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   RE: [xml-dev] Future of Databases

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A central issue of any querying system is to define or discover 
the appropriate vocabulary for that domain.  Which constraint 
system forms the basis for the query? For example, querying 
a video for frame identifiers is straightforward.  Querying a 
video for the semantic content requires a classification 
vocabulary that can discriminate continuous motion into 
sequences of recognizable statements.  Then depending on the 
formality of the vocabularly, to make associations to other 
vocabularies and infer the actual message.   Papers on 
subjects such as human motion recognition exist.


It is straightforward to create a vocabulary for any 
formal system where formal is that at least one notation exists 
and that for any term provided, most experts would 
agree that an expression of that term represents the 
same meaning (again, the identity problem).  I leave 
the issues of working with informal or emergent vocabularies 
to another time although these are probably not intractable.

We've had to look into this in HumanML (eg, semiotic systems based on 
an abstraction for signals, symbols, and signs that enable 
a cultural set to be recognized).   While I have no new 
science to offer, I believe that this is where the SemWeb 
and XML have a lot to offer, but that the work required 
without good abstraction tools will take a very long time 
and be practically undending given semantic drift and 

Biometric data is a lot simpler and that is why it is 
used for final identification.  Cultural vocabularies 
play a large role in making predictions, creating associations, 
etc., but the biometric data is the most reliable for 
individual identification.


-----Original Message-----
From: Ken North [mailto:ken_north@compuserve.com]

 Q. XQuery is document-centric. What can we expect?

How will we query or find information in documents over the next decade?

Not just text -- other rich types including audio, video and biometric data.


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