Friday, January 15, 2016


In informatics, meaning is achieved when described data is bound to a unique identifier of a data object. The assertion that "Claude Funston’s height is five feet eleven inches," comes pretty close to being a meaningful statement. The statement contains data (five feet eleven inches), and the data is described (height). The described data belongs to a unique object (Claude Funston). Ideally, the name "Claude Funston" should be provided with a unique identifier, to distinguish one instance of Claude Funston from all the other persons who are named Claude Funston. The statement would also benefit from a formal system that ensures that the metadata makes sense (eg, What exactly is height, and does Claude Funston fall into a class of objects for which height is a property?) and that the data is appropriate (eg, Is 5 feet 11 inches an allowable measure of a person’s height?). A statement with meaning does not need to be a true statement (eg, The height of Claude Funston was not 5 feet 11 inches when Claude Funston was an infant).

© 2016 Jules Berman

key words: meaning, semantics, assertion, triple, rdf, metadata, identifier, identification, jules j berman