I am interested in creating an ontology which will model arguments (among other things). For example, a triple in the ontology might be

Vaccination -> can lead to -> Autism

(not that I necessarily believe this, just a good example of an argument). I would like to attach sources to any disputed statement. So ideally, the above example would be stored as

Vaccination -> can lead to -> Autism -> according to -> Article X

This cannot easily be represented as a triple in a standard ontology. What are the accepted ways of modeling this type of data?

I see that on WikiData, all relations can have sources attached to them (e.g. see https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q23 for sources on when George Washington was born). It could be that WikiData doesn't store their data as triples.

  • $\begingroup$ For that particular 'argument', you'd want to attach a large number of references contradicting it. Then usual normalisation of the design would say to use an auxiliary relation to record supporting and contradicting evidence/sources. $\endgroup$ – AntC Mar 24 '19 at 23:15

If you want to say something about an RDF triple (i.e., an rdf:Statement), you can use reification:

@prefix rdf: <http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#> .
@prefix voc: <https://example.com/vocabulary#> .
@prefix :    <https://example.com/instances#> .

:Triple42   rdf:type        rdf:Statement .
:Triple42   rdf:subject     :Vaccination . 
:Triple42   rdf:predicate   voc:canLeadTo . 
:Triple42   rdf:object      :Autism .
:Triple42   voc:publishedIn <https://example.com/articles/vaccination-and-autism> .

But you would probably want to say something about the argument, not about the RDF statement expressing the argument. You can use n-ary relations for this, e.g., by introducing an instance that represents the argument:

@prefix voc: <https://example.com/vocabulary#> .
@prefix :    <https://example.com/instances#> .

:Argument1 a voc:Argument .
:Argument1 voc:publishedIn <https://example.com/articles/vaccination-and-autism> .
:Argument1 voc:textualRepresentation "Vaccination can lead to autism!" .

(and then use properties that dissect the argument to represent it in a machine-readable way)

Relevant vocabularies: PROV, schema:ClaimReview

  • $\begingroup$ The second part of your answer helps me with this problem. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Noah Santacruz Mar 24 '19 at 16:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.