAP standard defines the <event> element asâ âthe text denoting the type of the subject event of the alert messageâ. This means that the authority is not actually citing the subject event in the <event> element, only its type. For example, a subject event like âhurricane Katrinaâ would have an event type classification of âhurricaneâ as hurricane is the term given to events with conditions characteristic of a hurricane.

The full term in the context of this example is âhurricane event typeâ, where âtypeâ is the object of the sentence, âeventâ is a permanent adjunct modifier to âtypeâ, and âhurricaneâ is the actual event type being classified. Since the CAP standard established this element as âevent typeâ, there is no need to repeat the words âeventâ or âtypeâ in the list of types. NOTE: In the example, âhurricaneâ is also an adjunct describing the âevent typeâ.

Using another example, the term âforest fireâ is also an acceptable event type for alerting. Here, there are two noun adjuncts used to describe a more narrowly defined âevent typeâ as opposed to using just âfireâ. Another example of an event type is âiceâ, and the more narrowly defined âthin iceâ. The word âthinâ however is a qualitative modifier and not an adjunct, and demonstrates the value that qualitative modifiers can occasionally bring to the task.

Multi-word types operate equally well or even better than single-word types. For example, a single-word event type of âemergencyâ is not acceptable for comparison purposes. Consumers wanting to compare this with other event types would welcome additional modifiers. The EMTC has to evaluate each case and use or limit modifiers as needed. NOTE: multi-word event types generally have an accepted best order in English (i.e. âforest fireâ and âthin iceâ, as opposed to âfire forestâ and âice thinâ).
What is an Alert?

An alert is a transmitted âsignalâ to heighten attention and/or initiate preparation for action. For this attention and preparation to be meaningful, a real or anticipated subject event is necessary. As stated, it is by reference to this subject event that the alert ties the message found in the alert to a time and place.

For many alerting authorities, an event, simply by its event type definition, is an alert-able event. For example, a âdangerous animalâ is an alert-able event simply because of what its event type definition is. For other authorities, the event is only significant and alert-able when a marked set of environmental conditions define its type. For example, an authority may declare a âwindâ event an alert-able event based on a certain wind speed level marker. Regardless of how the need for an alert was determined, the authority went through a subjective analysis identifying event types of interest. All this so that the subject event for any given alert message has a type classification that aids in constructing alert messages for an audience.

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