Issue 422: Phases

Starting Date: 
Working Group: 
Closing Date: 

In the 43rd joint meeting of the CIDOC CRM SIG and ISO/TC46/SC4/WG9; 36th FRBR - CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting, the crm-sig decided to merge the discussions took place in the issues issues 369, 329 in the CRMsoc forming  a new issue. 

Heraklion, March 2019

Current Proposal: 

In the 44th joint meeting of the CIDOC CRM SIG and ISO/TC46/SC4/WG9; 37th FRBR - CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting, there are numerous, competing understandings on how to proceed on the states and situations issue. Issues 369, 329 and 414 involve the question of states and indicate contradictory positions of states-related classes. The question whether the crm should declare states and, if yes, which model specifically (CRM, CRMinf, CRMsoc, CRMsci), remains unanswered. This situation is represented in this diagram.
The crm-sig decided that more effort is to be put into teasing apart the different types of “states-like” entities, based on their inherent properties. 
HW: FB is going to try and reconcile the different arrangements of states proposed thus far, aided by AG, RS, GB and SS. 
HW: RS will be sharing relevant data that best capture states-like situations. 

Posted by Francesco Beretta on 22/10/2019

Dear All

In attachment a proposition (in the sense of a graphical representation of open questions) concerning phases -> HW on  issue 422:

A link to Issue 245: Start/End vs Period of Existence should be added in my opinion at the bottom of issue 422 for the sake of documentation of former discussions.

For the current discussion about Phases see Issue 369 Timed relations.  Issue 414: CRMsci O14 initializes .

All the best

Posted by Francesco Beretta on 23/10/2019

Dear All,

Following the discussion of yesterday, here a proposal for the definition of Phase. We all know that the methodological exclusive choice in favour of events was driven by issues related to merging data from different sources (cf. Issue 245). But insofar as many projects use the CRM for data production, and that in many cases information about the past is available just for 'phases' and not the events causing them, and that —last but not least— different SIG members have expressed the need for phases, here an attempt to provide it with some substance at a level comparable with its first born brother: the event !

All the best


Exxx Phase

Subclass of E4 Period

Scope note:

A phase is a phenomenon involving or concerning at least one persistent item that consists in a characteristic or relationship of it with a limited extent in time resulting from one or more events and being terminated by one or more events (the last possible event being the end of existence of the involved persistent item or items). This phenomenon, in contrast to an E5 event, is passive, i.e. it does not actively and directly cause other phenomena. Because of its phenomenal dimension, a phase can nonetheless influence the course of events. E.g. the police officer arrived while my vehicle was parked in restricted parking (phase) and I was fined (event).

The Exxx Phase class is thus disjoint with the E5 Event class while both are subclasses of E4 Period insofar as periods, as coherents sets of phenomena, consist of active and passive phenomena.

A phase is not just a situation because its substance is given independently from the observation of an agent. Examples of phases are e.g. paintings suspendend in an exhibition at a given place, beliefs or states of mind of curators, obligations of buyers, etc. All these classes do not belong to CRM base but they fit, as subclasses of Exxx Phase, into a general ontological coherence which underlines the phenomenal substance of each of them.

Pxxx relates to (is concerned by) Domain: Phase ; range: Persistent item. Quantifiers: 1,n; 0,n.

This property describes the active or passive presence of a E77 Persistent Item in a Exxx Phase without implying any specific role. It connects the history of a thing with the E53 Place and E50 Date of a phase concerning it. For example, my car parked in restricted parking or the propositional content of my belief that it is a good idea to leave the car there.



In the 45th joint meeting of the CIDOC CRM SIG and SO/TC46/SC4/WG9; 38th FRBR – CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting.

The sig reviewed the HW by FB on reconciling the different arrangements of states proposed in the sig thus far. FB presented the  diagram 

 The following resolutions were held: 

(a)    blue frame: 
The sig decided against linking Phases or States to the Events that initialize them through O14 –the property has been deprecated in CRMsci (decision of the 44th CRM-sig meeting) and it is to be introduced in CRMinf (with a different class as range).    


(b)    red frame: 
a.    A model where mathematical constructs (Region) are conflated with real-life phenomena (like spacetime and its specifications) lacks coherence. 
DECISION: the isA relation proposed to hold among Exx Region and E92, E52, E53 and E54 was rejected.
b.    Pxxx occupy a [D: S15; R: E92]: depends on decisions regarding the Spacetime Volume and cannot be resolved independently of issue 326 (DECISION). 


(c)    grey frame: phase and its state-like sub-classes across the crm (base and compatible models) –review of how they relate to the scope note definition of Phase by MD; points of convergence/divergence. 
a.    The scope note for Phase by MD seems too narrow for it to act as a superclass of I6, E3 and Social Bond. The definition mainly draws on Natural History and Evolution and seems restricted to instances of E18 Physical Thing. In the same spirit, one could go up a level of abstraction to incorporate mental (I6 Belief) and social states (socExx Bond) . 
b.    The scope note for Phase proposed by MD suggests that the class should be called “Physical State” or something more appropriate –an instance of which could be E3 Condition State. Superclass Phase should be more generic than what MD’s definition prescribes and it could also take Social and Mental Phase as its subclasses . 
c.    DECISION: since there is a need to generalize over E3 Condition State and MD’s Phase –for conservation and natural history purposes, the sig decided to postpone the discussion on this issue, until TV gave his presentation on conceptual modelling from an art conservator’s point of view. 
Mental Attitudes and Phases from a social relations point of view were deferred to the issues regarding CRMinf and CRMsoc, respectively. 
The label “Phase” is to be reserved to refer to a potential superclass that might end up being used (or not) in the CRM in the future. 
d.    DECISION: Phase is to be broken down to Social, Mental and Physical Phenomena according to the accepted breakdown presented in the issue 369 and suggested by MD's post on 22/11/2018 . HW: MD is assigned with breaking the notion of Phase to these three domains of interest and explain how this relates the principles by means of which to declare a class in the CRM.  
e.    DECISION: issue 422 is paused. 

Heraklion, October 2019

Reference to Issues: