An ontology for critical editions of variant text

In 2020 I had a paper accepted to the DH conference, concerning my attempts to create an ontology for the Stemmarest data model. The motivation for doing this was simply to see how far I could bring my work on Stemmarest in line with community norms for data modelling standards, and certainly in 2019 OWL vocabularies were all the rage.

The Stemmaweb model has been a graph model from the beginning, and it was a natural step in 2015 to move to a graph database to back it. Since we thought (and still think) about the problem domain in terms of texts, witnesses, and versions rather than storehouses of individual tiny facts, we didn’t seriously consider RDF as the backing graph model. Neo4J was our preferred solution in the end, because it provided the graph traversal and path finding algorithms we had needed from the beginning to do the validation of our data.

Since the pandemic wiped away the opportunity to present the work in Ottawa, and since the consequences of the pandemic also wiped away the time and energy I would have needed to present this work as part of the online event, I have published here the full abstract (which is, unaccountably, not available from the DH2020 website or book of abstracts) and a link to the ontology, bugs and all, that I had created as of July 2020. I have meanwhile continued this work after a fashion, which I hope to be able to talk about in 2023.