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Semantic Web for the Working Ontologist, 2nd Edition by James Hendler, Dean Allemang

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Mediating Variability

In any Web setting, variability is to be expected and even embraced. The dynamics of the network effect require the ability to represent a variety of opinions. A good model organizes those opinions so that the things that are common can be represented together, while the things that are distinct can be represented as well.

Let’s take the case of Pluto as an example. From 1930 until 2006, it was considered to be a planet by astronomers and astrologers alike. After the redefinition of planet by the IAU in 2006, Pluto was no longer considered to be a planet but more specifically a dwarf planet by the IAU and by astronomers who accept the IAU as an authority. Astrologers, however, chose not to adopt the IAU convention, and they ...

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