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Subject: [humanmarkup] PBS-Doc-artifact

Title: PBS-Doc-artifact
Subject: [humanmarkup] RE: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-artifact

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com>,'Rex Brooks' <rexb@starbourne.com>,
             Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 08:08:51 -0700

      Title: RE: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-artifact
      Thanks for the reminder, Len. This is true. What we also need as we develop the schema itself, is the background usages--the rules the use the property sets. Actually from their viewpoints those are the foreground usages. In any event, we need to design the schema for its many uses, and so far, while we do discuss various usage scenarios, we are pretty much staying nailed down to foundational work. And it is good to be reminded of that.

      I hope we hear from Philip soon, since designing inherent grammars using nouns as verbs, I assume, and using the spoken language metaphor or model for that programming usage--which I assume (again recognizing the danger of assuming) will be applicable to a wide range of specific application areas.


      At 9:37 AM -0500 5/21/02, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

The schema itself is a set of nouns if you want to go down a path of trying to think of it as a spoken language, but it actually isn't. It is a data object description.   It is important to keep the data definitions, classification of properties of interest, separate from the ways in which they may be applied.   All the schema should be concerned with is those property sets which can affect a human communication, that is, creates a context for that act or actions.     The rules that can use these property sets vary enormously depending on the type of interest.  In effect, the schema classifies the kinds of codes that  will used.

Be wary of 'verbizing' nouns (thinging).  That is an object implementation and has value, but a simulation and a relational database aren't the same level of implementation.   Someone trying to collect information based on a standard code set,  someone implementing a simulation using that collected information, and someone creating analysis reports based on that collected information aren't doing the same job.  In the current draft, the original intent was to name the observable or inferred properties of a human communication such that all the other jobs could be done using the  rules (say, business rules or policies) of the particular tasks.


Subject: [humanmarkup] Re: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-artifact

             From: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>
             To: Rex Brooks <rexb@starbourne.com>,
             Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 07:21:55 -0700

      Title: Re: [humanmarkup-comment] Base Schema-artifact
      Hi Everyone,

      Since much of the discussion on artifact has occurred in replies to other threads, I am going to gather up that discussion here with the proviso that I am not going to quote paragraphs, just names, dates, the thread Subject from which it was taken and the time it was posted working forward from the earliest to the latest. Please excuse the disjoint character, but I wanted to collect only the discussion relating to Base Schema-Artifact, so Dr. Candelaria deRam's exposition on Base Schema-Address should be reviewed for the context of those comments, and especially for the abstract discussion of HOW our schemata, Primary and Secondaries needs to be understood and how it perhaps, ought, to be modeled.

      Note: There are on-going discussions throughout these threads that deal with the way or manner in which we are building the overall Human Markup Language Suite or Set of Schemata, including, though rarely addressed specifically while we are concerned with XML Schemata, RDF--which I wanted to mention as  another aspect which we will need to be dealing soon.

      Please, if you have more artifact-specific thoughts, please reply to this message to preserve the thread, and  delete portions of previous posts with which your comments are not concerned.


      On Sun, 19 May 2002 11:38:34 -0500, Rob Nixon, Subject:Assorted meeting notes, wrote
      1). ARTIFACTS:

      a) The "meaning" assigned to an artifact can change over time.

      b) The derived meaning at any given time is associated with the cultural
      framework in which it is considered.

      c) There can be many parallel (in time) meanings assigned to an artifact,
      with each meaning deriving from different cultural (or group) frameworks.

      d) It's possible that an Artifact can act as more than a noun in that an
      Artifact can act (and I would argue almost always act) as a "signal"
      within the perceptual field of the perceiver.

      e) As an overly simplistic model, Artifacts can be thought of as the
      nodes of a network, with beliefs acting as the connections between the
      nodes.  Clusters of these nodes and connections, can be thought of as
      context, with the entire network viewed as the knowledge and experience
      of the individual perceiver.

      f) By treating each network as a surface(of arbitrary dimension) we can
      add time into the model as a series of  stacked surfaces with the
      "artifact" nodes connected to their corresponding nodes in the surface
      "beneath".  The evolution of the meaning of the "Artifacts" over time can
      be viewed as a series of vectors, where these vectors may fork, continue
      through, or dead end ( as the artifacts may separate into multiple
      artifacts upon examination, remain consistent, or actually be lost in the
      physical or in memory).  This process can be viewed as a type of Cellular
      Automata (CA).

      g) These connected series of vectors can be thought of as a trajectory
      through the knowledge and experience "space" of the individual
      perceiver.  You will also find that there is a type of "momentum"
      associated with these trajectories as groups of related "artifacts" and
      the connecting beliefs about those artifacts reinforce each other.   It
      takes more to shift the perspectives (in relation to the artifacts) as
      time goes on if they have been reinforced.

      h) It should also be understood that each individual perceiver can be
      viewed as a node in a cultural and social network (which is hierarchical
      in nature)  with (feedback loops) interconnecting the artifact nodes (
      and beliefs ) among the interacting individuals.

      i) Artifacts can also act as a pointer to a series of Metaphors, or in
      and of itself act as a "Metaphoric" node.

      j) In essence a (manufactured) Artifact can also be viewed as the
      "condensation" of "meaning" out of the knowledge and information field of
      the individual or the group.

      k) It is also important to understand that when we are dealing with
      "Artifacts" (objects) within Virtual Simulations, the concept of linear
      time and cause and effect can no longer be viewed as it has been

      If for example I am running a series of simultaneous "Simulations" each
      based on a specific time period ( i.e.  1920, 1930, 1940, 1970, 1993,
      2002) and I share an (Artifact - a book, a building, a coin) "object"
      among them (that contains "Static Data Members", "Static Member
      Functions" ) I will run into a problem with potential cause and effect if
      we use a simple linear view of time.

      The following example should highlight the problem:

      If for instance my six simulations utilize a class of object called
      "Book", each of the six simulations will contain their own object
      "instantiations" of the book class.  You can think of the "Book Class" as
      the Archetype of a Book, and each instantiation of the Book Archetype in
      each simulation as the "physical manifestation" of the Book Archetype.
      In this sense each of the books in the six different simulated periods
      have no relation to each other (other than "Bookness") and therefore can
      not effect each other.  However, if we include data and functions called
      "Static Data Members" or "Static Member Functions" in our Book Class (
      Archetype ), then we create a link between ALL instantiations of books in
      ALL simulations.

      The reason for this is that the Static Data Members and Functions are
      associated with the CLASS and not the individual book objects in each
      simulation.  So if we had (for what ever reason) static data members
      called "Highest Catalogue Number" and "Date Assigned" which were used to
      assign the next instantiated books catalogue number in any given
      simulation,  all books everywhere in all simulations would access that
      "Highest Catalogue Number".   Here is the problem,  let us say for the
      sake of argument that when we start our six simultaneous simulations (
      ie. Boston - 1920,1930, 1940, 1970, 1993, and 2002 ) that it just so
      happens that the first "book" object is instantiated in the 1970
      simulation.  The catalogue number "1" is assigned to that book instance,
      and the date of "April 5, 1970" is recorded in the Static Data member
      called "Date Assigned".

      Now it just so happens that since the start of our six simulations the
      next instantiation of a book occurs in the 1930 simulation.  The local
      simulation sees that there has already been one book assigned, and so it
      updates the "Highest Catalogue Number"  to 2.  What it discovers however
      is that from it's (the particular simulations perspective) the first book
      was assigned 40 years in it's future, so in effect, it has experienced
      and effect from the future.  A simple time stamping of events in this
      case would lead to chaos and confusion.  Now if we update the Date
      Assigned for this second instantiated book to Feb 23, 1930, from the
      perspective of the 1970 simulation it has just had it's past changed by
      something occurring in the 1930 simulation.

      The previous points have been greatly simplified for clarity ( I hope ).
      The goal of the previous points have been to illustrate that the concept
      of an "Artifact" as a simple noun is insufficient.   I believe that
      rather than viewing an (artifact)/"Signal" as an interruption in a static
      field (as was discussed during the meeting), that they should be viewed
      as semi-recurrent / semi-stable dynamic "processes" (or eddies) in a
      fluid field (where "fluid" describes a dynamic network structure.)

      On Mon, 20 May 2002 10:54:38 -0500,  Len Bullard replied in that thread:

      Doing this quick so not enough time to be simple.  I'm
      not enthralled with "verbs" in XML Schemas.   They don't
      belong there.  On the other hand, nouns created by an
      XML Schema do have to participate in relationships and
      verbs as business rules, etc., certainly have to be
      considered.  I guess I see schemas almost like property
      sheets; just data objects.

      First, be sure these topics can diffentiate a data standard
      from a system specification.  If we mix up these levels, we
      will never emerge.   XML is strictly a naming system that
      includes a structural means to organize names. Insofar as
      verbs can be named, they can be XMLized, but the object model
      of XML is not very good when it comes to doing things like
      DAGs.  So artifacts as "nodes in a network" is a description
      more amenable to RDF possibly.

      1.  Meaning, semantic.  Is always assigned regardless of
      time.  It is always system specific, or view specific.

      2.  A system may have a cultural description the currency
      of which may correspond to some shared data values but
      this is not required nor explicitly a norm.   That is,
      the context of human communication is always personal,
      or more to the point, rooted to individuals.

      3.  An artifact may be a sign or a symbol.  It is
      not a signal except insofar as it is an interruption
      in an observer's view.  One might say it acts in that
      context initially, but I'm not sure that is very useful.
      An artifact is a noun.  It may be a property of some
      process.  (really, an artifact is just a way to group
      a set of non-random assemblies of substances that
      are made by humans.  The term is very vague but was
      put there to include things such as jewelry, clothing,

      4.  Building a state machine description of a communication
      is fine.  Choice of choices with rules operating over each
      transition.  Again, not very XML and possibly not very
      relevant to the schema except insofar as the schema describes
      the names and structures of messages/state representations
      passed among nodes in the network.  Differentiate intelligent
      choices (choice of choices:  a well-defined process operates
      over the selection) from interpretable acts, or simple
      observables (we know this person did this, but we cannot
      name the rules of the process, only inspect the outputs
      at some declared set of transitions).

      5.  Because meaning is always "assigned", time is a context
      property important to interpretation where interpretation
      requires a view definition.   No argument there.

      Time is independent of instantiation insofar as identity
      based on type is concerned.   Apriori use of a class such
      as book does not infer a place in time, just a set of
      properties for the classification.  Yes, it is important
      not to create "effects from the future" as a side effect
      of instantiation.  Nothing should prohibit it as a kind
      of artifice (time machine novels are what they are).  Time
      itself, is just "previous" and "next" if we deal with
      it linearly.  Time affects instancing based on type if
      the type, not the instance, has evolved and that evolution
      is time-ordered for the purpose of identifying it.  It is
      possible to timestamp an event, classify it as a type of
      incident, and move on to other forms of interpreted
      classification.  For example, an observable or
      reportable event is recorded, an incident declared that
      requires a response (eg, call for service), and later,
      that incident is classified as say, a type of cultural
      act (eg, a crime type, murder, rape, etc.)

      To which, on Mon, 20 May 2002 11:34:20 -0500, Rob replied:

      Thanks Len,

      Regarding:   3.  An artifact may be a sign or a symbol.  It is
      not a signal except insofar as it is an interruption
      in an observer's view....

      I would argue that MANY, if not most Artifacts can be considered to be a
      "compressed" signal form, especially if it is within the prior experience of
      the perceiver.   I don't think that an "interruption" in an observer's view
      actually will cover it.  In fact, I'm not sure I know what "an interruption
      in an observer's view" really means...   The pattern of photons reflected off
      the object, the tactile feel of the object, the smell of an object, even a
      written or audio description of the object all act as signals which are then
      decoded and processed via the pattern recognition structures of the brain (
      or A.I. algorithms).  They are not just static tags.   Nothing is static.

      Perhaps I'm being too literal here.  Or I am missing the point.   But I would
      also point out that there are developers who have already expanded on the
      concept of an Artifact as noun "only"...   and many are going that direction
      in the VR realm (which we must be able to support).  i.e. The "Artifacts" in
      "The Sims" ( i.e. Refrigerator, Paper, Sofa, Shower, etc.  ) do act as
      signals to the environment ( specifically the virtual humans ).  These
      artifacts "broadcast" their "benefits" to the "Sims" in the environment and
      the virtual humans respond.

      Again, I am trying to make sure that we don't lock ourselves into an
      interpretation of a concept that may actually be evolving.


      To which in turn, on Mon, 20 May 2002 16:11:54 -0500, Len replied:

      The example for signal was something
      like breaking an electrical field to make a Morse code.  This
      gets tendentious quickly.  For example, there is a person
      on the other side of the cube drumming their fingers on the
      desk.  Is this signal?  In the sense that it is "drawing
      attention" yes; in the sense that it conveys information,
      explicitly, no.  One can interpret it, eg, significator of
      boredom or nervousness, but unless it is organized into
      some kind of regular beat with duration, one might not interpret
      it as Morse.   Signal requires more properties to be
      interpretable, that is, to make an optimum choice, we
      need more than just signal.  It is a dark and stormy night and
      we are driving across the Ponchatrain at high speed.
      Up ahead, we see someone waving excitedly.  We have
      to choose:

      1.  Stop.  There is an emergency.
      2.  Drive on.  This is a nut or a robber.

      Only as we are plummeting into the swamp do we
      understand they were signaling an emergency based
      on the bridge being down.  It is a bit late.
      Pattern recognition and the optimum choice are
      not simple problems.

      A piece of jewelry is initially exactly just an interruption.
      It attracts attention.  It may have symbols on it and these
      may be readily interpretable.  Otherwise, it is decoration.

      Training is everything.  Knowing the difference between a sign
      and a signal is a training issue (apriori experience).  A
      sign should be obvious to someone trained to recognize it.
      The only really compelling property of a signal is that
      it "attracts attention" and can be made to carry information,
      but in and of itself, is just a media-type noise when
      first noticed that has to be correlated to be interpreted.

      Yes, an artifact can be a compressed means, but I would
      argue it is a sign or probably a symbol if it contains a
      lot of information.  Without an interpretant context, one
      can't say.  For example, the notion that an address is
      symbolic is interesting only if within a culture or
      learning set, an address has acquired a meaning,
      eg, prestige address, slum, business area, gangland,
      whatever.  It is not an artifact per se unless we
      dumb down artifact to mean "thing".   Otherwise,
      the first primary association of address is to
      a geoLocation.  Other relationships depend on the

      I'm not sure we can make that schema handle the notion
      of "broadcasting value".   I can see an implementation
      of an object-oriented communication that does that.

      We may find that the abstractions of signal, sign and
      symbol are inappropriate and turn to simply, messages,
      but then again, we may find that messages are aggregates
      of the above.

      Meanwhile, in her post on Base Schema-Address and Artifact, Dr. Sylvia Candelaria deRam, wrote:


      Now the HumanML committee has moved [from "phase 0", discussion] into
      the stage of actual schema design for HumanML.

      Thus saith Rob Nixon:

      At 11:38 AM 19-05-2002 -0500, you wrote:
      >Hello everyone, sorry for the delay.
      >Here are a few notes related to the discussion we had during our monthly
      >HumanML Technical Committee conference call on the 15th.  Many of these
      ...>speak in the
      >languages of physics, mathematics, and systems sciences,
      > also overlaps with the concepts underlying the semantic web approach.
      >These notes are not meant to send us wildly off course, but rather to
      >make sure that we have explored our assumptions.
      >1). ARTIFACTS:
      ... [marvelous exposition, q.v., referred to in part below]....

      Per Rex Brooks and Ranjeeth Thunga's guidance, we've begun jointly
      re-working through the caderie of possible terms for HumanML. Today in
      our conferenced telephone meeting note was taken that since our problem
      is handling the "human" which is invariably also contextual, a shallow
      list of terms such as suitable for some other markup endeavors is
      patently insufficient. How, then, to proceed to bring contextualization
      into our base of primaries (cf. primitives)?

      The following analysis of the first term under discussion, ADDRESS, sets

      It turns out to be amazingly consonant with Rob Nixon's concurrent
      discussion of the second term, ARTIFACT.

      Rob's point j) describes how an ARTIFACT is "manufactured" ... "out of
      the knowledge and information field of the individual or the group". His
      points g) and h), speaking of 'trajectories' zooming "through the
      knowledge and experience 'space' of the individual perceiver" [who is,
      themself,] "a node in a cultural and social network...with (feedback
      loops) interconnecting the artifact nodes and beliefs) among the
      interacting individuals" propose the interesting idea of "momentum"
      within a dynamic net.

      When an ADDRESS is a special case of an ARTIFACT, as I'd opined in our
      phone meeting, Rob's description of ARTIFACTs in terms of nets are thus
      illustrated by the concrete "semantic-net-portions" for ADDRESS set out
      below.  Elaboration on contextualizable nets follows, and then some
      questions to work from.

      <snip--captured in entirety in Base-Schema-Address thread>

      C.      related working term:  ARTIFACT

      comment: A particular ADDRESS is an [instance of an] ARTIFACT. ADDRESS is a
      kind of ARTIFACT (cf. ISA, AKO, subclass). In having to do with significant
      (maybe even purposive) activity it differs from being a plain location.
      It has co-operative significance: That "human" social property ;).

      At 7:00 AM -0700 5/14/02, Rex Brooks wrote:

                  Hello again,

                  I'm continuing along with our examination of the Base Schema a little more quickly than I probably will as we go along in order to get you all used to the process and to keep it in front of your eyes, hopefully to encourage a bit more participation. Please note that even though we have not in any sense exhausted discussion on the first element, address, I am continuing on. Hopefully we will hear more voices about whether we need to specifically associate that element with existing address systems and whether residential v. postal v. email or all three and more need to have specific attributes defined within the element. Another note in favor of participation now: it is easier to be heard in a smaller group than a larger. So participate while you can.

                  That is part of the idea here. If you don't notice how an element is important to you now, and we don't fully qualify that element for your eventual use later, we are going to have many more problems with our implementations than if we all put in the skull sweat now, while the process of making changes and adjustments is a whole lot easier than it will be once existing implementations rely upon the way these elements are defined for use now.

                  In other words, don't look beyond your mirrors for the the culprits responsible for not defining an element the way you need it later if you don't put in your $.02 now. Nuff Said.

                  So, our second element:


                  This is a Complex Type with the attribute of abstract which means an element cannot use it directly but must use it as a complexType derived from this complexType.

                  This becomes somehat more clear in the annotation which specifies that it is a specifically "Human" Artifact, of, or relating to, Human use in communicating the depth of contextual  information that HumanMarkup is designed to do. Examples are objects such as clothes, jewelry, pictures, trinkets which express interests, hobbies, status or lifestyle--to which I would add cultural affiliations in particular.

                  It is further specified that is a member of the xsd:attributeGroup referenced by

                  As a base element, artifact is very important because it forms the basis for a whole host of secondary schemata elements. The presentation of an individual is always a case of context since without an audience, even if one is simply admiring or examining one's self in a mirror,
                  presentation cannot exist, at least in a pragmatic sense, as opposed to a logical conundrum, and  I would suggest that we are not really chartered to engage in that kind of argument unless it is necessary to produce a pragmatically useful result.

                  I am wondering if another related element might be called for in the base schema, which I was going to bring up eventually regardless of when or where in the list it occurred. That is comes up  with the second element is propitious.

                  This is an element such as artifice as a verb, or another verb for the act of creation, which would also be an abstract complex type allowing for all manner of Human creation.

                  And this in turn introduces an entirely new thread, in which I will ask that we not indulge in relation to artifact, because we will arrive at it in due course when we get to the element: signal.

                  The primary reason I bring it up now is to forestall an entirely separate and inappropriate set of arguments that could probably be brought up for every element we discuss. That is the apparent lack of verbs in the base schema. I would prefer, if we can, to hold that discussion in abeyance  until we get through the entire list we have because our base schema is not currently configured to include operators, and operators, or the lack thereof, is such a large field that I think we would  get bogged down in it and this will give us all, especially those of us concerned with specific subcommittees and secondary schemata a chance to look at the set of operators we each will want and to think about what the base elements for those operators will need to be.

                  There, I've gone and put my foot in it.




The following passage comes from the minutes for May's monthly meeting.


Briefly, the artifact element, which stands for objects such as clothing and jewelry--as a symbol--communicates various concepts about a human's culture and behavior and beliefs. As such, it is a result of an act of human creation, for which we do not have a verb. The term itself comes from artifice as a verb.

      In the discussion which followed a number of concepts surfaced which Rob Nixon volunteered to chronicle  separately in order to keep track of them. This seems like a good adjunct to the policy of also collecting up new elements separately as well. Due to that, it won't be attempted in these minutes to capture that entire  conversation, though a few highlights will be mentioned.

      No attempt at a chronological account is being made in the items that follow, since note taking became
      problematical during our discussion in terms of concepts derived from one or another of these items tended to  refer or relate to earlier and later discussions, so please don't assume that one item led to another in the order I present them. I will use the option of bulleting these items in order to call this out as a non-chornological part of this meeting's minutes.

      * Artifacts, alphabetically, are the first door into the area of culture, which concerns Human Markup greatly, so we need to be especially careful in the way we deal with it, because it is creating a de facto methodology. This brings up one essential fault in the procedural decision to deal with elements in any particular order.

      However, what this concern in itself brought out is that artifacts act as association nodes, or meta-conceptual objects. Teasing out specific cultural, or wider social meanings will require attention.

      * Artifacts also point out the way in which elements can be nouns yet have verb-equivalent attributes from which operations and/or methods can be derived.

* Artifacts act as compression points for cultural, scientific, economic and other contexts. Rob mentioned this and Philip readily agreed, and while this writer still doesn't quite grasp exactly what they mean, both of them have volunteered to explore this connection more thoroughly in separate posts.

      * Artifacts also pose the question of what a culture is.

      This prompted a discussion that included the notion that artifacts needn't be physical, at least not in the sense of being a physical object such as a bracelet or a necklace, or a burka. Again, due to a lack of knowledge and experience, the writer doesn't quite grasp this, though the idea that the concept of an artifact can symbolize a wealth of connotations is clear. How that symbol exists separate from an object, or the representation of a physical object in digital information terms is not clear. No doubt we will hear more on this. (I hate to sound so utterly literal but could this notion of non-physicality be explained by the example of a perfume, which simply can't be worn or carried or used physically as an object but can be "worn" and can operate as an artifact?)

      * Artifacts also have time-bound meanings, and this aspect, along with the notion of artifacts as compression
      points deserves to be explored more thoroughly.

      * Artifacts can act as educational devices.
Rex Brooks
Starbourne Communications Design
1361-A Addison, Berkeley, CA 94702 *510-849-2309
http://www.starbourne.com * rexb@starbourne.com

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