Prosopography and Computer Ontologies: towards a formal representation of the ‘factoid’model by means of CIDOC-CRM        ...
Summary1. Background. Structured prosopography; factoid-based pros.; different models for different contexts.2. Problem. S...
Prosopography: from a ‘narrative’ model... From J.R. Martindale, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, 3: A.D. 527-...
Prosopography: ... to a ‘structured’ model Personal  Information:  “A was  described this  way” Status: “A held  this st...
Structured Prosopography: information types                          Authorship: “A authored text                        ...
But... So, if the king could not fully bring his sense of and desire for order to Scottish society, how are modern histori...
Fact vs Factoid   A Factoid is     An assertion made by the project team that a      source "S" at reference “R" states ...
Factoid model: an abstract diagram- notice the ‘gap’ between sources & assertions
Factoid model: how they look for users
Factoid model: some real numbers                PASE I        PASE II      POMS    Number of   2,013 (1356   2,784 (1,445 ...
What is the factoid model for?    By "modeling" I mean the heuristic    process of constructing and    manipulating models...
A Quadripartite view of models in DH  Data                            Data  Acquisition                     Storage       ...
The importance of semantic interoperabilityPerson:                                 Person:Adam of Eccles                  ...
A Quadripartite view of models in DH  Data                                 Data  Acquisition                          Stor...
The importance of semantic interoperabilityPERSONS (POMS project)              PERSONS (BOB project)  Name      Surname   ...
The importance of semantic interoperability              PERSON       identifies     APPELLATION         instanceOf        ...
Ontology-based semantic integration             PERSON             identifies     APPELLATION        instanceOf            ...
Example: the CIDOC-CRM ontology
Moving towards a more interoperable model: what are ‘factoids’ in ontological terms?                                      ...
Moving towards a more interoperable model: what are ‘factoids’ in ontological terms?                                      ...
Factoids as ‘Interpretation’ events                                      INTERPRETATION                                   ...
Wrapping things up using CIDOC-CRME2 Temporal Entity                                                E39 ACTOR             ...
Wrapping things up using CIDOC-CRME2 Temporal Entity                                             E39 ACTOR                ...
Open issues #1- the ‘assigned’ property is too generic for rendering oursource-based approach to prosopography  -eg. ‘is-e...
Open issues #2- if we analyze more seriously the notion of ‘interpretation’as the institution of a connection between two ...
Open issues #3- it seems plausible to create negative ‘interpretation’ -how would this play out in the context of a prosop...
Summary- The factoid-based approach in structuredprosopography is a successful one- It can be ‘ontologized’ using CIDOC-CR...
... thanks!http://www.poms.ac.uk/http://www.breakingofbritain.ac.uk/email me at: michele.pasin@kcl.ac.uk
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Prosopography and Computer Ontologies: Towards a Formal Representation of the ‘Factoid’ Model by Means of Cidoc-CRM

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Prosopography and Computer Ontologies: Towards a Formal Representation of the ‘Factoid’ Model by Means of Cidoc-CRM

  1. 1. Prosopography and Computer Ontologies: towards a formal representation of the ‘factoid’model by means of CIDOC-CRM John Bradley, Michele Pasin Department of Digital Humanities Kings College, London michele.pasin@kcl.ac.uk
  2. 2. Summary1. Background. Structured prosopography; factoid-based pros.; different models for different contexts.2. Problem. Semantic interoperability; expressingthe factoid model in a more general fashion.3. Approach. Applying CIDOC-CRM; Strengthsand weaknesses; other approaches and futurework
  3. 3. Prosopography: from a ‘narrative’ model... From J.R. Martindale, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, 3: A.D. 527-641. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1992.
  4. 4. Prosopography: ... to a ‘structured’ model Personal Information: “A was described this way” Status: “A held this status” Event: “A took part in this event of this type”
  5. 5. Structured Prosopography: information types  Authorship: “A authored text B”  Education: “A was educated by B”  Event: “A took part in this event of this type”  Personal Relationship: “A was related to B (e.g. sister)”  Occupation: “A practiced this occupation”  Office: “A held this office”  Personal Information: “A was described this way (e.g. saintly)”  Possession: “A owned this thing”  Recorded Name: “A’s name was written this way”  Status: “A held this status”  Transaction: “A took part in this transaction”
  6. 6. But... So, if the king could not fully bring his sense of and desire for order to Scottish society, how are modern historians supposed to do so? To what extent can a highly formal structure such as one finds in a database be useful or helpful to represent the complex and ambiguous aspects of this society?
  7. 7. Fact vs Factoid  A Factoid is  An assertion made by the project team that a source "S" at reference “R" states something ("F") about a person or persons ("P")  A “Fact” (Boute 2002)  “something that happens to a person at a certain moment”  Boute, Bruno (2002). Towards More Uniform Database Structures for Prosopographical Research: Work in Progress in University History -- the Example of the Lovanienses Database. In Keats-Rohan, K.S.B. (ed.) Resourcing Sources. Oxford: Unit for Prosopographical Research.
  8. 8. Factoid model: an abstract diagram- notice the ‘gap’ between sources & assertions
  9. 9. Factoid model: how they look for users
  10. 10. Factoid model: some real numbers PASE I PASE II POMS Number of 2,013 (1356 2,784 (1,445 6,016 sources charters) charters) charters Number of 11,758 19,807 15,221 persons Number of 84,607 282,026 68,044 factoids
  11. 11. What is the factoid model for? By "modeling" I mean the heuristic process of constructing and manipulating models, a "model" I take to be either a representation of something for purposes of study, or a design for realizing something new. McCarty, W. (2004). Modeling: A Study in Words and Meanings. In S. Schreibman, R. Siemens, & J. Unsworth (Eds.), A Companion to Digital Humanities. Oxford: Blackwell.
  12. 12. A Quadripartite view of models in DH Data Data Acquisition Storage Efficiency, price,Workflow, experts platformhabits andconceptualizationTables, colors, Semanticinformation layout & interoperability,organization, discipline- adherence tospecific discourse recognised standards Data Data Presentation Integration
  13. 13. The importance of semantic interoperabilityPerson: Person:Adam of Eccles Adam of Eccles
  14. 14. A Quadripartite view of models in DH Data Data Acquisition Storage Efficiency, price,Workflow, experts platformhabits andconceptualization FactoidsTables, colors, Semanticinformation layout & interoperability,organization, discipline- adherence tospecific discourse recognised standards ??? Information Data Architecture Integration
  15. 15. The importance of semantic interoperabilityPERSONS (POMS project) PERSONS (BOB project) Name Surname Name Place Name Adam of Eccles Adam of Eccles Eccles
  16. 16. The importance of semantic interoperability PERSON identifies APPELLATION instanceOf isA isA <Person_1001> POMS- BOB- Appellation Appellation instanceOf instanceOfPERSONS (POMS project) PERSONS (BOB project) Name Surname Name Place Name Adam of Eccles Adam of Eccles Eccles
  17. 17. Ontology-based semantic integration PERSON identifies APPELLATION instanceOf isA isA <Person_1001> POMS- BOB- Appellation Appellation instanceOf instanceOf - formal ontology provides a theory of how to makePERSONS (POMS project) PERSONS (BOB project) categorical distinctions in systematic and coherent manner - making representational choices at the highest level of Name Surname Name Place Name abstraction, while still being as clear as possible about the meaning of terms Adam of Eccles Adam of Eccles Eccles
  18. 18. Example: the CIDOC-CRM ontology
  19. 19. Moving towards a more interoperable model: what are ‘factoids’ in ontological terms? STATE-OF- PERSON DOCUMENT AFFAIRS instanceOf instanceOf instanceOf<John Martindale> <Sid. Ap. epistolae.> < “Eucherius 4 was an inlustres” >
  20. 20. Moving towards a more interoperable model: what are ‘factoids’ in ontological terms? STATE-OF- PERSON DOCUMENT AFFAIRS isA isA SITUATION EVENT instanceOf instanceOf instanceOf<John Martindale> <Sid. Ap. epistolae.> < “Eucherius 4 was an inlustres” >
  21. 21. Factoids as ‘Interpretation’ events INTERPRETATION ACT ha h or s- ut has-object su bj -a ec h as t STATE-OF- PERSON DOCUMENT AFFAIRS isA isA SITUATION EVENT instanceOf instanceOf instanceOf<John Martindale> <Sid. Ap. epistolae.> < “Eucherius 4 was an inlustres” >
  22. 22. Wrapping things up using CIDOC-CRME2 Temporal Entity E39 ACTOR OU T-BY R IED- isA CAR P14- E13 ATTRIBUTE P140-ASSIGNED- ATTRIBUTE-TO E1 CRM Entity ASSIGNMENT P141- ASSIG NED ? E1 CRM Entity DOCUMENT “This class comprises the actions of making assertionsINTERPRETATION about properties of an object or any relation between ACT two items or concepts. [...] the class describes the actions of people making propositions and statements during certain museum procedures, e.g. the person and date when a condition statement was made, an identifier was assigned, the museum object was measured, etc.”
  23. 23. Wrapping things up using CIDOC-CRME2 Temporal Entity E39 ACTOR Y isA T-B -OU PERSON RIED isA CAR P14- E13 ATTRIBUTE P140-ASSIGNED- ATTRIBUTE-TO E1 CRM Entity ASSIGNMENT isA P141- ASSIG NED isA E1 CRM Entity DOCUMENT isA DOCUMENTINTERPRETATION ACT STATE-OF- AFFAIRS
  24. 24. Open issues #1- the ‘assigned’ property is too generic for rendering oursource-based approach to prosopography -eg. ‘is-evidence-for’; ‘is-about-event’; ‘claims-that’, ‘asserts’ - the key issue derives from the fact that factoids must reflect the source as close as possible DOCUMENT carried-out-by INTERPRETATION ACT PERSON assigned attr. to assigned DOCUMENT STATE-OF- AFFAIRS
  25. 25. Open issues #2- if we analyze more seriously the notion of ‘interpretation’as the institution of a connection between two entities -the connection itself should become a parameter! -eg. We can lay out alternatives in a continuum: ‘is-evidence-for’; ‘is- about-event’; ‘claims-that’ as carrying different pre-defined semantics -eg. Opens up interesting paths towards modal logic: X might-be about Y DOCUMENT carried-out-by INTERPRETATION ACT PERSON assigned attr. to assigned DOCUMENTCERTAINTY/MODALITY of STATE-OF- the INTERPRETATION AFFAIRS
  26. 26. Open issues #3- it seems plausible to create negative ‘interpretation’ -how would this play out in the context of a prosop.database? -eg. “According to source X, we know that the King of England wasn’t involved in event E” DOCUMENT carried-out-by INTERPRETATION ACT PERSON assigned attr. to assigned DOCUMENT NOT STATE-OF- AFFAIRS
  27. 27. Summary- The factoid-based approach in structuredprosopography is a successful one- It can be ‘ontologized’ using CIDOC-CRM- Some features need an ad hoc treatment...- Next steps: formalize adequate extensionsfor CIDOC-CRM & make POMS/BOBdatastore accessible via APIs
  28. 28. ... thanks!http://www.poms.ac.uk/http://www.breakingofbritain.ac.uk/email me at: michele.pasin@kcl.ac.uk

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