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Subject: RE: [tm-pubsubj] Subject identification and ontological commitment : areal-world example

Before I can weigh in on this problem, I'd like 
to understand what 
the issue is.

1) We are already agreed (pretty much I think) 
that each subject 
has a unique identifier with two faces, one for 
computer, one for 
humans (with overlap between the two)

2) Bernard would like to see there also be a way 
for this PSI to 
express the ontology, thesaurus, world from 
which it came. Is that 

I DO think these issues are important, as 
Bernard has mentioned. 
Keeping these things useful is EXTREMELY 
difficult in even the 
controlled world of libraries where there are 
only a few number of
ontologies from which people are drawing for 
subject analysis.

But then I may have missed the point entirely:>)

--On Thursday, October 30, 2003 7:19 PM +0100 
Bernard Vatant 
<bernard.vatant@mondeca.com> wrote:

> Mary
> Was your message intended to be private or to 
the list? My answer
> is public :)
>> > Why? The dissidents could publish their own 
set of PSIs making
>> > clear that they disagree with ISO PSIs (in 
OWL, they could
>> > assert that
> using
>> > owl:incompatibleWith). And up to the users 
to choose their
>> > authority. But if applications use ISO 
PSIs, then let them be
> conformant to what ISO
>> > asserts.
>> This is still not in the committee's scope. 
You think it in our
>> scope to say whether we are or are not 
Pubsubj policemen or
>> women, and describe that? :)
> That is not a question of anybody, *us* or 
*them* making the
> police. We are about recommended practices, 
that we think could
> avoid any semantic web (of any kind or size, 
private or public,
> local or global) to become a semantic mess. 
People consider too
> much that there should be exactly one PSI by 
subject in the
> universe. This is clearly unsustainable. There 
will be a lot of
> PSIs published by various authorities for 
similar subjects, that
> some (publishers or users) may consider 
identical or not. My
> choice of such or such PSI (see my example of 
country) should
> depend on my commitment or not to the 
publisher's ontology. What
> I say is: if you want the system to work 
correctly, there is a
> kind of consensus, I would even say trust 
contract, to be
> established between the publisher and the 
users, in order for the
> PSIs to be used consistently by everyone. And 
we should indeed
> recommend that if you don't agree on the 
properties given by the
> publisher in this subject indicator, don't use 
his/her PSIs.
> Certainly you don't speak about the same 
thing. This is not
> making police. It's simply saying: if you 
don't follow this rule,
> you will trigger a semantic mess, because 
people and systems will
> believe you agree on this subject, though you 
are not.
>> > > We are only providing a standard to 
represent the
>> > > information in a computer.
>> >
>> > I disagree. The TC charter mentions 
explicitly that we'll
>> > deliver recommendations for *definition, 
management and use*.
>> > I have
>> proposed last
>> > year to review the charter, but everybody 
seemed to be happy
>> > with the original one. So management and 
process of use is not
>> > out of our scope. I
>> > would say that to-be adopters certainly 
wait mainly for that
>> > before jumping in the wagon.
>> This is in the context of OASIS (electronic 
commerce) and this
>> is what I meant.
>> I think we are interpreting the charter 
>> *definition, management and use* is always in 
the scope of
>> information systems. I really do not 
understand you here.
> I see pretty well that we disagree on the 
interpretation of the
> charter. I believe I always had in mind 
*mainly* the human and
> social aspects of the three objectives : 
definition, management
> and use. Maybe I would agree the scope is 
information systems, if
> an information system includes its human 
users. Otherwise it does
> not make sense to me. What will users be able 
to achieve with the
> PSI toolkit? What will they be interested in? 
Gather piles of
> contradictory statements about what they 
believe (maybe misled)
> to be the same subject? or build consistent, 
effective systems
> based on clear agreement on ontology, 
identifiers and
> identification process (like isbn.nu example)? 
The former is an
> interesting academic exercise, but the latter 
is really what we
> are about and what is the demand now, 
> So we can't be agnostic about human process, 
> commitment, community of users, and the like. 
We are at a core of
> a very difficult problem in which the ratio 
human/technical is
> certainly over 80/20.
> Bernard
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list (and be 
removed from the
> roster of the OASIS TC), go to
> http://www.oasis-
> eave_workgroup.php.

Suellen Stringer-Hye
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
Vanderbilt University

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