[TSC-public] Are personae top-level entities?

Thomas Wetmore ttw4 at verizon.net
Thu Sep 4 18:32:00 CDT 2014

On Sep 4, 2014, at 6:28 PM, Calum  MacLean  wrote:

> In this case, I'm only talking about evidence-level persons and events.
> I would tend to favour the multi-level persona model (though I haven't thought it through fully). At both evidence and conclusion level, persons would have the same structure (more or less); correspondingly for events. 
> At evidence level, the persons would be associated with a source.
> At conclusion level, a person would refer lower level persons (normally evidence level, but not always in multi level case). So a conclusion level person would be made up from a number of evidence level persons.

This is the model that I and a few others have been pushing for some time. There is the two-tier approach where person records appear at two levels, as conclusion persons that refer to evidence persons, and evidence persons that refer to sources. There is also an n-tier approach where person records appear in a tree -- the root of the tree is the final conclusion person; the leaves of the tree are the evidence persons, and the intermediate node persons are partial conclusions. A benefit of this n-tier approach is that the reasons for the final combining together of evidence, which by its nature is a statement made up of tree-structured clauses, is implicit in the structure of the tree.

In order to enable this, all one needs to do is allow person records to have a new type of link to other person records. For example, these evidence and conclusion structures could be added to GEDCOM by adding a "1 INDI @xx@" line to the "0 INDI" record. That's a lot of power added for what looks like a trivial addition.

> On 4 Sep 2014 23:56, "Richard Smith" <rsmith at fhiso.org> wrote:
> On 04/09/14 21:40, Calum and Norma MacLean wrote:
> Another option could be that the source *contains* persons and events:
> source
>    person 1
>      name: Jimmy Smith
>    person 2
>    event 1
>      type: birth
>      role: person 1
> This seems natural to me, as you find the names of persons and the
> events within the source.

This is the Behold approach.

> That would seems natural if persons and events can *only* appear within the context of a single source.  As Enno says elsewhere in this thread, that's not an unreasonable requirement at the evidential layer.
> But do we want the same person objects and event objects to represent conclusion-layer objects?  The conclusional objects don't belong under a single source.  There wasn't complete agreement in the "How do you manage your genealogical evidence" thread, though if you adopt the multi-level persona model favoured by Tom and me, there's no difference between an evidence-layer persona and a conclusion-layer person.  If you adopt such an approach, it would perhaps seem odd to place some person and event objects in sources, and others outside them.

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