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Re: What is Data?

On Monday 31 August 2009 08:23, Costello, Roger L. wrote:

> Below is a definition of data, based on our recent discussions. I ask for
> your comments on these aspects:
>     1. Is the definition factually correct?

Your definition doesn't appear to be self-contradictory.

>     2. Is it general? Are there any hidden assumptions
>        that restricts the generality of the definition?

Doesn't anything become data when you input it into an algorithm?

>         What is Data?
> When you represent an entity, you've created data.
> When you represent an attribute of an entity, you've created data.
> When you represent a relationship of an entity, you've created data.

Why is there a distinction between attribute and relationship? Isn't an 
attribute a relationship to another data? Isn't a relationship an attribute 
of the entity?

>         What's Not Data?
> The following description of a book is not data, although it contains
> data:
>     In this groundbreaking book, evolutionary
>     biologist Jared Diamond stunningly dismantles
>     racially biased theories of human history by
>     revealing the environmental factors actually
>     responsible for history's broadcast patterns.

You just said it was a description of the book. Isn't it data (attribute of 
the book) in your definition?

> This example shows that text can be mined for data.

You're just transforming data by enriching it (upconverting?)

The text itself is data. Think about of text which is a data corpus for some 
AI algorithm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Text_corpus). It's data, isn't 
it? Maybe somewhat "raw" data, data nevertheless.

Nicholas Sushkin, Senior Software Engineer
http://www.aggex.com http://www.wealthinformationexchange.com


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