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Is He The One? Subject Identification in Topic Maps

Paper, by Robert Barta

This paper is about subject identifying in Topic Maps.

External Link: more information

Topic Map content is about things (subjects) be they tangible things like physical objects like a particular car, or abstractions like the class ‘car’ or even homocentric concepts as ‘love’ and ‘hate’. It also includes things which only exist electronically such as online documents. As such topics are only representants: they represent (proxy) the subject; the subject itself, of course, exists outside the topic map. Equivalently, we sometimes use the phrase a subject is reified by a topic.

The problem the topic map author faces is how to connect a topic with the subject outside the map. Only to name a topic ‘Stalin’ does not necessarily mean that every other person in this universe knows exactly that we talk exactly about the Russian dictator during the second world war.

According to the Topic Map paradigm this problem is resolved using subject addresses and subject indicators. This short feature presents the options Topic Map authors have to refer to the outside world. As notation we will use XTM


Robert Barta

No contact information available. 


Robert is project leader of Perl XTM Engine (superseeded.. and Perl TM.

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Topic Maps helped us not only to overcome the difficulties with information organization, but they also opened us a way for presenting the content in a structured and easy navigable way.

Boro Milivojevic
Topic Maps Lab auf der Cebit 2011

Graduate from the Topic Maps Lab