Conceptual Reference Model

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    The CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model - A New Standard for Knowledge Sharing

    Martin Doerr, Information Systems Lab, Institute of Computer Science, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH ), Vassilika Vouton

    Stephen Stead, Paveprime Ltd Purley , UK


    This tutorial will introduce attendees to the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model, a core ontology and ISO standard (ISO 21127) for the semantic integration of cultural, library, archive and other information. The CIDOC CRM concentrates on the definition of relationships, rather than terminology, in order to mediate between heterogeneous database schemata and metadata structures. This leads to a compact model of only 80 classes and 130 relationships. The model is easy to understand and is well suited to mediating between cultural and library information and thereby provides the semantic 'glue' needed to transform todays disparate, localised information sources into a coherent and valuable global resource. It comprises the concepts characteristic of data structures employed by most museum, archive and library documentation. Its central idea is the explicit modelling of events, both for the representation of metadata, such as creation, publication, and use, as well as for content summarization and for the creation of integrated knowledge bases. It is not prescriptive, but provides a framework to describe common high-level semantics that allow for information integration at the schema level across a large number of domains.

    The CIDOC CRM, as an effort of the museums community, is paralleled by IFLA's Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records (FRBR) in the library community. Both Working Groups have been working together since 2003 and have started to develop a common harmonized model. The first draft version is now available as a compatible extension of the CRM; the ooFRBR, covering equally libraries and museums. The tutorial aims at rendering the necessary knowledge to understand the potential of applying the CRM - where it can be useful and what the major technical issues of an application are. It will present an overview of the concepts and relationships covered by the CRM. As an example of a simple application, it will present the CRM Core Metadata Element Set (a minimal metadata schema of about 20 elements, still compatible with the CRM) and demonstrate how even this simple schema can be used to create large networks of integrated knowledge about physical and digital objects, persons, places and events.

    Finally the tutorial will for the first time present in detail the draft ooFRBR Model. This model describes in detail the intellectual creation process from first conception to publishing in industrial form (ie books or electronically). This is considered to be of great interesting for the museums community, and it is a fine example of the extensibility of the CRM for dedicated domains. There will be enough time for questions and discussion.

    Target audience:

    Ontology experts, digital library designers, data warehouse designers, system integrators, portal designers that work in the wider area of cultural and library information, but also IT-Staff of libraries, museums and archives, vendors of cultural and other information systems. Basic knowledge of object-oriented data models is required.


    Full-day, 10.00-16.00, Sunday September 10, 2006.


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    Last Updated: 02-05-2006