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Subject: Re: taxonomy discussion at OASIS


Good idea.

I see however a trap in this example. The statement "The registry allows for multiple classification schemes":
-       is true for keyword search, as you showed clearly in your example;
-       does not have to be true when browsing through a classification scheme to find the desired product. To do that, the classification structure should be stored in the registry.

The big deal here is that your suggestion promotes using multiple coding schemes - not taxonomies as I consider it.

The difference:
- A coding scheme does basically nothing more than attaching a code to every product. Preferably this is a unique code per product and preferable the code is unambiguous.
- A taxonomy, or classification scheme, on the other hand defines a structure between products within that taxonomy. This structure is a hierarchic structure.
To put it shortly, a taxonomy adds a classification tree, connecting the products. A coding scheme is merely a set of product codes - altough the coding might imply a relationship between them.

So, Duane, I think your suggestion is valuable, but it has to be recognised that to support a classification scheme fully, the ‘tree structure above’ should be stored somehow in the registry.


At 10:14 22/11/00 -0800, Duane Nickull wrote:

This subject has been tackled by a few bold individuals.  The idea I put
forth was to allow multiple classification schemes within a specified
information model.  The RA can allow semantic references suggested by
the SO or Data Steward to be referenced from the repository item.  An
Example which may work is a fictional "Skateboard" company.   They may
have a regrep item which contains all the information about their
business including their products.  The document instance could appear
similar to this:

        <classification  Scheme="NAICS"
        <classification  Scheme="UNSPSC"
        <classification  Scheme="UPC-FRANCAIS" value="10764001051">Board du

This model would allow for efficient retrieval of items by writing a
parser handler that can iterate through the child elements of each
<item> element seeking for a attribute value equivalent to a recognized
Scheme.  A contextual query can also seek for a match on an attribute
value of a recognized scheme and return a hash of positive matches in a
business case where a user was intending to locate manufacturer's of a
specific item.  Becuase there can be multiple schemes employed for each
product or item,  there are no inherent limitations (hence scalability,

This is also not limited to items for manufacture. 

I believe that the OASIS, ebXML and UDDI registry models should contain
information models which allow  multiple classification schemes.  Those
who wish to re-invent the wheel are free to do so and those who use
existing standards are also accomodated.

My $0.02 CAD worth (now about $0.013 USD :(  )

Duane Nickull

Karl Best wrote:
> I've been noticing lately a bit of discussion related to taxonomies in the
> XML e-business space. In particular, most e-business efforts require some
> sort of registry/repository to store information about companies with whom
> an organization may do business with, and the registry needs some way to
> classify the businesses for simple searching. For instance,
> * The XML.org Registry stores schemas based on keywords, but needs a
> taxonomy for better retrieval, as does the XML.org Portal which is seeking
> to provide XML information sorted by vertical industry.
> * The ebXML registry/repository will store information about businesses, but
> I'm not sure if a taxonomy has yet been defined.
> * UDDI will register businesses for the purpose of discovery, and has
> selected for taxonomies NAICS, UNSPSC, an unnamed geographic taxonomy, and a
> general purpose keyword classification (see
> http://uddi.org/pubs/UDDI_XML_Structure_Reference.pdf page 25).
> There's a real need to select a good taxonomy (or taxonomies) to classify
> businesses and industries for the work that we're doing in creating
> e-business registries. Notice that I say "select" and not "create" -- I
> don't believe that XML experts should try to reinvent the wheel by creating
> new taxonomies when there are better trained and more experienced people in
> this field who do this stuff for a living. Robin Cover has done a bit of
> research into the subject and has written a background on some of the many
> taxonomies now available; see
> http://www.oasis-open.org/cover/classification.html. Perhaps one or more of
> these taxonomies would work for what we need.
> I've set up an email list where we can discuss the use of taxonomies in the
> XML e-business space. I'd like to discussed whether it's possible to select
> an existing taxonomy that would meet the needs of ebXML, UDDI, XML.org,
> etc., what the pros and cons of various taxonomies are, and what criteria we
> should use to select them. The ultimate goal of this list would be the
> creation of an OASIS technical committee, which would select taxonomies for
> use at OASIS and XML.org as well as make recommendations to other standards
> goups.
> This is an opt-in discussion list: to participate you must subscribe to the
> discussion list by sending a message to
> taxonomy-discuss-request@lists.oasis-open.org with the word "subscribe" as
> the body of the message. After you are subscribed, you may send messages for
> the list to taxonomy-discuss@lists.oasis-open.org.
> </karl>
> ============================================================
> Karl F. Best
> OASIS - Director, Technical Operations
> 978.667.5115 x206
> karl.best@oasis-open.org  http://www.oasis-open.org

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