Friday, February 25, 2011

BiSciCol Technical Meeting: University of Florida, 23-24 February 2011

The BiSciCol Technical team had a successful brainstorming meeting over two warm Florida days.

Nico Cellinese (UF), Kate Rachwal (UF), Reed Beaman (UF), Gustav Paulay (UF), Russ Watkins (UF), John Deck (Berkeley), Brian Stucky (Colorado University), Rich Pyle (remotely, Bishop Museum) and our very special guest Steve Baskauf (Vanderbilt University).

The main goal of the meeting was to define the BiSciCol scope, techcnical goals and the model. Happy to report we made great progress. We are now ready to move to an implementation phase and are confident will be able to release a prototype in July 2011. See below a snapshot of out design document.

Purpose of the System
1. Notify all objects that are related to Object X that Object X has changed.
2. Manage relationship definitions between objects that exist in distributed databases.
3. Manage annotations of objects where annotation is treated as an Object relationship.

Technical Goals of the System
1. scalable design
2. easy coding but must be robust
3. expandable to different domains

Envisioning this as a distributed network with structured content defined. Goal is to allow for multiple data sources, each with their own thematic content. The thematic content is built on defining relationships between objects.

The Model
Linkages between objects is unstructured which allows any object to be tied to any other object via the predicate “relatedTo”. This is similar to SKOS “related” but we have made relatedTo transitive. relatedTo does not require objects to be organized hierarchically.

Following are the triples recognized in the network:

:objectId :relatedTo :objectId
:objectId rdf:type :objectType

:relatedTo :hasProperty :propertyDefinitionURI
:objectId dwc:dateLastModified “YYYY-MM-DD”

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