2004-10-29

Vocabulary Management for the Semantic Web

Tom Baker, coordinator of the Vocabulary Management Task Force in the W3C SWBPD WG has released a first draft of the technical note which is the intended deliverable of the VM TF, shortly defined in the TF definition page as following:
A relatively concise technical note summarizing principles of good practice, with pointers to examples, about the identification of terms and term sets with URIs, related policies and etiquette, and expectations regarding documentation.
The current draft structure brings interestingly together practices from various communities and languages : FOAF, Dublin Core, SKOS, WordNet ... and Published Subjects. The release also includes an exhaustive list of links on the subject.The WG and the TF will have their F2F meeting next week in Bristol. I've been put under the interesting challenge to deliver something for the following section:


Section 3.3.
What does it mean to "use" Terms from one Vocabulary in another?
The problem of "semantic context". Terms may be embedded in clusters of relations from which they may be seen in part to derive their meaning. It may therefore not always be sensible to use those terms out of context. Examples include the terms of thesauri or ontologies, as well as XML elements, which may be defined with respect to parent elements and may therefore not always be reusable as properties in an RDF sense without violating their semantic intent.
In other words : does a term, clearly identified by its URI, but used in a context different from its original one, identify the same original concept?