“NIR” Examples in the Modeling of the Department of Homeland Security

The organizational structure of a government body (GB) is of a temporal nature. As such the rules for constructing the QName of a GB should consider whether or not to prefix the abbreviation of the GB with the parent GB.

Take for example “FEMA” which became part of DHS in March of 2003. Because FEMA is a “well-known acronym”, the QName is “usgov:FEMA” as opposed to “usgov:DHS-FEMA”. “Coast Guard (CG)” and “Secret Service (SS)” are other examples where the prefix is not used. Other sub-organizations that are not so well-known, carry the “DHS-” prefix, for example “usgov:DHS-ICE” and “usgov:DHS-CBP”.

Such considerations on forming QNames are governed by “Name and Identifier Rules (NIR)” – the importance of which, was first appreciated in our Ontology Modeling of the NASA Constellation Program.

An N3 snippet of the DHS is included below:

      a       gov:CivilAgency , gov:ExecutiveAgency ;
      rdfs:label "Department of Homeland Security (DHS)"^^xsd:string ;
      dc:description "Homeland Security leverages resources within federal, state, and local governments, coordinating the transition of multiple agencies and programs into a single, integrated agency focused on protecting the American people and their homeland. More than 87,000 different governmental jurisdictions at the federal, state, and local level have homeland security responsibilities. The comprehensive national strategy seeks to develop a complementary system connecting all levels of government without duplicating effort. Homeland Security is truly a 'national mission'."^^xsd:string ;
      gc:url  "http://www.dhs.gov"^^xsd:anyURI ;
      gov:adminstration usgov:TSA ;
      gov:agency usgov:CG , usgov:SS , usgov:FEMA ;
      gov:center usgov:FLETC ;
      gov:committee usgov:HSSTAC , usgov:DHS-TFNA ;
      gov:council usgov:DHS-HSAC , usgov:DHS-NIAC , usgov:CIPAC , usgov:DHS-ICCEPID ;
      gov:department usgov:DHS-ICE , usgov:DHS-CBP ;
      gov:directorate usgov:DHS-DNPP , usgov:DHS-DST , usgov:DHS-DM ;
      gov:mission "The Department of Homeland Security’s overriding and urgent mission is to lead the unified national effort to secure the country and preserve our freedoms. While the Department was created to secure our country against those who seek to disrupt the American way of life, our charter also includes preparation for and response to all hazards and disasters. The citizens of the United States must have the utmost confidence that the Department can execute both of these missions."^^xsd:string ;
      gov:office usgov:DHS-PO , usgov:DHS-ESEC , usgov:DHS-OGC , usgov:DHS-OP , usgov:DHS-OIG , usgov:DHS-OHA , usgov:DHS-OLA , usgov:DHS-OIA , usgov:DHS-OCRCL , usgov:DHS-CISO , usgov:DHS-OPA , usgov:DHS-OS , usgov:DHS-MAO , usgov:DHS-CNE , usgov:DHS-OOC ;
      gov:reportsTo usgov:EOP ;
      gov:service usgov:CIS ;
      gov:suborganization usgov:DHS-CBP .

In order to “keep things simple”, currently the relationships between government bodies do not capture the temporal aspect of relationships. A future blog post would be interesting on ways of expressing temporal qualification.

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