Joint Committee Minutes 30 October 2001

This page summarizes the telecon for the Joint US/EU Committee on Agent Markup Languages held from 1300 to 1400 PST on 30 October 2001. These minutes were prepared by the chairman, and were approved during the 13 November telecon.



See WebOnt news below.

Last Week's Minutes

The minutes from October 23 were approved by those present.


Jeff Heflin and his students recently identified several errors in the March 2001 spec.

RESOLVED: Jeff's proposed updates should be applied. ACTION (Peter): update files in submission. ACTION (Mike): update files on to reflect Peter's changes.


Peter is waiting for a response from Lucent's internal lawyer "early this week". He'll ping them tomorrow.

Dan Connolly needs a copyright release from every author (anyone who holds copyright). Peter hasn't received any yet.


The formation of the W3C Web Ontology Working Group was informally announced last weekend. We can expect a more formal announcement to www-rdf-logic within a couple days.

The WebOnt home page (with links to charter, etc.) is publicly available here. Lists of members, etc., should be updated this week; invited experts may take a bit longer.

The first telecon is expected to be held in 1-3 weeks; the first F2F meeting will probably be in January

Jim thanked everyone (particularly Ora) for their help in making WebOnt happen!


We discussed the thread beginning with Sandro's message and the resulting thread. There was concensus that several important issues has been raised:
  1. Existentially quantified objects include both RDF anonymous objects (aka bNodes, etc.) and inferred objects.
  2. How do we indicate the number of answers requested? In replies, how do we indicate, e.g., "provably all".
  3. To what degree should we check for equality among answers?

In Deb's thesis, an individual could be generated due to cardinality constraints, etc. Part of the motivation was that Classic doesn't fire rules until an individual is created (this may be considered a limitation of Classic).

Ian felt that explanations probably shouldn't be built into the language. He noted a classic example that typically surprises non-logicians: querying for people all of who's children are doctors will include people with no children.

Ian noted that mechanisms for returning inferred objects must somehow deal with the potential for an infinite number of answers. We agreed to discuss this separately.

We discussed the lifetimes of returned names. Classic stores names (identified as skolems) persistently in the Knowledge Base. Peter noted that skolemization is not always benign.

If we include information about skolemization in query replies, are we making assumptions about the sophistication of clients? We want to be able to support dumb clients (Visual Basic, perl scripts, etc.) accessing smart servers.

We might want DQL to support a contruct like SQL's select count as well as a special case for determining existence (any, count >= 1).

Richard and his graduate student Yulin Li are making progress on DQL. They expect to have a draft of a more specific proposal shortly.

Frank suggested that it would be good for someone to develop a summary of the query language issues raised in our email and telecon discussions. Richard volunteered, once he returns to Stanford from a family emergency in Texas.

Sandro asked which email list should be used for query discussions (joint-committee or www-rdf-rules, which includes query in its charter). The consensus was the joint-committee should be used for on-going discussions that required our shared context; self-contained proposals for wider comment can go to www-rdf-rules (with a link sent to joint-committee).

Next Week

Dan Connolly and others will be at the W3C AC meeting in France next week. We'll defer the XML Query discussion so that Dan can participate.


Kelly Barber's raw notes
last week's minutes
Joint Committee home page

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