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revision 39 by norman.x.gray, Mon Jan 14 21:28:16 2008 UTC revision 40 by norman.x.gray, Thu Jan 24 13:23:49 2008 UTC
# Line 205  Line 205 
205    
206  <p>One of the best examples of the need for a simple vocabulary within  <p>One of the best examples of the need for a simple vocabulary within
207  the VO is VOEvent <span class="cite">std:voevent</span>, the VO  the VO is VOEvent <span class="cite">std:voevent</span>, the VO
208  standard for handling astronomical events: if someone broadcasts, or  standard for handling astronomical events.  This standard requires
209  `publishes', the occurrence of an event, the implication is that  some formalised indication of what a published event is `about'.  See
210  someone else is going to want to respond to it, but no institution is  <span class='xref' >usecases</span> for further discussion.</p>
 interested in all possible events, so some standardised information  
 about what the event `is about' is necessary, in a form which  
 ensures that the parties can communicate effectively.  If a `burst' is  
 announced, is it a Gamma Ray Burst due to the collapse of a star in a  
 distant galaxy, a solar flare, or the brightening of a stellar or AGN  
 accretion disk?  If a publisher doesn't use the label one might have  
 expected, how is one to guess what other equivalent labels might have  
 been used?</p>  
211    
212  <p>There have been a number of astronomical vocabularies created, each  <p>There have been a number of astronomical vocabularies created, each
213  with its own intended purpose. Some examples are detailed below. </p>  with its own intended purpose. Some examples are detailed below. </p>
# Line 293  Line 285 
285  </ul>  </ul>
286  </div>  </div>
287    
288    <div class='section' id='usecases'>
289    <p class='title'>Use-cases, and the motivation for formalised vocabularies</p>
290    
291    <p>The most immediate high-level motivation for this work is the
292    requirement of the VOEvent standard <span class='cite'
293    >std:voevent</span> for a controlled vocabulary usable in the
294    VOEvent's <code>&lt;what/&gt;</code> element, which describes what
295    sort of object the VOEvent packet is describing, in some broadly
296    intelligible way.  This addresses the problem that if a `burst' is
297    announced, it might be a Gamma Ray Burst due to the collapse of a star
298    in a distant galaxy, a solar flare, or the brightening of a stellar or
299    AGN accretion disk, and if a publisher doesn't use the label a user
300    might have expected, they will find it hard to guess what other
301    equivalent labels might have been used.  A free-text label can help
302    here (which brings us into the area modishly known as `folksonomies'),
303    but the astronomical community, with its systematising instincts, and
304    aware of the benefits of standardisation, can do better.</p>
305    
306    <p>Specific use-cases include the following.</p>
307    <ul>
308    <li>A user wishes to process all events concerning supernovae, which
309    means that an event concerning a supernova1a must be understood to be
310    relevant. [This supports a system working autonomously, filtering
311    incoming information]</li>
312    
313    <li>A user is searching an archive of VOEvents for microlensing
314    events, and retrieves a large number of them; the search interface may
315    then prompt her to narrow her search using one of a set of terms
316    including, say, binary lens events. [This supports so-called `semantic
317    search', providing semantic support to an interface which is in turn
318    supporting a user]</li>
319    
320    <li>A user wishes to search for resources based on the
321    journal-supported keywords in a paper; they might do this either by
322    hand, or have this done on their behalf by a tool which can extract
323    the keywords from a PDF.  The keywords are in the A&amp;A vocabulary,
324    and mappings have been defined between this vocabulary and others,
325    which means that the query keywords is translated automatically
326    into those appropriate for a search of an outreach image database
327    (everyone likes pretty pictures), the VO Registry, a set of SIMBAD
328    object types, and one or more concepts in more formal ontologies.  The
329    search interface is then able to support the user browsing up and down
330    the AOIM vocabulary, and a specialised SIMBAD tool is able to take
331    over the search, now it has an appropriate starting place. [This
332    supports interoperability, building on the investments which
333    institutions and users have made in existing vocabularies]</li>
334    
335    </ul>
336    
337    </div>
338    
339  <div class="section">  <div class="section">
340  <p class="title">Formalising and managing multiple vocabularies</p>  <p class="title">Formalising and managing multiple vocabularies</p>
341    

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