Issue 369: Timed relations

Starting Date: 
2017-10-09
Working Group: 
3
Status: 
Open
Background: 
In the 39th joined meeting of the CIDOC CRM SIG and ISO/TC46/SC4/WG9 and the 32nd FRBR - CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting, during the discussion about the temporality of properties and  going through different cases about Franscesco examples, Martin presented   a list  of types of substance of relations (issue 329 appendix E) and sig decided to work on   substance of relationships.  HW assigned to  Steve, CEO, Francesco, MD, Achille, Maria to review  and think about  the list of properties and see if they can be pc, activity or something else.
 
Crete, October 2017
Current Proposal: 

Posted by Francsco Beretta on 16/1/2018

Dear All,

Here you find some homework (in fact trainwork) about timed relations.

Best

Francesco 

Posted by Martin on 23/1/2018

Dear Francesco,

My apologies! I just saw that I did not cc you in all of this exchange with Joao. I attach my last version of interpreting your
examples.

Let us work from this on-wards!

I think the first task should be, to define the kind of institutionalized social relationships which come into being and exclusively depend on the existence
of the initiating event.

In the "table of issue 329" I have tried to classify the current CRMbase relations wrt to temporality. I used the term "by assignment" for the above.
Whereas an institutionalized social relationships can come into being implicitly by a justifying event, such as birth, others require a deliberate assignment.
let us discuss, how many distinctions we need.

In German law, someone can "ersitzen" an object: Having a book over two years in loan without contract and without the owner providing evidence of asking it back, it may become ownership of the current keeper or so. I assume it still requires an authoritative decision, or is an exception we don't care. That would mean that an observable state would justify the relation, in contrast to my definition, if authoritative decision of the case were not required.

We may need to split the CRMbase concept of "keeper" into a declared versus a physical one. That distinction is in the scope note, but not in the class.

As a first step, I suggest we should see all cases in which a useful definition based on initializing events is unambiguous.

posted by Francesco on 22/5/2018

Dear all,

Collecting materials in order to prepare a discussion and documentation about a CRM extension devoted to « capturing all social documentation. Its scope will be social norms and social life » (Minutes SIG Cologne 2018), I came across two issues which seem to me to be essential, and about which I would kindly ask you to have a discussion in the SIG.

I will first provide following examples out of historical research / social life.

A. Let assume we have to model following two states of affairs :

    Mr. X was in charge as a full professor of history at Lyon University from date_1 to date_2

    Mr. X taught digital humanities and Python to students from date_1 to date_2

The first state of affairs is about the quality of a person, the second about his/her activity : he was charged to teach history but instead taught DH and a programming language.

The second state of affairs can be modeled as an activity but what about the first one ? I wouldn’t speak about a state, which is confusing, but about a temporal restricted quality of a person. He/she was in possession of this quality but taught something else (activity). This phemenon can be understood in my opinion within the conceptual framework of E3_Condition_State if we enlarge the scope not only to « physical conditions » but also to social phenomena, in a new class called « Social quality » or similar.

B. A second example is about the ownership of property, e.g. a farmhouse, or of a firm, or many different of them at different time spans. Of course we could model all acquisitions and sales of these properties but not only historical sources often do not provide us with sufficient knowledge on how the property was accessed, but also, and primarily, the phenomenon we want to model for studying social life is property as such, it’s amount, it’s evolution, it’s influence on other aspects of social relationships. So the issue is how to model the phenomenon of property as such, and if property (as a power of disposal) is a phenomenon at all.

Considering these two examples, and recent discussions on the SIG list and meetings, and Martin’s prosal concerning symogih.org examples, two issues are raised in my mind which would need some clarification and discussion.

1. Can possession of social qualities, or right of use/power of disposal, or similar kinds of aspects of social life, or event the state of mind or belief of someone, be considered as phenomena ? And therefore be modeled as Temporal entities ? In the point of view of the study of social life, in my opinion, the answer would be positive.

2. About the recent discussions concerning timed relations, i.e. properties having limited validity in time : some of them, if related to social life (those concerning property or the possession of qualities), appear to me to be in fact social phenomena, therefore Temporal entities. They are relevant to social life and can be indirectly oberved (using sources). By the way, historical events are also only indirectly observed and their temporal and spatial projection depends also on the breakdown we choose from an epistemological point of view (e.g. a historical process like a battle can be modelled as one complex activity or the process of the battle can be decomposed in all its stages, as distinct instances of activity).

These are the two issues I’d like to discuss in order to be able to collect and reorder materials and prepare a proposal of classes and properties concerning social norms and life.

 

Posted by Martin on 22/5/2018

On 5/22/2018 10:10 AM, Francesco Beretta wrote:
> Dear all,
>
> Collecting materials in order to prepare a discussion and documentation about a CRM extension devoted to « capturing all social documentation. Its scope will be social norms and social life » (Minutes SIG Cologne 2018), I came across two issues which seem to me to be essential, and about which I would kindly ask you to have a discussion in the SIG.
>
>
> I will first provide following examples out of historical research / social life.
>
>
> A. Let assume we have to model following two states of affairs :
>
>     Mr. X was in charge as a full professor of history at Lyon University from date_1 to date_2
>
>     Mr. X taught digital humanities and Python to students from date_1 to date_2
>
> The first state of affairs is about the quality of a person, the second about his/her activity : he was charged to teach history but instead taught DH and a programming language.
>
> The second state of affairs can be modeled as an activity

Yes, indeed
>
> but what about the first one ? I wouldn’t speak about a state, which is confusing, but about a temporal restricted quality of a person. He/she was in possession of this quality but taught something else (activity). This phemenon can be understood in my opinion within the conceptual framework of E3_Condition_State if we enlarge the scope not only to « physical conditions » but also to social phenomena, in a new class called « Social quality » or similar.

If we regard that he had a contract, i.e., a legal status, then we could talk about all contractual relations as temporal entities. The professor has a relationship as professor with the University with an expectation of service provision. I would not talk about a quality, whereas being a child would be a temporary quality.

Sometimes, they seem to appear under "institutions", or "being "institutionalized" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Institution)
see also : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage

Some sociologists may provide some insight.

I see in common, that these relationships are:
1) Socially or legally respected (they affect the behavior of other members of the society).
2) Associated with rights and obligations over their existence.
3) They come into being and end with an explicit act of declaration or indirectly through other publicly acknowledged events, such as via heritage at birth or death.
4) They are as such not observable. Only the social memory of the initializing event or document keeping establishes their on-going validity.

Would you agree with these characteristics?

We could talk about "institutionalized social relations", including employments, ownership, marriage, etc. as kinds of temporal entities.

>
> B. A second example is about the ownership of property, e.g. a farmhouse, or of a firm, or many different of them at different time spans. Of course we could model all acquisitions and sales of these properties but not only historical sources often do not provide us with sufficient knowledge on how the property was accessed, but also, and primarily, the phenomenon we want to model for studying social life is property as such, it’s amount, it’s evolution, it’s influence on other aspects of social relationships. So the issue is how to model the phenomenon of property as such, and if property (as a power of disposal) is a phenomenon at all.
>
>
> Considering these two examples, and recent discussions on the SIG list and meetings, and Martin’s prosal concerning symogih.org examples, two issues are raised in my mind which would need some clarification and discussion.
>
>
> 1. Can possession of social qualities, or right of use/power of disposal, or similar kinds of aspects of social life, or event the state of mind or belief of someone, be considered as phenomena ? And therefore be modeled as Temporal entities ? In the point of view of the study of social life, in my opinion, the answer would be positive.
Agreed.
>
> 2. About the recent discussions concerning timed relations, i.e. properties having limited validity in time : some of them, if related to social life (those concerning property or the possession of qualities), appear to me to be in fact social phenomena, therefore Temporal entities. They are relevant to social life and can be indirectly oberved (using sources).
See above, yes, through sources and memories. Being married may be signaled by a wedding ring.
>
> By the way, historical events are also only indirectly observed and their temporal and spatial projection depends also on the breakdown we choose from an epistemological point of view (e.g. a historical process like a battle can be modelled as one complex activity or the process of the battle can be decomposed in all its stages, as distinct instances of activity).

Sure, the difference being that things like being owner is a passive thing, nothing really happens. The only question is, if actions are compatible with the status. The battle as a whole and in all its detailed atrocities is something that is materially there.
>
> These are the two issues I’d like to discuss in order to be able to collect and reorder materials and prepare a proposal of classes and properties concerning social norms and life.

All the best,

In the 41st joined meeting of the CIDOC CRM SIG and ISO/TC46/SC4/WG9 and the 34th FRBR - CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting, the sig continued the discussion which has been started by  Francesco's  examples and reviewed Martin's comments on them. The discussion about ‘institutional ownership’ has brought a new temporal entity that tries to capture the state/quality/relation that is brought into being by social acts (and can capture the knowledge available to historians). The sig decided that this will be a starting point for common work to try to capture the information currently proposed to be modelled with timed relations.   At the end the sig proposed that  FB, MD, OE and others should work  on  the foundation  of CRMsoc. The sig decided that this issue will remain open until to find the substance of timed relationships and to open a new issue about modelling social relationships.

Lyon, May 2018

Posted by Martin on 22/11/2018

I think we need four basic constructs:
phase, social institution, activity, mental attitude("state").

"phase" is like Condition State bound to the evolution of a thing.
"social institution" is not observable, but coming into force by a community respecting the type of initiating/terminating events
"activity" is well known.
"mental attitude" (better than state) is things like intentions, beliefs, a sort of "maintained mental tension", not observable, but can be inferred by observing actions, or explicitly uttered.

Should we go ahead with this and define scope notes?

Posted by Francesco Beretta  on 23/11/2018

Dear Martin,

Yes, let's discuss all this.

Here the address of a data model in the domain of history which can also provide elements for our common work.

And, pardon me if I insist, I think a very useful tool for having this discussion is OntoME we are developing for the Data for history consortium. If you accept, I can provide you with an account to work together on the CRMsoc extension. When we have a stable version of an ontoloty, we can then export it to the usual format of official documents. Or develop an API that connects it to the tools you usal use in Heraklion.

Let's talk about this next week.

Posted by Martin on 23/11/2018

Dear Francesco,

This  "Bookkeeping Datamodel for Historical Accounts" is quite interesting, but I see a lot of problems in practice, because we need to model in general more complex situations of  exchange business. Anyway, a starting point.

There is this very nice book by David Graeber: "Debt - the first 5000 years", who explains the socio-anthropological base of our monetary and non-monetary exchanges. In a few words, it starts top-down with a concept of obligation and obligation compensation. Obligation systems can be based on accounting or on "gifts", i.e. deliberately not formally accounted obligations. All obligations can be "cancelled" when social circumstances demand it.

The problem is that even in modern business, and frequently in museum business, obligation and compensation goes in an asynchronous way with different forms. A reasonable model must at least be compatible with debit/credit accounting.

My colleague Athina may send us some sketches we made last year or earlier of complex compensation situations.

See also the Issue 273 discussion.

I am a bit disoriented by the OntoME tool. Is there a display to see classes with their properties and inherited properties?

I can interpret a document as in the "Bookkeeping" site, but not classes detached from properties detached.

We would need to comment how classes and properties interact. Is this possible?

May be we can interface to our old tool we use in Heraklion. It's local.
 

Posted by Francesco Beretta on 25/11/2018

Dear Martin,
Le 23.11.18 à 17:05, Martin Doerr a écrit :
> Dear Francesco,
>
> This  "Bookkeeping Datamodel for Historical Accounts" is quite interesting, but I see a lot of problems in practice, because we need to model in general more complex situations of  exchange business.
Anyway, a starting point.

This is one of the projects interested in participating in the Data for history consortium and trying to align the ontology or data model the project is developing with the CRM. The aim of the OntoME tool is, in the medium term, to allow to have this workflow the other way round, starting from the CRM and extending it in a dynamic way for one specific project, but in a common space.

Otherwise it ends with constructs like this one: two classes being the domain of just one and the same property, and a technical solution using OWL coping with the issue, instead of having a more abstract class from witch the property is inherited. How then align this with the CRM ?

An example:

<rdf:Property rdf:about="https://gams.uni-graz.at/o:depcha.bookkeeping#priceOf">
        <rdfs:label xml:lang="en">price</rdfs:label>
        <rdfs:domain>
            <owl:Class>
                <owl:unionOf rdf:parseType="Collection">
                    <rdf:Description rdf:about="https://gams.uni-graz.at/o:depcha.bookkeeping#Commodity"/>
                    <rdf:Description rdf:about="https://gams.uni-graz.at/o:depcha.bookkeeping#Service"/>
                </owl:unionOf>
            </owl:Class>
        </rdfs:domain>
        <rdfs:range rdf:resource="https://gams.uni-graz.at/o:depcha.bookkeeping#Price"/>
    </rdf:Property>
>
> There is this very nice book by David Graeber: "Debt - the first 5000 years", who explains the socio-anthropological base of our monetary and non-monetary exchanges. In a few words, it starts top-down with a concept of obligation and obligation compensation. Obligation systems can be based on accounting or on "gifts", i.e. deliberately not formally accounted obligations. All obligations can be "cancelled" when social circumstances demand it.
>
> The problem is that even in modern business, and frequently in museum business, obligation and compensation goes in an asynchronous way with different forms. A reasonable model must at least be compatible with debit/credit accounting.

The issue in my opinion is: shall we already propose high abstraction level classes to the community or go bottom up from the community needs to higher level classes ?
>
> My colleague Athina may send us some sketches we made last year or earlier of complex compensation situations.
>
> See also the Issue 273 discussio
n.
Very interesting discussion and the proposed classes seem well suited for the CRMsoc extension. What about using for designing these classes and discussing about them the OntoME tool and then export and publish the result in the usual way, in form of versioned documents ?
>
> I am a bit disoriented by the OntoME tool. Is there a display to see classes with their properties and inherited properties?

Of course there is ! One of the basic uses of the tool is to allow the discovery of classes with their explicitly declared or inherited properties. And certainly there is still a lot of work to be done in the sense of user centered design.
>
> I can interpret a document as in the "Bookkeeping" site, but not classes detached from properties detached.
>
> We would need to comment how classes and properties interact. Is this possible?

You have to start from the classes tree and filter on the top to find the one you're interested in, or use the classes list, again with a filter.

Then click on a class name, like eg. Acquisition – E8  and you'll be able to reach, in the 'Properties' tab, the list of ingoing and outgoing properties, defined or inherited. You can navigate from there to other classes. In the 'Hierarchy' tab you can go up and down in the classes tree. And in the Graph tab you see at the moment the classes tree (just a few levels), soon also the properties defined for this class.

From every point one can navigate to another one. Read the scope notes, etc. It's a tool one can also use to learn the CRM.

Of course, it's not perfect and, among other things, we have to be able to filter namespaces, to see juste the ones the user is interested in. And have a lot of emprovements.

>
> May be we can interface to our old tool we use in Heraklion. It's local.

As we already discussed with you and George, we could imagine to commonly develop this tool, for the sake of emproving it and make it more useful according different needs and use cases.

Let's talk about this in the next days if you're interested.

Posted by Martin on 17/2/2019

Dear All,

Here a first attempt to define "phase":

Exxx Phase

Subclass of:        E2 Temporal Entity

Superclass of:    E3 Condition State

 

Scope note:       This class comprises phases during the existence and evolution of an instance of E18 Physical Thing characterized by an appearance, constitution or a behavior distinct from that in other times of its existence, or distinct in the evolution of things of comparable kind, such as the  nestling, fledgling, juvenile and adult forms of birds, but some kinds of phases may also be consequence of incidental changes such as accidents.

Posted by Martijn Van Leusen  on 18/2/2019

Dear Martin,

Would you want to tie the existence of a phase exclusively to E18 Physical Things? One can imagine phases in the development of ideas as well....

 

Posted by Martin on 18/2/2019

Dear Martijn,

On 2/18/2019 5:10 PM, van Leusen, P.M. wrote:
> Dear Martin,
>
> Would you want to tie the existence of a phase exclusively to E18 Physical Things? One can imagine phases in the development of ideas as well....

Yes to both. As always, we do not model the term, here "phase", but try to define a distinct concept we can associate with a clear-cut "behavior". Physical Things can be thought of as having a simple trajectory through space-time: Any change makes the previous disappear.  Therefore, substantial evolutionary steps can be represented with a begin and ending on a time-line.That is a concept I can perceive as a sort of "phase". Therefore the label.

The evolution of ideas, as any other immaterial thing, does not make previous ideas disappear. I will be very happy to discuss what phases of ideas may be confined to, whose they are, what sense of progress they have, and how we perceive the social effect of ideas we would associate with phases.

Because of the above considerations, I suggest not to connect a discussion about "phases of ideas" with "phases of Physical Things" (which include humans!!). I do not suggest that phases of humans are restricted to material aspects. In my proposed definition, they may be due to mental developments, as long as they characterize substantially the being.

Posted by Velios on 18/2/2019

I like this scope note but my only concern is that an observer cannot tell when one phase ends and the next one begins. How can we explain that a phase is no longer?

Posted by Francesco Beretta on 19/2/2019

Hi,

I agree with Martin's definition of phase and point of view of not "connecting a discussion about "phases of ideas" with "phases of Physical Things".

I earlier thought myself that ideas, in some ways, could have 'phases' but it seems more suitable, in the way of modeling adopted by the CRM, to say that ideas (in the sense of propositional objects or of concepts/types — and what about symbolic objects ?) exist as such, are identifiable as such, and do not change in their identity over time. It seems to be our mind, our belief (CRMinf I2 Belief), our mental state (Issue 359: mental state), that can evolve, i.e. the substratum carries new ideas, our classification of concepts can change, our belief, etc. but this would be about changing of mental state not about changing of the ideas themselves, as such. Would this be the point ?

Would then, it this is correct, Mental state (not existing yet as class – Issue 359) and Belief I2 be subclasses of Exxx Phase ?

Another issue would be to ask if a E74 Group can have phases. Althogh the identity of the group remains the same, it can have different 'behaviours', strategies, situations, etc. This is of course related to social life, to an ongoing, virtual CRMsoc extension. But insofar as 'Phase' is modelled as high abstraction level class in CRMbase itself, wouldn't be appropriate to consider also phases in the life of groups ?

If yes, then we would need one property pointing from the temporal entity 'Phase' to the object concerned by the specific appearence or characteristic identifying the phase. But E74 Group and E18 Physical Things do not belong to the same class, right? By the way I was wondering why E74 Group is not subclass of Legal Object – E72. But if it was, this wouldn't arrange things, I assume, because, ont the one side, having phases in not the intension of the Legal Object class and, on the other side, there's the E90 Symbolic Object subclass there which wouldn't seem to have 'phases'. Or does it have indeed ?

Posted by Franco Niccolucci on 19/2/2019

This discussion reminds me the “Ship of Theseus” paradox (for those who don’t remember it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus).

So Phases depend on the identity criteria assumed for the Entity.

Posted by Francesco Beretta on 19/2/2019

Dear Thanasis

Le 18.02.19 à 22:38, Athanasios Velios a écrit :
> I like this scope note but my only concern is that an observer cannot
> tell when one phase ends and the next one begins. How can we explain
> that a phase is no longer?

The whole discussion concerning 'phases' (to avoid the unclear term of states), which reappearred in the last years because of the insistent questions of the (art) historians, is about distinguishing —if I got it right— between the phenomenal and the epistemological perspective. Martin's proposal about modelling phases of appearances, behaviors, etc. makes the point of identifying a phenomenal temporal entity with a specific identity as 'phase', observable in the evolution of an instance of E18 Physical Thing.

Your very relevant question challenges this attempt by implicitly suggesting that the absence of clear 'borders' (temporal limits with clear, substantial appearance) of the phase do not allow to truly distinguish one phase from the next one. One could say that a phase is just about our observation, therefore purely epistemological (in the sense of  State – S16).

The case is clear if an event brings a substantial change in the 'phase' like going to the hairdresser and changing the color of my hair. The substance of phases, in the perspective of historians, is that appearances, behaviours, social qualities, etc. (which we will certainly will have to define more precisely, providing examples) change over time and are significantly (i.e. substantially) different. But this can also happen if phases change through a long lasting process with no clear temporal borders. They are objectively recognizable as such.

The issue would then seems to be: phenomenal and not epistemological if clear temporal limits ? But, to turn the issue around, also events have phenomenal substance even if, sometimes, they do not have clear, or knowable temporal limits, and we have conceptual tools to cope with this in the CRM. Wouldn't they be suitable to be applied to 'phases' ?

Indeed, if we agree about the existence of something substantial in phases (probably a substance different for different subclasses of Persistent items).

Both questions remain open in my perspective. But very relevant, at least for the historians.
 

Posted by Martijn Van Leusen on 19/2/2019

Hi Martin,

I think that adequately covers my concern. I was indeed thinking of phases in the development of peoples' ideas (beliefs).
Cheers,

 

 

Posted by Martin on 19/2/2019

Dear Thanasi,

I understand. This may need more elaboration. The type of the phase determines the characteristic observable properties. We should see examples.

These properties may begin and end fuzzily, but that does not affect the concept, as long as inner-outer bounds can be assigned. 

Posted by Martin on 19/2/2019

Dear Franco,

This may need an addition in the scope note of E19 Physical Object: We definitely regard that an instance of E19 with all parts replaced is identical. As an Amount of Matter, it is no more the same. The position is, that there is no paradox, but the question is underspecified, because the respective category providing a sameness condition is not given. We adopt the position of David Wiggins in that matter. We assume identity criteria for E19 which are based on the continuity of coherence and functionality of the physical thing, and not on its substance. Coherence includes keeping parts together as a functional whole, as a set of chessman.
The identity condition for an Amount of Matter is that which is archaeologically important: Is there original matter in it which can provide evidence of its original/initial states?

"Second, suppose that each of the removed pieces were stored in a warehouse, and after the century, technology develops to cure their rotting and enable them to be put back together to make a ship. Is this "reconstructed" ship the original ship? And if so, is the restored ship in the harbour still the original ship too?"

The above is a border case, but I propose to regard the "reconstructed" as a new E19 object, because the continuity of functionality is broken. The ship was definitely not temporarily on repair within an extended activity making use of it.

We need not make deep philosophies out of the difference. The question is more practical, if the users/owners regard and treat it as the same. We do not make classification for the purpose of classification, but for assigning unambiguously properties.

Would that make sense:-)? 

Posted by Thanasis Velios on 19/2/2019

Thank you Francesco and Martin for articulating my question properly. I can understand that we can already deal with the fuzzy temporal boundaries of a phase. Martin's "observable properties" makes it clearer for me and perhaps it is worth emphasising in the scope note.

1) Examples of observable properties in conservation:

* "pitting" is a type of damage on metals where small pits are formed on the surface filled with metal salts and oxides. The existence of  white/light green powder in localised spots on copper is one property to help observe pitting.

* "not functional" is what we call machines in industrial heritage collections which used to perform a function, such as a printing machine, but they no longer do because they are broken. The observable property is that the machine has the capacity to print paper.

2) However, thinking about this further (and I hope I am not going into circles) I am struggling to articulate the differences between Phase and E3 Condition State. They both apply to E18 Physical Thing.

Martin says in an email on 22/11/2018 that "Phase is like Condition State bound to the evolution of a thing". This sounds like it should be a sub-class of Condition State, i.e. states that are only related to evolution. Francesco, if I understood correctly, refers to change of state also for non E18 Physical Things, i.e. epistemological as well as phenomenal (is this correct Francesco?).

3) I propose to change the first sentence of the scope note from:

"This class comprises phases during the existence..."

to:

"This class comprises temporal spans(?) during the existence..."

to avoid saying that a "Phase is a phase".
 

Posted by Martin on 19/2/2019

Dear Francesco,

On 2/19/2019 10:18 AM, Francesco Beretta wrote:
>
> Hi,
>
> I agree with Martin's definition of phase and point of view of not "connecting a discussion about "phases of ideas" with "phases of Physical Things".
>
> I earlier thought myself that ideas, in some ways, could have 'phases' but it seems more suitable, in the way of modeling adopted by the CRM, to say that ideas (in the sense of propositional objects or of concepts/types — and what about symbolic objects ?) exist as such, are identifiable as such, and do not change in their identity over time. It seems to be our mind, our belief (CRMinf I2 Belief), our mental state (Issue 359: mental state), that can evolve, i.e. the substratum carries new ideas, our classification of concepts can change, our belief, etc. but this would be about changing of mental state not about changing of the ideas themselves, as such. Would this be the point ?

Yes, this is one possible and valid interpretation. In this case, it is not the idea that evolves, but the people develop derivatives and adopt them. My question was also about the identity conditions of those collectively supporting such evolving ideas. May be they are as difficult to confine as the ramifications of derivatives of ideas. We would need examples in which people systematically document phases of ideas, in order to understand what is a reasonable scope and good practice in respective scholarly domains. I suspect however, that the number of ideas in this way analyzed may be so small that it is marginal for us for the time being.
>
> Would then, it this is correct, Mental state (not existing yet as class – Issue 359) and Belief I2 be subclasses of Exxx Phase ?
Yes, let us explore that. I'd like first to come up with independent definitions, and then see how they fit.
>
> Another issue would be to ask if a E74 Group can have phases. Althogh the identity of the group remains the same, it can have different 'behaviours', strategies, situations, etc. This is of course related to social life, to an ongoing, virtual CRMsoc extension. But insofar as 'Phase' is modelled as high abstraction level class in CRMbase itself, wouldn't be appropriate to consider also phases in the life of groups ?

Yes, indeed. Examples will be the starting point.
>
> If yes, then we would need one property pointing from the temporal entity 'Phase' to the object concerned by the specific appearence or characteristic identifying the phase. But E74 Group and E18 Physical Things do not belong to the same class, right? By the way I was wondering why E74 Group is not subclass of Legal Object – E72. But if it was, this wouldn't arrange things, I assume, because, ont the one side, having phases in not the intension of the Legal Object class and, on the other side, there's the E90 Symbolic Object subclass there which wouldn't seem to have 'phases'. Or does it have indeed ?

If there is something common the Actors and Physical Things, that is interesting. Let us model bottom-up, and first understand what "phase" would mean for Groups, and what for Physical Objects separately.

The question is also, if the Mental State (or I prefer "Mental Attitude") is actually what makes a Group to have "phases", and that poses the critical question of collective mental states, which may even be regarded as a bad idea in a basically materialistic model as ours.

Posted by Martin on 19/2/2019

Dear Francesco,

In support of your answer to Thanasis below:

On 2/19/2019 10:53 AM, Francesco Beretta wrote:
> Dear Thanasis
>
>
> Le 18.02.19 à 22:38, Athanasios Velios a écrit :

>> I like this scope note but my only concern is that an observer cannot
>> tell when one phase ends and the next one begins. How can we explain
>> that a phase is no longer?

>
>
> The whole discussion concerning 'phases' (to avoid the unclear term of states), which reappearred in the last years because of the insistent questions of the (art) historians, is about distinguishing —if I got it right— between the phenomenal and the epistemological perspective. Martin's proposal about modelling phases of appearances, behaviors, etc. makes the point of identifying a phenomenal temporal entity with a specific identity as 'phase', observable in the evolution of an instance of E18 Physical Thing.
Yes
>
> Your very relevant question challenges this attempt by implicitly suggesting that the absence of clear 'borders' (temporal limits with clear, substantial appearance) of the phase do not allow to truly distinguish one phase from the next one. One could say that a phase is just about our observation, therefore purely epistemological (in the sense of  State – S16).
>
> The case is clear if an event brings a substantial change in the 'phase' like going to the hairdresser and changing the color of my hair. The substance of phases, in the perspective of historians, is that appearances, behaviours, social qualities, etc. (which we will certainly will have to define more precisely, providing examples) change over time and are significantly (i.e. substantially) different. But this can also happen if phases change through a long lasting process with no clear temporal borders. They are objectively recognizable as such.

Yes
>
> The issue would then seems to be: phenomenal and not epistemological if clear temporal limits ? But, to turn the issue around, also events have phenomenal substance even if, sometimes, they do not have clear, or knowable temporal limits, and we have conceptual tools to cope with this in the CRM. Wouldn't they be suitable to be applied to 'phases' ?
I think the requirement of clear temporal limits is not the best criterion. For me, it is a distinctness in substantial qualities, that provide a certain coherence within the phase. For instance, we distinguish babies, adolescents and adults in the human life cycle. The sexual maturity being, for instance, a marker between phases, as well as reaching the final body size. On the other side, there are certain large snakes, such as the anaconda, which appear just to continue growing more or less until they die.
>
> Indeed, if we agree about the existence of something substantial in phases (probably a substance different for different subclasses of Persistent items).
Yes, and there should be enough subclasses. Cut hair etc. are not really our concern, but we can think of phases of a Feature which are not a phase of the bearing Object simultaneously. 

Posted by Martin on 19/2/2019

Dear Thanasi,

On 2/19/2019 7:13 PM, Athanasios Velios wrote:
> Thank you Francesco and Martin for articulating my question properly. I
> can understand that we can already deal with the fuzzy temporal
> boundaries of a phase. Martin's "observable properties" makes it clearer
> for me and perhaps it is worth emphasising in the scope note.
>
> 1) Examples of observable properties in conservation:
>
> * "pitting" is a type of damage on metals where small pits are formed on
> the surface filled with metal salts and oxides. The existence of
> white/light green powder in localised spots on copper is one property to
> help observe pitting.

So the surface enters a phase of developing pitting?
>
> * "not functional" is what we call machines in industrial heritage
> collections which used to perform a function, such as a printing
> machine, but they no longer do because they are broken. The observable
> property is that the machine has the capacity to print paper.

Yes
>
> 2) However, thinking about this further (and I hope I am not going into
> circles) I am struggling to articulate the differences between Phase and
> E3 Condition State. They both apply to E18 Physical Thing. Martin says
> in an email on 22/11/2018 that "Phase is like Condition State bound to
> the evolution of a thing". This sounds like it should be a sub-class of
> Condition State, i.e. states that are only related to evolution.
> Francesco, if I understood correctly, refers to change of state also for
> non E18 Physical Things, i.e. epistemological as well as phenomenal (is
> this correct Francesco?).

I meant "Phase" to be superclass of Condition State. I wrote "but some kinds of phases may also be consequence of incidental changes such as accidents." to make clear that it is not only evolution.
>
> 3) I propose to change the first sentence of the scope note from:
>
> "This class comprises phases during the existence..."
>
> to:
>
> "This class comprises temporal spans(?) during the existence..."
>
> to avoid saying that a "Phase is a phase".

Yes, I know I made something nearly cyclic here, but I narrowed a general notion of phase very much down by the following conditions. I was tempted to write time span in order to avoid "phase", but I have the impression that would come too close to the epistemological point of view of arbitrariness. If we talk about a "phase", I at least imply much more of a substantial coherence within the phase. Indeed, the comments we received so far suggest that "phase" in the linguistic sense is a much wider concept.

We could add and adjective to my definition to make it clearer, but I found no good adjective either (material? substantial? behavioural? all seems to be more special). 

Posted by Martin on 20/2/2019

Dear All,

Tentatively here an extension of my previous scope note. If it becomes more controversial, we may drop it:
Exxx Phase

Subclass of:        E2 Temporal Entity

Superclass of:    E3 Condition State

Scope note:       This class comprises phases during the existence and evolution of an instance of E18 Physical Thing characterized by a substantial appearance, constitution or a behavior distinct from that in other times of its existence, or distinct in the evolution of things of comparable kind, such as the  nestling, fledgling, juvenile and adult forms of birds, but some kinds of phases may also be consequence of incidental changes such as accidents.

Begin and ending of an instance of ExxxPhase is regarded to be observable, regardless how fuzzy they are, by the contrast of the prevailing conditions that characterize the phase to the times before and after. It is the kind of phase that determines which kinds of conditions identify it. Different kinds of phases may overlap on the same instance of E18 Physical Thing. Non-substantial properties, such as being owner of something, do not justify a phase.

Posted by Martin on 20/2/2019

Dear All,

Here my last attempt, the most demanding. I have tried to be as conservative as possible: individual beliefs of particular facts etc.:

SOxxx Mental Attitude

Subclass of:        E2 Temporal Entity

Superclass of:    Belief, Intention

Scope note:       This class comprises the conscious maintaining of an intellectual attitude towards towards matters of knowing, believing or guiding actions and reactions to social and other environmental situations, such as, besides others, beliefs about laws governing nature or intentions to carry out actions. An instance of SOxxx Mental Attitude is individual to a human being and specific to a particular, explicit matter.
 

Posted by Robert Sanderson on  23/2/2019

Dear all,

To make certain that I understand the distinctions being drawn by applying Phase and State to the use cases I sent during the SIG meeting in November, they fall into the categories in my email of social state and physical phase (a good mnemonic for which is which!):

* Ownership – initiated and terminated by an Acquisition, expresses the temporal validity of has_current_owner (and similarly custody of the object)

This is a binary temporal relationship between an actor (the owner) and a thing (the object), and thus a Social State.

* Identification / Naming --  temporal validity of a P1_is_identified_by between something and an Identifier

This is a ternary temporal relationship between an actor (the namer), a thing (the named object), and an appellation (the name).

Similarly valuation, but to a Monetary Amount instead of an Appellation.  This is very similar to AttributeAssignment, but with temporal qualities.

* Usage -- a thing was used in a particular way (e.g. a building was a church, then a restaurant)

An actor (the Group that uses it), a thing (the building), and a Type (the sort of usage)

*  Profession, Gender, Nationality (and other classifications) of a Person

These don’t fall into the current definition as there’s no Thing involved other than the Person?  Or is the person the “thing”, and the society is the Actor?

Then my two physical cases, which are Phases:

* Change of dimensions – The Night Watch was cut down in 1715. This is observable and thus continues to be valid with the addition to the scope note.

* Existence – Picasso’s Le Peintre exists from its production in 1963 until 1998, when its Destruction was caused by the crash of Swissair Flight 111. In between there is a Phase when the painting observably existed.

Right?

 

Posted by Martin on 19/2/2019

Dear Robert,

On 2/23/2019 1:54 AM, Robert Sanderson wrote:
> Dear all,
>
> To make certain that I understand the distinctions being drawn by applying Phase and State to the use cases I sent during the SIG meeting in November, they fall into the categories in my email of social state and physical phase (a good mnemonic for which is which!):
>
> * Ownership – initiated and terminated by an Acquisition, expresses the temporal validity of has_current_owner
> (and similarly custody of the object)
>
> This is a binary temporal relationship between an actor (the owner) and a thing (the object), and thus a Social State.

Yes!
>
> * Identification / Naming --  temporal validity of a P1_is_identified_by between something and an Identifier
>
> This is a ternary temporal relationship between an actor (the namer), a thing (the named object), and an appellation (the name).
>
> Similarly valuation, but to a Monetary Amount instead of an Appellation.  This is very similar to AttributeAssignment, but with temporal qualities.

We use an "Name Use Activity" in the FRBR model. To be discussed how a formal assignment of a name relates to actually using it.

> * Usage -- a thing was used in a particular way (e.g. a building was a church, then a restaurant)
That's activity based. To be discussed. This pertains to subtle distinctions between intentions and factual reality, and to which degree there is a unity in activities making use of something. It also touches questions of modelling collective behaviour.
>
> An actor (the Group that uses it), a thing (the building), and a Type (the sort of usage)
>
> *  Profession, Gender, Nationality (and other classifications) of a Person
> These don’t fall into the current definition as there’s no Thing involved other than the Person?  Or is the person the “thing”, and the society is the Actor?

Profession and nationality as a formal, contractual thing would be a social binding.
>
> Then my two physical cases, which are Phases:
> * Change of dimensions – The Night Watch was cut down in 1715. This is observable and thus continues to be valid with the addition to the scope note.

Yes.
> * Existence – Picasso’s Le Peintre exists from its production in 1963 until 1998, when its Destruction was caused by the crash of Swissair Flight 111. In between there is a Phase when the painting observably existed..

Well, to be discussed. The overall existence of something to regard as a phase is like regarding my computer as a part of itself. For me, a thing simply is, and begin and end of existence are parameters. If we model it as an E92, it has a simple temporal projection.

I'd argue that "existence" as a distinct ontological entity is not useful, but I may be wrong