Associative modeling

As an illustration we have just mentioned the Topic Types “Person” and “Parliamentary Group” and we talked about the association “member-of-parliamentary group”. This association also has a type, just as the Topic Type.

To be able to add this association to a topic map:

Member of-parliamentary group (Pechtold: person, D66: fraction)

we will establish that this association is possible between the Topic Types Person and Parliamentary Group. At a higher knowledge level, it is defined in the representation that Member-of-parliamentary-group is an association type between Person and Parliamentary Group.

Member-of-parliamentary-group ($P : person, $F : fraction)

The variables $P and $F may be filled by topics of the type of person and parliamentary group, such as Pechtold and D66. It is especially in this part that a lot can be disseminated from existing sources semi-automatically. The idea that everything in topic maps has to be modeled manually is at this instance level not correct.

In topic maps, associations are by nature not directed:

– In associations we claim something about relationships between topics.
– The assertion Van Geel is a member of the CDA group automatically follows the assertion CDA is the group of Van Geel.

Figure 1: The association Van Geel is a member of the CDA Group

Figure 1: The association Van Geel is a member of the CDA Group

The idea of ​​direction is caused by the use of natural language. In topic maps, the idea of ​​direction is replaced by association roles. For example:

The topic Van Geel plays the role of Member of Parliament in the relation Member of Group where CDA plays the role of parliamentary group.

Finally, there are occurrence types:

Website, email address, age, description, document number are possible occurrence types. They indicate the nature of the occurrence. The values ​​of this: http://www.cda.nl, 45, etc. are the occurrences themselves.

Two other important elements in Topic Maps are merging and scoping. These can help us for example, with retrieving members of parliament by government and period.

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