Information Systems, Tribalism, and Subject Maps

Patrick Durusau
patrick@snowfallsoftware.com
Steve Newcomb
srn@coolheads.com

Abstract

The Topic Maps Reference Model (TMRM) provides an analytical framework for evaluating how the integration of the information held in diverse systems, and expressed in diverse terms, can be achieved. It asks and assists in answering the question: "What more do I need to integrate the information in system X with the information in system Y?", without implying any particular methodology or implementation strategy. The answers are helpful in evaluating the costs and benefits of integrating of information as well as in clarifying the various options for implementation.

Keywords: Topic Maps; RDF

Patrick Durusau

Patrick Durusau has spent the last 15 years involved in a variety of markup projects. Today, most of his energies are focused on topic maps and related technologies both in ISO and OASIS. He served on the TEI Board of Directors and is the technical lead for the OSIS project (a standard for encoding bibles in XML). He is currently the chair of INCITS V1, the US National Body representative to ISO/IEC JTC1 SC34, which is the committee responsible for SGML, HyTime, DSDL and Topic Maps. He is the ISO Project Editor for ODF (ISO 26300), a member of the ODF TC and Chair of the ODF Metadata SC at OASIS. He also serves as the chair of the Published Subjects TC at OASIS.

Formerly Patrick Durusau was Director of Research and Development for the Society of Biblical Literature and was the director of the Society of Biblical Literature Font Foundation. He remains interested in the use of markup to enable both display and analysis of Ancient Near Eastern texts and languages.

He was a solo law practioner in Louisiana for ten years, accepting cases that ran from separation and divorce to death penalty litigation.

Steve Newcomb

Steve Newcomb is an information architecture methodology pioneer, consultant, entrepreneur, and (former) university professor. He drafted and edited the ISO/IEC 13250:2000 and :2003 Topic Maps International Standard, also known as "XTM" ("XML Topic Maps"), and he drafted and co-edits (with the co-author of this paper) the Topic Maps -- Reference Model. He served as editor of the ISO Hypermedia/Time-based Structuring Language ("HyTime", ISO/IEC 10744:1992 and :1997), and of the ISO Standard Music Description Language (ISO/IEC 10743:1996). He founded and co-chairs the "Extreme Markup Languages" summer technical conference series of IDEAlliance, now in its 13th year.

Information Systems, Tribalism, and Subject Maps

Patrick Durusau [Standards Lead; Snowfall Software]
Steve Newcomb [Coolheads Consulting]

Extreme Markup Languages 2006® (Montréal, Québec)

Copyright © 2006 Patrick Durusau and Steve Newcomb. Reproduced with permission.

Introduction

The term tribe is most often used with reference to an indigenous society. One of the characteristics of a tribe is the sharing of a common culture and often a dialect. But the same term can be used to describe information systems and their users; cultures and dialects develop around information systems.

One way to allow communication between tribes is to translate from the dialect of one tribe to that of another.

If translation is the only option, the question of which tribe's dialect will be used as the target of translation becomes very important to every tribe. Not surprisingly, every tribe thinks its dialect is the most appropriate target for any translation; after all, information is a key component of power. The phenomenon of preferring one's own tribe's dialect is often called tribalism, particularly by the tribes whose dialects were not chosen as the target of a translation.

The Topic Maps Reference Model (TMRM) posits that the dialect of any tribe can be used to identify subjects, without excluding any other tribe's dialect from participating in the same way in a given subject map. That is to say that the TMRM neither requires nor excludes any particular way of identifying subjects. One consequence of this is that all systems of identification used in information resources can be used to identify subjects in subject maps.

Subject Maps Basics

Before demonstrating the use of an existing system for identification of subjects it will be helpful to review the basic principles of subject maps.

A subject map is a set of subject proxies. A subject proxy (proxy) is a set of properties. Each property is a key/value pair. An expression of a subject proxy represents a subject. A subject proxy expression is addressable; it has identity. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1
[Link to open this graphic in a separate page]

A subject map is a set of subject proxies, each of which represents a single subject. Subject proxies have expressions. A subject proxy expression consists of properties (key/value pairs), and it has identity.

The subjects represented by subject proxies are distinct from the proxies that represent them. The separation between expressions (in this case, subject proxies) and the things that they express (subjects) has sometimes been described as a chasm or an abyss. These metaphors smack of a Platonistic view that holds that subjects exist in some hyper-real plane, but they can only be discussed in terms of their representatives. However, subject maps do not require their authors or users to adopt any such philosophical position, or, for that matter, any other philosophical position. The primary benefits of subject maps depend on the ability to merge different representatives -- different subject proxies, possibly expressed differently -- for the same subject, until each subject has only one representative, and that one proxy reflects everything known about the subject. That merging capability does not depend on any one philosophical position, and it can be used in the context and service of any such position.

Different tribes may have expressions of completely different subject proxies that represent the same subject. That is to say that two different proxies can exhibit different kinds of properties, with different kinds of values, and still be considered to represent exactly the same subject. The insight that they both represent the same subject might come from someone who, for example, happens to be a member of both tribes, or who has some other basis for arriving at such a conclusion. Perhaps such a person has codified rules for recognizing when the two tribes are representing the same subjects, and a computer has made the discovery by applying those rules. (See Figures 2 and 3.)

With one exception, there is no requirement that any particular subject be represented by a proxy in a given subject map. The exception is property classes: the keys in key/value pairs. For each class of property that appears in a given subject map, there must be at least one proxy. (See Figure 4.)

Expressions of Subject Maps

The expression of a subject map is not the same thing as a subject map. By way of analogy, a set is not the same thing as the expression of a set. For example, consider a set that consists of the integers 1, 2 and 3. That particular set could be expressed in several ways, including the following strings:

  • "A set that consists of the integers 1, 2 and 3."
  • "{ 1, 2, 3 }"
However, no expression is, in fact, the set that consists of the integers 1, 2, and 3. There is only one such set. It exists everywhere, and, at the same time, it exists nowhere in particular. Nobody can touch, see, taste, feel, or smell it, nor does it signify anything. A Platonist might claim that it simply is, or even that it enjoys a higher level of existence. (See Figure 5.)

The importance of distinguishing between expressions of things, on the one hand, and the things that they express, on the other hand, can perhaps be most compellingly demonstrated for the Extreme Markup community by considering a subject that is a content model for an XML element type called "foo". (See Figure 6.)

Clearly, the three expressions:

<!ELEMENT foo ( bar | baz)* >

<xs:complexType name="foo">
   <xs:choice minOccurs="0"> 
       maxOccurs="unbounded">
      <xs:element name="bar"/>
      <xs:element name="baz"/>
   </xs:choice>
</xs:complexType>

<element name="foo">
   <oneOrMore><choice>
         <element name="bar"><text/>
            </element>
         <element name="baz"><text/>
            </element>
   </choice></oneOrMore>
</element>

...represent exactly the same subject, even though they do so in different ways. The thing that they all have in common -- the content model that they all represent -- must be different from all three of them. For one thing, the three expressions are already different from each other, so they cannot possibly all three be the same thing. Even more to the point, though, they are expressions, and the thing that they all represent is not an expression. It simply is, and what it is is a set of constraints on things that claim to be "foo" elements.

When we distinguish subject maps from expressions of subject maps, and subject proxies from expressions of subject proxies, it becomes easier to see that different representatives for the same subjects can be merged, even if they are expressed differently, and even if they consist of instances of different property classes. It also becomes apparent that, although it is a fact of life that specific tribes may require information about subjects to be expressed via different specific syntaxes, and/or by means of particular kinds of properties, such diversity is not necessarily an impediment to the colocation of information about any given subject, even if it has been imported across tribal boundaries.

Ultimately, no particular representational approach is canonical. It makes sense to focus more on the subjects that are being represented than on any particular way of identifying them or representing information about them.

So What Dialect Does Your Tribe Speak?

When we distinguish between subjects, representatives of subjects, and the expressions of such representatives, we find we can use a wide variety of syntaxes, vocabularies of property classes, etc., for expressing subject representatives, and we can do so without seriously jeopardizing the practicality of merging information about their subjects. For example, the email subject map discussed in the remainder of this paper (see Figure 7.) could be expressed as an XTM instance, a TMDM instance, as a Versavant instance, or as an RDF instance.

Each such syntax offers advantages and disadvantages, but, in combination with rules for recognizing the subjects that they represent, they can all support subject-centric processing, i.e. the merging of subject proxies that have the same subject.

The key to successful subject-centric information processing is to recognize, honor, and exploit the ways of thinking about subjects that are already in use by the relevant tribes, and to maintain the integrity of each tribe's information, even as it is merged with information coming from other tribes.

For example, email messages already have their own identification scheme, as well as schemes for identifying senders, threads, subject lines and other subjects relevant to email messages. In other words, RFC 2822 for emails (the Email Tribe's bible) already defines a syntax in which the subjects relevant to email messages can be identified. Part of the global semantic integration problem is encountering, understanding, and conserving the value of information expressed in terms of diverse dialects that identify subjects. The TMRM facilitates the conservation of RFC 2822 information by allowing it to remain what it is, and to remain in its own semantic context. At the same time, the TMRM facilitates the exploitation of other kinds of information, expressed in different terms and subject to different disciplines, on an equal footing with RFC 2822 information.

The preservation of the dialect of RFC 2822 is merely illustrative of how extant data sources that do not support merging of representatives on their own can be incorporated into a subject map. Tribes can continue to exploit their own dialects in the subject maps to which they have contributed information, but they also have opportunities to exploit information expressed in the terms and contexts used by other tribes.

Designing a subject map

The Topic Maps Reference Model (TMRM) provides an analytical framework for evaluating how the integration of the information held in diverse systems, and expressed in diverse terms, can be achieved. What follows is an illustration of subject map design. The key questions to be answered are,

  • "What kinds of subjects should appear in the subject map?"
  • "How can one determine whether two proxies represent the same subject?"
  • "What information, other than subject identification information, needs to be reflected in the subject proxies for each kind of subject?"

What kinds of subjects?

Decisions as to whether any given kind of subject will be represented in any given subject map are necessarily driven by the requirements that the subject map is supposed to meet. Basically, all such decisions are a matter of determining, for each kind of subject, whether the instances of that kind of subject should have their own perspectives on the rest of the subject map -- i.e., whether they should have proxies.

In the case of our example -- a subject map that provides access to an existing corpus of emails1 -- there are several obvious kinds of subjects, each instance of which is readily identified in the corpus: email authors, email subjects, email threads, and dates. Do we expect users to want to access the corpus on all of these different bases? I.e., will a user want to access the corpus from the perspective of any given author, or a given subject, or a given thread, or a given date? For purposes of this discussion, we will assume the answer to the foregoing questions is "Yes".

What are the properties of the various kinds of subjects?

Now that we have a list of subject types, we must decide what the properties of the proxies for the instances of each subject type will be. For each kind of subject, we need to invent and name the properties that will be exhibited by the proxies of its instances. At least one of the properties that will appear in the proxies for each kind of subject must identify that subject.

  1. Email authors. These subjects are the human beings who wrote one or more of the emails in the corpus.
    • Subject identifying properties.
      • personNames. The email corpus we're mapping has a small number of authors, and no two of the authors have the same name. We can safely assume that when any two emails are recorded as having an author with the same name, they were indeed authored by the same person. Therefore, we can design this personNames property class in such a way that, when any two instances of it exhibit the same name, the proxies in which those instances appear should merge and become a single proxy.
        There's an additional twist: email authors can, over time, change the way their names appear. For example, "Steven R. Newcomb" may become "Steve Newcomb", either intentionally or unintentionally. Mail written by either "Steve Newcomb" or "Steven R. Newcomb" should be regarded as having the same author, and both names need to be fully respected. In effect, a single author can have any number of names. For this reason, the kind of value that a personNames property can have should be a set of names. Moreover, it's not necessary that all proxies for a given person must exhibit a personNames value that includes all of that person's names. Any one or more of them is independently sufficient to identify the author. Therefore, the subject sameness detection algorithm for personNames needs to be slightly refined, so that subject sameness is detected when any two personNames values whose intersection is not empty.
        It's also necessary that we don't lose any information when we merge the values of two personNames instances into a single such instance. Therefore, we say that the value merging algorithm for personNames instances is that the merged value obtained by unioning the sets of names that are the values of the instances to be merged.
        The above design decisions are good and necessary, but they don't reveal how we will recognize that, for example, "Steve Newcomb" and "Steven R. Newcomb" are the same person. At the same time, they don't constrain how that particular bit of magic will be accomplished, either. Regardless of how the magic of such recognition is accomplished, we have already constrained the personNames property class in such a way that, once it has been recognized that "Steve Newcomb" and "Steven R. Newcomb" identify the same person, all that is necessary is for a proxy to be added to the subject map that has a personNames property whose value is a list that includes both versions of the name. Because such a proxy exists, all proxies whose personNames properties contain either name will necessarily merge, becoming a single proxy.
      • emailAddresses. Email addresses are much like personal names; they are subject to change, and yet each of them can be deemed to uniquely identify a person. The design of emailAddresses properties is therefore very similar to the design of personNames properties: they are sets of strings, and when any two instance values have one or more strings in common, they are deemed to represent the same subject. One difference between the two property classes is that they have different string-normalization rules.
        It's worth noting that both emailAddresses and personNames properties can appear in a single proxy, and that each of them identifies the proxy's subject independently of the other. If any proxy has both properties, its existence has the effect of demanding the merger of all proxies that have either an emailAddresses property whose value contains any matching email address, or a personNames property whose value contains any matching name. This is useful because some emails in the archive identify their authors by their email addresses, while others mention their personal names, and still others mention both. The latter ones are the "Rosetta stones" that cause all the others to be merged appropriately. (The email archive's policies changed over time as a reflection of mailing-list software upgrades and changing spam-control policies.)
    • Other properties.
      • emails. The reason for emails properties is to allow a user to see which emails were written by a given author.
        The values of emails properties are sets of references to proxies; the subject of each referenced proxy is an email authored by the person. Although these properties could be considered as subject-identifying properties, on the assumption that every email has exactly one author, we elect not to do so because, under our processing model, in which we look at each email only once as we build our subject map, there is no possibility that any benefit will accrue. So, emails properties cannot demand merging.
      • emailSubjectLines. The reason for emailSubjectLines properties is to allow a user to see which subjects were presumably discussed in the emails written by a given author.
        The values of emailSubjectLines properties are sets of references to proxies; the subject of each referenced proxy is identified, in that proxy, by a normalized string that appeared as a "Subject: " line in one or more emails. These properties cannot be used to identify subjects.
  2. Emails. These subjects are the emails that appear in the corpus.
    • Subject identifying properties.
      • emailID. As it happens, emails usually have "Message-ID:" lines on which appear identification strings that are probably unique. The namespace in which the message identifier appears is not the URI namespace; instead, message ids often incorporate internet domain names as one of the reasons why they are likely to be unique.
        If a subject is considered to be uniquely identified by a specific string (a specific name in a namespace), the solution is easy:
        1. simply make the unique string the value of the property, and
        2. provide that, whenever two proxies have the same string as the value of this property, the two proxies should be merged, and the merged proxy should have that same string as the value of this property.
    • Other properties.
      • sender. One reason for sender properties in proxies for emails could be to allow a user to travel from a rendition of an email proxy to a rendition of the subject proxy for the sender (author) of the email.
        The values of sender properties are sets of references to proxies; the subject of each referenced proxy is an email authored by the person. Although these properties could be considered as subject-identifying properties, on the assumption that every email has exactly one author, we elect not to do so because, under our processing model, in which we look at each email only once as we build our subject map, there is no possibility that any benefit (such as merging that would otherwise not occur) will accrue.
      • subjectLine. One reason for subjectLine properties in proxies for emails could be to allow a user to travel from a rendition of an email proxy to a rendition of the subject proxy for its subject, from which all other emails with the same subject line (as normalized) are directly accessible.
        The values of subjectLine properties are references to proxies. The subject of each referenced proxy is a subject line, as normalized.
      • inReplyTo. One reason for subjectLine properties in proxies for emails could be to allow a user to travel from a rendition of an email proxy to a rendition of the subject proxy for the email, if any, to which the current email was a reply.
        The values of subjectLine properties are references to proxies whose subjects are emails.
      • content. The value of the content property of a proxy for an email is the text of the email itself.
      • date. One reason for date properties in proxies for emails could be to allow a user to travel from a rendition of an email proxy to a rendition of the subject proxy for the date (the day) on which the email was sent, from which the proxies for all other emails sent on the same date are directly accessible.
        The values of date properties are references to proxies whose subjects are emails.
        In our "corpus of emails" example, the date property class whose instances appear in email proxies exists in a different universe of discourse from the date property class that identifies the subjects of proxies whose subjects are dates (specific days). Although they have the same name, the two property classes are quite different: one of them is a subject-identifying property, and the other is not. The values of one of them are references to proxies, while the value of the other is a string that represents a calendar day. One is in one universe of discourse, and the other is in another.
  3. Email subjects. It would be more accurate to say that their subjects are the "Subject:" lines that appear in the emails. Theoretically, nothing prevents us from using any means of extracting and identifying the subjects discussed in the emails, but for purposes of this example, it makes sense to assume that the subject lines themselves are useful subjects to proxify.
    • Subject identifying properties.
      • subjectLine. The values of subjectLine properties are the strings that appear after lines beginning with "Subject:" in the headers of the emails. Some normalization is done to these lines before they are stored, so that subject sameness will be detected appropriately. For example, when the string begins with "Re: ", those characters are removed. When two such normalized strings are equivalent, they are deemed to identify the same subject, and merging occurs.
        This subjectLine property is in a different universe of discourse than the property of the same name that can appear, for example, in a proxy for a person. Instead of having values that refer to proxies for email subjects, instances of this property class have strings as their values. Also, unlike the other kind of subjectLine, this subjectLine is a subject-identifying property.
    • Other properties.
      • emails. One reason for emails properties in proxies for email subject lines could be to allow a user to travel from a rendition of a subject line proxy to a rendition of the subject proxy any or all of the emails that exhibit the given subject line.
        The values of emails properties are sets of references to proxies; the subject of each referenced proxy is an email that exhibits the given subject line.
  4. Email dates.
    • Subject identifying properties.
      • date. The values of date properties are strings that identify a calendar day. For example, "2006/08/20" identifies August 20, 2006. If two proxies have the same value for the date property, they are both deemed to represent the same date, and they should therefore be merged.
    • Other properties.
      • emails. This is the same property class that can appear in proxies for subject lines, and the same rules apply to it. One reason for emails properties in proxies for dates could be to allow a user to travel from a rendition of a date proxy to a rendition of the subject proxy for any or all of the emails that were sent on the same date.
        The values of emails properties are sets of references to proxies; the subject of each referenced proxy is an email that exhibits the given subject line.

How to populate the subject map with proxies?

Now we confront the task of actually building the subject map from the corpus of emails. While the number of approaches to this task is boundless, some are easier than others.

If we wish to minimize programmer effort, as opposed to the machine cycles required to accomplish the task, we can simply parse the corpus in such a way as to recognize each email, and the information found in each email's header information. Whenever an email has been recognized, its header can be used to construct all the proxies that are relevant to it, leaving all merging operations for later, when automated merging will concentrate all the information about each subject in that subject's one and only proxy.

So, for example, when we have encountered an email in the corpus, we can simply output all the proxies that are relevant, knowing that all of the proxies that represent the same subject will be merged automatically, later. We output a proxy for the person who wrote the email, endowing its proxy with any properties that we are able to produce, given the information provided in the email. Similarly, we output a proxy for the email itself, a proxy for its subject line, and a proxy for its date. The code that we used to parse the corpus of emails and to create the proxies is found in http://www.versavant.org/EML2006/ (initemail.py). The code that was executed in order to produce a proxy is found on lines 537-629; these lines are reproduced below:

    personProxy = vsv.newProxyObject()  ## create a proxy for the author

    vsv.newPropertyInstance(            ## list of names of the author
        personProxy,                    ## that appear in this email
        'uod1', 'personNames',
        fromPersonNames2.keys())        
    vsv.newPropertyInstance(            ## list of emails of the author
        personProxy,                    ## that appear in this email
        'uod2', 'emailAddresses',
        fromEmailAddresses2.keys())

    emailProxy = vsv.newProxyObject()   ## create a proxy for the email itself

    vsv.newPropertyInstance(            ## unique id ("Message-ID:") of email
        emailProxy,
        'uod1', 'emailID',
        messageIdString)                

    if len( inReplyToString):
        inReplyToProxy = vsv.newProxyObject()  ## create a proxy for the email
                                               ## to which this email is a 
        vsv.newPropertyInstance(               ## reply, and give it its 
            inReplyToProxy,                    ## subject-identifying property.
            'uod1', 'emailID',
            inReplyToString)           

    subjectLineProxy = vsv.newProxyObject()    ## Create a proxy for the 
                                               ## email's subject line.
    vsv.newPropertyInstance(                   ## Give it its 
        subjectLineProxy,                      ## subject-identifying property.
        'uod2', 'subjectLine',
        subjectString)

    dateProxy = vsv.newProxyObject()          ## create a proxy for the email's
                                              ## date.
    vsv.newPropertyInstance(                  ## Give it its subject-identifying
        dateProxy,                            ## property.
        'uod1', 'date',
        dateCode)

    ## OPs
    vsv.newPropertyInstance(                  ## Let the proxy for the email's 
        personProxy,                          ## author reflect that the proxy 
        'uod1', 'emails',                     ## for the email is one of the
        [ emailProxy.proxyId])                ## ones that were authored by this
                                              ## author.

    vsv.newPropertyInstance(                  ## Let the proxy for the email's
        personProxy,                          ## author reflect that the 
        'uod1', 'emailSubjectLines',          ## email's subject line is one 
        [ subjectLineProxy.proxyId])          ## of the ones that the author
                                              ## has written about.

    vsv.newPropertyInstance(                  ## Let the proxy for the email 
        emailProxy,                           ## reflect the fact that it was
        'uod1', 'sender',                     ## written by its author.
        [ personProxy.proxyId])

    vsv.newPropertyInstance(                  ## Let the proxy for the email 
        emailProxy,                           ## reflect the fact that it
        'uod1', 'subjectLine',                ## has a certain subject line.
        [ subjectLineProxy.proxyId])

    if len( inReplyToString):                 ## If the email is in-reply-to
        vsv.newPropertyInstance(              ## another email, let the proxy
            emailProxy,                       ## for the email reflect that
            'uod1', 'inReplyTo',              ## fact.
            [ inReplyToProxy.proxyId])

    vsv.newPropertyInstance(                  ## Make the email's data the 
        emailProxy,                           ## value of the "content" 
        'uod1', 'content',                    ## property.
        '\n'.join( messages[ messageIdString]))

    vsv.newPropertyInstance(                  ## Let the proxy for the email 
        emailProxy,                           ## reflect its relationship to
        'uod2', 'date',                       ## the proxy for the date on 
        [ dateProxy.proxyId])                 ## which the email was sent.

    vsv.newPropertyInstance(                  ## Let the proxy for the subject
        subjectLineProxy,                     ## of the email(s) reflect the 
        'uod1', 'emails',                     ## emails that are presumably 
        [ emailProxy.proxyId])                ## about that subject.

    vsv.newPropertyInstance(                  ## Let the proxy for the calendar
        dateProxy,                            ## day on which the email was sent
        'uod1', 'emails',                     ## reflect its connection to that
        [ emailProxy.proxyId])                ## date.

Results

After merging, there is only one proxy for any given subject, regardless of whether that subject is a person, an email, an email subject line, or a date. Merging is necessarily an iterative process, because some mergers can trigger other mergers.

The resulting subject map can be output in XML. We used the Versavant engine in order to implement this example. Here is one of the proxies for a person, in this case, Naito Motomu:

  ><ProxyObject id="o7811" proxyId="0021224"
    ><Property 
        PAppNm="uod1" 
        PClass="personNames" 
        IsSIP="Y"
     >[u'Motomu Naito']</Property
    ><Property 
       PAppNm="uod1" 
       PClass="emailSubjectLines" 
       IsSIP="N"
     >['0021128', '0020882', '0020690', 
       '0020706', '0016913', '0021369', 
       '0021219', '0021392', '0021373', 
       '0021142']</Property
    ><Property 
       PAppNm="uod1" 
       PClass="emails" 
       IsSIP="N"
     >['0019104', '0019479', '0016933', 
       '0016912', '0010057', '0019197', 
       '0011332', '0019733', '0011866', 
       '0017817']</Property
    ><Property 
      PAppNm="uod2" 
      PClass="emailAddresses" 
      IsSIP="Y"
    >[u'motom@green.ocn.ne.jp']</Property
  ></ProxyObject

The above proxy has four properties.

The first property is a personNames property, as defined for the "uod1" universe of discourse. It is a subject-identifying property (IsSIP="Y") whose value is a list ([]) of names, with only one item in the list, a Unicode string (u'Motomu Naito').

In the second property, the value is a list of references to proxies; 10 proxies are referenced; all of them have email subject lines as their subjects.

The explanation of the other properties is left as an exercise for the reader. The whole subject map can be seen at http://www.versavant.org/EML2006/ (email-subjectmap.xml).

Notes

1.

The corpus we used for this paper is one of the ones created and maintained by the Topic Maps community. Subscriptions are available at http://www.isotopicmaps.org/mailman/listinfo/sc34wg3.


Information Systems, Tribalism, and Subject Maps

Patrick Durusau [Standards Lead, Snowfall Software]
patrick@snowfallsoftware.com
Steve Newcomb [Coolheads Consulting]
srn@coolheads.com