Identity of Resources and Entities on the Web

Identity of Resources and Entities on the Web

Valentina Presutti (ISTC National Research Council (CNR), Italy) and Aldo Gangemi (ISTC National Research Council (CNR), Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-992-2.ch007
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One of the main strengths of the Web is that it allows any party of its global community to share information with any other party. This goal has been achieved by making use of a unique and uniform mechanism of identification, the uniform resource identifiers (URI). Although URIs succeed when used for retrieving resources on the Web, their suitability for identifying any kind of thing, for example, resources that are not on the Web, is not guaranteed. In this article we investigate the meaning of the identity of a Web resource, and how the current situation, as well as existing and possible future improvements, can be modeled and implemented on the Web. In particular, we propose an ontology, IRE, that provides a formal way to model both the problem and the solution spaces. IRE describes the concept of resource from the viewpoint of the Web, by reusing an ontology of information objects, built on top of DOLCE+ and its extensions. In particular, we formalize the concept of Web resource, as distinguished from the concept of a generic entity, and how those and other concepts are related, for example, by different proxy for relations. Based on the analysis formalized in IRE, we propose a formal pattern for modeling and comparing different solutions to the problems of the identity of resources.

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