Issue 351: Modelling Principles

Starting Date: 
Working Group: 

On 39th CIDOC CRM-SIG meeting,  Martin made a presentaion about. “What do we describe and why” and then  presented a text about methodology. The crm-sig reviewed and  accepted as a draft document. It is decided to put this document in googledocs for further reading, adding notes and comments. Also it is decided to put the text on the site in an issue format. Homework is assigned to  Christian Emil, Thanasis Velios, Marta Acierno, Achille, Alex Siedlecki and Steve to further elaborate this document on googledocs

Crete, October 2017



Posted by Richard   on 19/10/2017


I have now had chance to read this document.  I agree that, once finalised, it will become a useful guide to the modelling approach adopted by the CRM SIG.  Would it be possible for us to have a summary of the conclusions that were reached when it was discussed at the recent SIG meeting?

At 66 pages, the document is stretching the meaning of "short" (despite our commitment to maintaining independence from scale - this is a pretty large dwarf!).

It lacks a 'road map' which tells the reader how to go about getting value from it, assuming they know little or nothing about this subject when they start reading.  (Come to that, do we have a clear idea of the background knowledge and intentions of the typical/target reader?  If so, these should maybe be stated.)

The general introduction, in particular, is very dense and theoretical, and will probably cause most readers to give up before they even get to the meat of the document.  If this introduction is to remain, I suggest that it is included as an appendix.  I would also place the glossary at the end, since it interrupts the flow of the text.  (Where glossary terms appear in the text, they could have a pop-up containing their definition: in that way, they would actually be useful.)  Instead of the General introduction, I would include a short outline of the main structure of the document: process model, engineering principles, and conceptual modelling checklist.  You could briefly explain that the CRM has a particular modelling approach (and hence the need for this document), without going into detail.
I suggest that live cross-reference links to specific sections of the published CRM would help to ground the text, and would give these modelling ideas a concrete context.  This might also be an effective way of giving examples in the modelling principles section: some of the examples provided are currently too cryptic to be helpful.

Current Proposal: 

Posted by George on 1/12/2017


FYI, we have gone up a version of CRM Principles document to v.0.1.3. New text includes distinction between an ontology and a data structure. Find the new link below.


Posted by Richard  on 14/12/2017



A quick look at the updated version suggests that it is substantially the same in its overall organisation.  Please see my comments to the list dated 19 October: I would appreciate a response to these.

posted by Richard on 4/1/2018


On 14/12/2017 21:48, Martin Doerr wrote:
> This statement "some of the examples provided are currently too cryptic to be helpful." is too general to be helpful ...please tell us which ones
As a general point I don't understand why there are two 'Eg' sections for each principle.  Some have a screen icon by the first and a mouse icon by the second; others have '+' by the first and '-' by the second. Is it that you would like there to be two examples for each principle, or do they play different roles?  (In some, e.g. 1.2, there are two points in the first Eg and none in the second, suggesting they serve different purposes.)


    2.1 TADIRAH "Research Object" needs a note explaining (presumably) that the research intention has no impact on an object being a member of the "object" class
    6.4 Getty’s ‘Object ID’, the EAD - what do these demonstrate as regards mandatory/optional properties?
    7.1 both examples here are too cryptic: please explain what they show/what should be done with them
    7.2 is the first part of the second Eg making a different point to the first Eg? If so, it's not clear what it is. Second part of second Eg also cryptic
    7.3 examples are unexplained, though I get the general idea. The re-appearance of "Research Object" (TADIRAH) also raises the question whether 7.3 is different in substance from 2.1
    7.4 "hamlet - village" looks like a completion of the first Eg; it's not clear what we're advising to do about "ship - boat"
    8.1 isn't the second Eg the conclusion of the first one?
    8.2 the purpose of the second set of Egs isn't clear

posted by  Phil Carlisle on 4/1/2018


Hi Richard,

I agree the Examples need to be clearer especially those using symbols.

I took the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ to mean that one example was a good/positive example whereas the other was an example of what you shouldn’t do (bad/negative).

Are the symbols meant to do the same? If so can we standardize or provide a legend to clarify what is intended? Even include an annotated example of a principle perhaps.



posted by  Phil Carlisle on 4/1/2018


I’ve just cut and pasted the ‘computer’ and ‘mouse’ symbols from example 7.2 into a blank word document and they come back with a ‘smiley face’ and ‘sad face’ symbol so I think they are the same as the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ of the other examples.

posted by Marta Acierno on 6/1/2018


I hope this mail finds you well. You may find attached the revision of the 'Modelling Principles' text. Considering my ‘entry level’, I have preferred not to work directly on the shared file, but if you prefer I can transfer my comments on it. Please feel free to disregard all the suggestions you should consider inappropriate or too naïf.

Coming to the next sig meeting, unfortunately, although both very interested, neither Donatella nor I will be able to participate. Donatella is too busy with the beginning of the university course and regarding me, my daughter will undergo a little surgery in the same days. In any case, we will participate for sure on May.

Meetings discussed: