Typed properties and negative typed properties: dealing with type observations and negative statements in the CIDOC CRM

Tracking #: 3101-4315

Athanasios Velios
Carlo Meghini
Martin Doerr
Stephen Stead1

Responsible editor: 
Special Issue Cultural Heritage 2021

Submission type: 
Full Paper
A typical case of producing records within the domain of conservation of cultural heritage is considered. During condition and collection surveys in memory organisations, surveyors observe types of multiple components of an object but without creating a record for each one. They also observe the absence of components. Such observations are significant to researchers and are documented in registration forms but they are not easy to implement using popular ontologies, such as the CIDOC CRM which primarily consider individuals. In this paper techniques for expressing such observations within the context of the CIDOC CRM in both OWL and RDFS are explored. OWL cardinality restrictions are considered and new special properties deriving from the CIDOC CRM are proposed, namely ‘typed properties’ and ‘negative typed properties’ which allow stating the types of multiple individuals and the absence of individuals. The nature of these properties is then explored in relation to their correspondence to longer property paths, their hierarchical arrangement and relevance to thesauri. An example from bookbinding history is used alongside a demonstration of the proposed solution with a dataset from the library collection of the Saint Catherine Monastery in Sinai, Egypt.
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Minor Revision

Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
By Luigi Asprino submitted on 11/May/2022
Major Revision
Review Comment:

The authors much improved the quality and clarity of the paper and addressed the issue regarding the discussion about existing alternative solutions.
I still have some doubts about what kind of evaluation is proposed. The evaluation seems to be a dataset accompanied by a set of queries, but it is still not clear its rationale.

Review #2
By Enrico Daga submitted on 12/May/2022
Minor Revision
Review Comment:

The authors have rewritten the article almost entirely, and all the concerns raised in the previous review seem now solved. However, the result is quite difficult to read, and the structure is sometimes confusing.
Specifically, Section 1 should be split from 1.2 onwards into a separate section(s?) dedicated to the problem formalisation and the discussion of related work. It is not a big problem that related work mixes with the problem description. However, sections and subsections should include more connecting sentences to help the reader follow the argumentation.

The lack of a clear place for related work can be confusing; maybe there can be a table summarising the options, with explicit nicknames (e.g. owl-plain-disjoint-classes, disjoint-classes with expressions, disjoint classes with cardinality, etc….)

The evaluation focuses on: (a) how the two solutions (OWL- and RDFS-compatible) can be applied; and (b) how both are solving the problem from the point of view of developing SPARQL queries to answer the questions. The evaluation does not essentially compare to alternative solutions. However, the evaluation framework should be presented and discussed before applying it. It should also be clarified why this approach to the evaluation was considered (how it relates to ontology engineering methodologies, for example).

The overall presentation requires further improvements, for example, formatting the code differently (e.g. using background colours, smaller text, etc.). Sometimes the pages are overcrowded with code snippets, which makes it harder to follow the content. This also applies to Tables.

Evaluating the usability of ontology engineering solutions is tricky, I can recommend the following paper on the topic:

Warren, Paul, Paul Mulholland, Trevor Collins, and Enrico Motta. "The usability of description logics." In European Semantic Web Conference, pp. 550-564. Springer, Cham, 2014.

Review #3
By Stefano Borgo submitted on 20/May/2022
Review Comment:

With this second version the nature of the paper has changed. The focus moved from the discussion of a general problem about knowledge representation to a formal solution relatively to specific application languages (OWL 2 and RDFS). Conceptually speaking, the first version had a more suitable structure since the problem was properly introduced and discussed. This version of the paper is perhaps more relevant to SWJ and definitely useful to the community but the generality of the discussion is lost. To mitigate this, I would suggest to properly isolate some material of general interest like the discussion at pg. 10 (where I suggest to add a distinction btw beliefs, e.g. existence stated by other sources, and existential dependencies, e.g. the presence of glue indicates the earlier presence of leafmarks) but leave the choice to the authors.
I won’t object publication in the current version.

Minor issues:
Pg 2:
- Instead of just P (which is generic) use some characterising decoration e.g. \hat{P}
- “Section 3 evaluates the recommendations by presents an implementation” [presenting?]

Pg 4: “Which individuals are not connected to an individual through P?[“] - i.e., closing quotes are missing

Pg. 11: “such that [it] allows such reasoning.”

Pg. 13: pageMarker1 should be leafMarker1

Q^r (used in Table 2 and later) is not introduced