Last Call Comment: PFWG: Semantic Relations

Raised by:
Alistair Miles
Opened on:
Raised by Al Gilman on behalf of PFWG in [1]:

Re: Section 8: Semantic Relations

We understand that SKOS has been devised to be universally applicable  
to various types of knowledge organization systems, many of which do  
not have semantically clear-cut relations, but are rather inaccurate  
in their meaning.  However, there are use cases that would benefit  
from a stricter and richer definition of vocabulary for concept schemes.

For example, the properties for hierarchical relationship  
(skos:broader, skos:narrower) are specified to indicate that ‘one  
[concept] is in some way more general ("broader") than the other  
("narrower")’.  The primer [2] even mentions the subjectivity of  
these properties: “skos:broader and skos:narrower enable the  
representation of hierarchical links, such as the relationship  
between one genre and its more specific species , or, depending on  
interpretations, the relationship between one whole and its parts.”   
Obviously, one can create custom-defined subproperties, but  
interoperability is much harder to achieve with custom-defined  
subproperties than with pre-defined properties that are part of the  
SKOS core.

At a minimum, it would be helpful to have separate pairs of SKOS core  
properties defined for inheritance relationships (superclass- 
subclass) vs. structural relationships (whole-part).  These would be  
subproperties of skos:broader and skos:narrower.  So the user would  
have the choice between the (inaccurate) super-properties or the  
(semantically clearer) subproperties.

Related emails:
  1. ISSUE-178: Last Call Comment: PFWG: Semantic Relations (from on 2008-10-08)
  2. Re: SKOS comment (s) from PFWG (from on 2008-10-08)
  3. Re: ISSUE-178: Last Call Comment: PFWG: Semantic Relations (from on 2008-10-23)
  4. proposal to resolve remaining no change and editorial comments (from on 2008-10-23)
  5. Re: proposal to resolve remaining no change and editorial comments (from on 2008-10-23)
  6. ISSUE-178: Last Call Comment: PFWG: Semantic Relations (from on 2008-11-06)
  7. [SKOS] Update on Last Call Comments (from on 2008-12-02)

Related notes:

2008-11-10: ACTION: Accept

2008-11-10: CHANGE-TYPE: None

2008-11-10: RESOLUTION: The working group has considered including such extensions to skos:broader and skos:narrower within the SKOS data model. This was discussed as ISSUE-56. In May the WG resolved to postpone this issue [2], because we do not yet have sufficient information on how to embed the specialisations in the current SKOS model. The view was that further work, in particular on patterns and conventions for using SKOS and OWL in combination, was required before a standard set of extensions could be proposed. We encourage the development and publication of third-party extensions to the SKOS data model within the community of practice. The SKOS Reference (section 8.6.3) and the SKOS Primer (section 4.7) provide information and examples of how to do this.

2008-12-15: Postponed with no response from commenter.

2008-12-16: COMMENTER-RESPONSE: None