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Cox, Bruce <Bruce.Cox@USPTO.GOV> asks:
> Are business rules semantics? I take that question to mean
> that some business rules can be fully automated since they
> are about properties of data that succumb to, for example,
> XML Schema data typing, while others are more problematic and
> may require methods not easily automated. In the case of
> patent document numbers, the goal would be to "ensure shared
> data is recognized" and only then processed for the current purpose.
> I certainly appreciate the benefit of using DTDs with their
> lack of content validation. Without that characteristic, it
> is unlikely that the patent offices of the world would have
> agreed on a common vocabulary for patent applications and
> publications. Now that we are on the verge of exchanging
> instances internationally, that characteristic may bite us by
> impairing interoperability due to significant variances
> between the start and end tags for any given element.
> Document numbers are a special case, in that they are
> critical to establishing the relationship among patents filed
> and granted in different countries. Accuracy is sufficiently
> important to be spending millions of USD a year to correct
> bad numbers provided by applicants or other offices. In this
> one case, I hope there is some way to express the validation
> rules independently of custom code so that we can describe
> the rules to each other unambiguously and implement them consistently.
> With XML Schema data typing, followed by Schematron, what
> would come next to cover the residue?
It's not clear to me that there is any residue: if you're willing to use
XSLT 2 and allow XSLT extensions you get regex and escape to Java/.NET
or whatever. Combine that with the document() function and you can do
cross document validation as well. What's missing? Perhaps a standard
for combining validation rules into a hierarchy (ala CAM?), or some kind
of generalized Ontological approach?
> I don't think anything
> to do with document numbers can't be automatically validated.