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

Tracking #: 3159-4373

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Athanasios Velios
Carlo Meghini
Martin Doerr
Stephen Stead

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Special Issue Cultural Heritage 2021

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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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