Information Resources and Real-World Objects

The distinguishing characteristic of these resources is that all of their essential characteristics can be conveyed in a message. We identify this set as information resources

Architecture of the WWW, W3C Recommendation 15/12/2004, section 2.2 URI/Resource Relationships

Assume we accept this definition for “information resources”. Let us take a real apple. Then we ask ourselves, is that apple an information resource according to the previous definition. In my opinion, the answer is No. Because we cannot convey all the essential characteristics of an apple in a message, even if the message is transmitted through conventional human to human communication channels. If someone has not tasted an apple before then you cannot convey that characteristic in a message. One has to eat the apple to learn about that characteristic and many more.

In addition to that, many will be familiar with pictures like the following one from artist Rene Magritte showing a pipe and underneath a text message in French saying “this is not a pipe”.

Well this is not a pipe indeed, it is an information resource about a pipe. To be more specific this is a visual representation (image encoding) of a pipe. Or you may also say we present graphically, we draw a pipe. It is something that refers to a real pipe, but it is not the pipe. In fact, no matter what is the volume of information you are going to use about a real pipe, you will never manage to convey the true or full meaning of what a pipe is. But enen in the case we approach a very detailed description of something, then the main obstacle is the interpretant and the interpretation of the message.

In a more recent effort of W3C to distinguish between digital information resources and real-world object it uses URIs to identify both of them.

On the Semantic Web, URIs identify not just Web documents, but also real-world objects like people and cars, and even abstract ideas and non-existing things like a mythical unicorn. We call these real-world objects or things

Cool URIs for the Semantic Web, W3C Interest Group Note 3/12/2008, section 3 URIs for Real-World Objects

This is part of a bigger problem due to the inherited weak logic, theory and definitions that support RDF data model. The reader can search for many of these discussions that have appeared on the web under the search term “web identity crisis”. I believe the root of the problem lies on the inadequate meaning of word information as it is expressed in English. Linguists are aware of the distinction between signifier and signified and Greek language is serving well that purpose as the word “plērophoria” (signifier) conveys better the meaning of the word “information” (signified).

The ancient Greek word for information is πληροφορία, which transliterates (plērophoria) from πλήρης (plērēs) “fully” and φέρω (phorein) frequentative of (pherein) to carry through. It literally means “bears fully” or “conveys fully”. In modern Greek the word Πληροφορία is still in daily use and has the same meaning as the word information in English. In addition to its primary meaning, the word Πληροφορία as a symbol has deep roots in Aristotle’s semiotic triangle. In this regard it can be interpreted to communicate information to the one decoding that specific type of sign.

Wikipedia, the Etymology section of the term Information was updated by user Healis with the quoted text above on the 13th of June 2014

Origins of a new theoretical framework on information representation

We propose a new theoretical framework that will cover RDF/OWL and Topic Map data models, the EAV model in RDBMS and the object-attribute-value model in OOP. So far there have been very weak attempts to bridge the gap among the Semantic Web, the Relational Databases world, the Object-Oriented programming community and recently the NoSQL Databases arena. All these need a solid theoretical framework that unifies them and an implementation that exhibits that these technologies are simply different perspectives of the same approach to information representation.

Cross-References

R3DM Project Posts

2018

Relational Data Model: Back to the roots
Important design and implementation principle arising from studying relational data model theory
Important design and implementation principle arising from studying relational data model theory

Build valuable relations; establish effective communications
A post that explains our philosophy and goals behind HEALIS products
A post that explains our philosophy and goals behind HEALIS products

TRIADB at Connected Data London
My speech at Connected Data London conference and demos of TRIADB implementation on Intersystems Cache DBMS
My speech at Connected Data London conference and demos of TRIADB implementation on Intersystems Cache DBMS

2017

The wizards of stored computer program and the next generation of programmers
The fundamental aspect that software pioneers have been missing when they invented new programming languages or new nosql databases
Have you noticed that what ever the model and data structure in databases we cannot escape from the fundamental principle of managing data allocation space with references, i.e. pointer based logic, memory addressing ?

Associative Semiotic Hypergraph API in Mathematica for Next-Generation BI Systems
European Wolfram Technology Conference 19-20 June 2017 in Amsterdam
My speech at European Wolfram Technology Conference 2017 about a new data modeling framework R3DM/S3DM that is implemented on top of OrientDB graph database and coded in Wolfram Mathematica

Are our old data model standards out of shape ?
An overview of critical points to consider when modeling with R3DM/S3DM
Both Topic Maps and RDF/OWL exhibit signs of aging. These signs do not indicate maturity levels but on the contrary they signal a re-examination of the data modeling, information representation problem

The three dimensions of AI and a fourth one as the key to unlock them
Comments on a review of AI by John Launchbury, special assistant to DIRO, DARPA
Although there has been significant progress with first and second generation AI systems in reasoning, learning and perceiving, abstraction has not been part of the game. The mechanism of abstraction can unify these other three processes.

Associative Data Modelling Demystified: Part 6/6
Demonstration of a new data model framework that transforms OrientDB into a HyperGraph Database
Demonstration of a new data model framework that transforms OrientDB into a HyperGraph Database

Data Modelling Topologies of a Graph Database
Definition and Classification of Graph Databases into Three Categories
The associative data graph database model is still a heavy hitter, stacking up well against property graphs and triples/quadruples. Expect a comeback.

A Quick Guide on How to Prevail in the Graph Database Arena
A brief discussion on criteria to meet a differentiation strategy for graph databases
A swift introduction to the key factors that influence the performance and unification character of graph databases

Associative Data Modeling Demystified: Part 5/6
Qlik Associative Model
Qlik's competitive advantage over other BI tools is that it manages associations in memory at the engine level and not at the application level. Every data point in every field of a table is associated with every other data point anywhere in the entire schema.

2016

Associative Data Modeling Demystified: Part 4/6
Association in RDF Data Model
In this article we will see how we can define an association in RDF and what are the differences with other data models that we analyzed in previous posts of our series

Do you Understand Many-to-Many Relationships ?
Associative entities are represented differently in various data models
It is 2016 and in my opinion the situation with associative entities has become darn confusing. Edges of a Property Graph data model are bidirectional but RDF links are unidirectional.

Associative Data Modeling Demystified: Part 3/6
Association in Property Graph Data Model
In this article, we continue our investigation with the Property Graph Data model. We discuss how a many-to-many relationship is represented and compare its structure in other data models

Associative Data Modeling Demystified: Part 2/6
Association in Topic Map Data Model
In this post, we demonstrate how Topic Map data model represents associations. In order to link the two, we continue with another SQL query from our relational database

Associative Data Modeling Demystified: Part 1/6
Relation, Relationship and Association
In this article, we introduce the concept of association from the perspective of Entity-Relationship (ER) data model and illustrate it with the modeling of a toy dataset

2015

Plerophoria vs Information
The ancient Greek origin of the word information
The ancient Greek origin of the word information

Towards a New Data Modelling Architecture
Part 2: Atomic Information Resource (AIR)
We introduce the Atomic Information Resource (AIR) unit of R3DM conceptual framework

Towards a New Data Modelling Architecture
Part1 - Relational/ER Constructs in Wolfram Language
We start with terms and constructs that most of us are familiar with from the Relational and Entity-Relationship database management systems

2014

R3DM/S3DM Illustration and Formalization
Old wiki pages and LinkedIn posts ported from neurorganon.org and linkedin.com
Old wiki pages and LinkedIn posts ported from neurorganon.org and linkedin.com

2013

R3DM in TMDM
Old wiki pages on R3DM ported from neurorganon.org, examples of R3DM in TMDM
Old wiki pages on R3DM ported from neurorganon.org, examples of R3DM in TMDM

R3DM Questions and Answers
Old wiki pages on R3DM ported from neurorganon.org
Old wiki pages on R3DM ported from neurorganon.org

URIs for Real-World Objects
The problem of information resources definition, representation and identification
The problem of information resources definition, representation and identification

2012

Ignite Athens 2012 : From WWW To GGG
My first pitch at Ignite Athens on 20th of September 2012 about Neurorganon Upper Level Ontology (NULON)
My first pitch at Ignite Athens on 20th of September 2012 about Neurorganon Upper Level Ontology (NULON)