Basic Semantic Repository & ISO 11179 & ANSI X3L8 Metamodel (m p hawes)
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From: (m p hawes)
To: bsr!
X-Cc: bcr!, R Waterman, bcr!!bsr, bcr!!cg, bcr!!edi-new, bcr!!srkb, bcr!!z3950iw
Date: 25 Jul 1995  16:53 EDT
Subject: Basic Semantic Repository & ISO 11179 & ANSI X3L8 Metamodel
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Fritz Lehmann,

I am a member of ANSI X3L8 and can speak for the ISO 11179 Standard. 
X3L8 is the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO/IEC SC 14 who is 
responsible for 11179. One of the six parts was edited in the 
Netherlands and the other five parts are edited here in the U.S. by 
members of X3L8. You mentioned the "content" chapter of 11179. I do not 
know to which of the six parts you are referring. If you wish to send 
your comments to me, I will forward them to the proper person. However, 
Parts 3, 4, & 5 are International Standards and Part 6 is about to 
become one. It is unlikely that they can be revised for several years.

At X3L8, we are also working on a Data Registry Metamodel Standard. This 
will be a U.S. National Standard and not part of 11179 (at least for 
now). The metamodel, however, is in harmony with 11179 and extends it to 
incorporate 11179's undocumented implications. I am the editor of the 

The BSR is a partial implementation of ISO 11179. In other words, 11179 
is a standard and the BSR is an implementation. I have offered X3L8's 
metamodel to the BSR for their use. 

For further information about ANSI X3L8's meetings or other activities, 
you are welcome to contact me or to visit our Web Site at:


We meet nearly every month in Washington, DC.
M. Paul Hawes              _/_/_/         _/ _/
444 Hoes Lane, RRC-4D848  _/   _/  _/_/  _/ _/  _/__/  _/_/  _/ _/ _/_/
Piscataway, NJ 08854     _/_/_/  _/___/ _/ _/ _/     _/  _/ _/_/ _/___/    _/   _/ _/     _/ _/ _/     _/  _/ _/   _/
908-699-3209           _/_/_/   _/_/  _/ _/  _/__/  _/_/  _/    _/_/
Fax: 908-336-2906     _________________________________________________

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>From: Fritz Lehmann <bcr!!flehmann>
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Subject: Basic Semantic Repository & ISO 11179 & Z39.50 ?

     Klaus-Dieter Naujok's question on his EDIFACT/BSR (Basic Semantic
Repository) list reminds me to ask another.  My question
is about three (four?) international standards for "semantic repositories" (or
possibly "ontologies" in the recent AI sense):

     What is the exact relationship between the (X3L8) ISO 11179 draft Data
Metamodel standard and the Basic Semantic Repository (BSR) for EDI (Electronic
Data Interchange/Electronic Commerce)?  Are they separate efforts,
or are they one and the same?  If separate, are they guaranteed to
be in substantial harmony?  And are they coordinated in any way with the
emerging ISO Z39.50 "semantic repositories" for automated data and document
transfers? -- These include semantic categories ("attribute sets" -- of
data elements): BIB1 for the semantics of documents, and STAS, a somewhat
loosely unified set of a couple of thousand scientific and technical data
elements taken from Chemical Abstracts and other sources. 

     I'm impressed with the ISO 11179 draft I've seen; it recognizes the
practical necessity of using a principled (and somewhat lofty) semantic
definition of basic concepts needed to define more complicated meanings
of particular data elements and value-codes.  I do have some suggestions
to correct what I see as structural shortcomings of the "content" chapter
of ISO 11179.  Where (on email or at meetings) should such suggestions be
made and discussed?

     I also am impressed with certain aspects of the Z39.50 initiative.
This first emerged from the efforts of libraries to share information
on documents, books, etc., and it benefits from many years of developing
the elaborate "MARC" data format for cataloging documents.  The library
community has developed a lot of doctrines over the years on establishing
specific semantics for data elements, including their notion of an
"authority", which relates to the EDI ideas of X12 Element 66  or the
EDIFACT 1131/3055 code-authority pairs.  The STAS Z39.50 "attribute set"
duplicates many scientific measurement units and other things from the X12
and EDIFACT test/measurement elements and value-codes.

     Furthermore (if anybody knows), is there any coordination of the
semantic standards just mentioned and the CSMF (Conceptual Schema Modelling
Format) Standard's intended "semantic" component?

     This question is crossposted to the EDI-L, EDI-NEW, SRKB (shared
ontologies), CG (conceptual graphs) and Z39.50 lists, in the hope of
getting some answers from someone aware of ISO 11179, BSR and/or Z39.50.

                          Yours truly,   Fritz Lehmann
GRANDAI Software, 4282 Sandburg Way, Irvine, CA 92715, U.S.A.
Tel:(714)-856-0671               email: