Thursday, July 10, 2014

Onto Ontologies, the Constitution, and the Congress

Contemporary Sidebar, or "Big Brother's Big Ears"

But first, a question: Is PRISM anything I would like to speculate about? Absolutely not! If the NSA would be voluntarily transparent about the science and technology being used by the NSA, it would sure be a different kind of National SecurityAdministration, I'm sure. Until that time, I can only interpolate -- not so much as to to speculate -- of anything I've ever read or read of[1], in so much very serious web content. It's not a happy chain of thought, that, but certainly it's a comment to the state of the art, in this epoch? Nothing about anyone's "wargaming", moreso about information science.

KR, KM, XML, RDF, and OWL, as Topics

So, "that aside," There's a long history to the development of knowledge modeling and knowledge representation, in academia -- much summarized, and summarized again, throughout academia. This article will not endeavor as if to to duplicate any of those multitudinous items in academia. In a practical sense, recently the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) developed, specifically, the Resource Description Format (RDF), later the Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) as then extending on RDF, and later the Web Ontology Language (OWL), later SKOS then effectively reexpressed as an extension onto OWL.

Sometime in 1776, there was a certain issue of national independence that was begun, followed by the drafting of exactly one US Constitution, followed by the development of one United States of America. Around that time, the US Congress was defined, as delineated specifically in Article I of the Constitution of the United States of America.[1]

Sometime more recently, the Congress developed information systems such as would publish proceedings of the US Congress, in XML format[3] More recently still, the United States project at Github[4] has published structured information about the Congress and the proceedings of the Congress, in structured YAML format.[5]

2 (base 10) + 2 (base 10) = 100 (base 2) therefore....

Onto an Ontological View of the Proceedings of the US Congress

There's a lot of information in the @unitedstates YAML files about the Congress. Though in browsing the project's README file, it might seem like simply a flat table, but there's a depth to that public information, such that becomes to a nice concept of linked open data[6] in a legally public regards. Such as: Congress membership, Congressional sessions, Committees, Political party affiliations, and much that could be rendered in OWL datatype properties for creating convenient URL links onto existing, simultaneously legal and public knowledge resources, online. I'm not sure if Julian Assange would be impressed by that or not, but to continue.... Those @unitedstates YAML files can be processed, easily enough, to a definition of an ontology about the Congress and the proceedings of the Congress. Why would that be useful, though?

Article I of the Constitution of the United States of America is the Article of the Constitution of the United States of America in which the Congress of the United States of America is defined.[2] Article I precedes Article II -- the latter, in which the Executive Branch of the Federal Government is defined. The authors of the Constitution had saw fit to describe the Congress, before describing the President. There is certainly a matter of precedence, illustrated in that decision. It's quite significant to the concern of State's Rights and of States' representation in the Federal Legislature. With the recent bunch of actions by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)[5] in US states, the concern for states' rights is more clearly poignant than ever, as a feature of the US democracy -- truly more clear than ever, in this author's own lifetime. That concern is likewise represented in the very design of the United States Congress.

Therefore, the author proposes: It is a good time to start paying a lot more of attention to the US Congress. 

Consequently, the author proposes: That the "Bar napkin sketch" I've been carrying, so to speak, of an ontology about the federal legislature, that now is a good time to begin developing that. Considering the availability of structured legal and public information in that domain,[6] it could even seem trivial.

This would be, in effect, the announcement of that project.

[1] having read of: Inyaem, U.; Meesad, P.; Haruechaiyasak, C.; Tran, D., "Ontology-Based Terrorism Event Extraction," Information Science and Engineering (ICISE), 2009 1st International Conference on , vol., no., pp.912,915, 26-28 Dec. 2009
[2] Constitution of the United States. NARA
[3] at
[4] @unitedstates. A shared commons of data and tools for the United States. Made by the public, used by the public
[5] @unitedstates. Members of the United States Congress, 1789-Present, in YAML, as well as committees, presidents, and vice presidents.
[7] notes that I've been able to compile as to share, this week, at my Bring Back Lady Liberty blog: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) - a DC Politics Story