Issue 371: E74 Group (from LRMoo discussions)

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Working Group: 

Posted by Pat on 7/5/2018

This issue is not quite new, we discussed E74 in the context of working on LRMoo at the Cologne meeting. This proposal results from the resolution we favoured at the time.

ISSUE: Definition of E74 Group, add text to scope note of E21 Person

In the entity hierarchy E74 Group is a subclass of E39 Actor, and a superclass of E40 Legal Body, as well as of F11 Corporate Body and F39 Family from FRBRoo (LRMoo). E39 Actor is equal to LRM-E6 Agent, which is the superclass for LRM-E8 Collective Agent (which is the superclass of F11 Corporate Body and F39 Family). Structurally then, E74 Group should be equal to LRM-E8 Collective Agent. However, the scope note of E74 Group is broader than LRM-E8 and includes certain groups that are not actually agents (LRM-E6) and which would not actually be instances of E39 Actor.

Propose to modify the scope note of E74 Group so that it clearly corresponds to LRM-E8 Collective Agent. To do this any groups of people not having agency, such as national, religious, cultural, ethnic groups, must be excluded from the scope of E74. In this way there is no problem with E74 as a subclass of E39 Actor or superclass of E40, F11 and F39. Nothing needs to change formally, however certain instances attributed to this class may be incorrect. New and changed text in yellow.
E74 Group

Subclass of: E39 Actor

Superclass of: E40 Legal Body

Scope note: This class comprises any named gatherings or organizations of two or more people that act collectively to produce some intentional result for which they can be collectively considered responsible.

                        In the wider sense this class also comprises holders of official positions viewed collectively, which used to be regarded in certain contexts as one actor, independent of the current holder of the office, such as the president of a country. In such cases, it may happen that the E74 Group never had more than one member.

                        A joint pseudonym (i.e., a name that seems indicative of an individual but that is actually used as a persona by two or more people) is a particular case of E74 Group.

A gathering of people becomes an E74 Group when it exhibits sufficient organizational characteristics to be collectively held responsible for actions performed together. These might be communication, creating some common artefact, a common purpose such as study, worship, business, sports, etc. Occasional groups and groups that are constituted as meetings, conferences, congresses, expeditions, festivals, fairs, etc, are examples of E74 Group as long as they are identified by a specific name, rather than a generic description of the gathering, and can act as a unit (such as by publishing their proceedings, or approving a report). These collective actions may be performed by representatives selected by the whole, rather than by all individual members acting together.

Married couples and other concepts of family are regarded as particular examples of E74 Group.


    Exxon-Mobil (E40)

    King Solomon and his wives

    The President of the Swiss Confederation

    Nicolas Bourbaki

    Betty Crocker

    Ellery Queen


P107 has current or former member (is current or former member of): E39 Actor

(P107.1 kind of member: E55 Type)



Posted by  Conal Tuohy  on 9/5/2018

On 7 May 2018 at 14:27, Pat Riva <> wrote:

    Propose to modify the scope note of E74 Group so that it clearly corresponds to LRM-E8 Collective Agent. To do this any groups of people not having agency, such as national, religious, cultural, ethnic groups, must be excluded from the scope of E74.

This strikes me as odd! Is it really true that the citizenry of a nation is entirely lacking in agency? Can they not take political decisions, for instance?


posted by Pat Riva on 9/5/2018

Each individual in a democratic nation can choose to vote (or not).

Then the elected government (an LRM-E8 Collective agent) takes actions and is responsible, not all those people holding that citizenship.

posted by Conal Tuohy on 9/5/2018


It's the citizenry as a whole which decides who that government should be. It's not the decision of an individual elector, but of the citizenry as a group. 


posted by Oyvind on 9/5/2018

But nations are much more than democratic nation-states. What about small nations steered by consensus, clan based nations, national with a significant number of political decisions based on referendum? What about nations/countries where voting is obligatory and it is a criminal offence not to vote?

Based on an open world assumption I find it hard to say that no nation can ever show collective agency.

posted by Christian Emil on 9/5/2018


The issue ws discussed in the Cologne meeting. The changes in yellow do not fullfil the rquirement

"Propose to modify the scope note of E74 Group so that it clearly corresponds to LRM-E8 Collective Agent. To do this any groups of people not having agency, such as national, religious, cultural, ethnic groups, must be excluded from the scope of E74".

Members of a E74 Group are E39 Actors. Thus an instance of E74 Group can be a member of a E74 Group. This is exactly the case of IFLA itself. 

In LRM "Collective Agent (LRM-E8) A gathering or organization of persons bearing a particular name and capable of acting as a unit".  Therefor IFLA cannot be modelled as a LRM-E8. An implication is that IFLA cannot be modelled as a LRM-E6 Agent, since an instance of LRM-E6​ Agent has to be an instance of LRM-E7 Person and/or  LRM-E8 Collective agent accordin to the scope note of LRM-E6.

As Martin once pointed out, ethnic groups have been be given a collective responsibility by others not only their leaders.  Nation is a problematic polysemic word and should be used with care, see The modeling principles p. 63 (​


posted by Martin on 10/5/2018

Dear All,

This is a complex issue.

Firstly, we cannot support in the CRM Collective Agent or E74 Group being the complement of Person under Agent/ Actor. This violates the Open World condition, that definitions of classes must be indentifiable by positive criteria, and that any set of subclasses may be extended when we learn more about the world.

Secondly, reducing the scope of E74 Group is a non-monotonic change, causing backwards incompatibility.

Thirdly, we should always be aware that the CRM is not a terminological system, but classes are meant to be domain and range of properties. Reducing the definition of a class is justified when it helps avoiding obviously unintended models.

4) The question is, if a narrower definition of E74 helps avoiding confusing use of properties, or only satisfies a classification.
CRM classes should be, in question of doubt, more inclusive than exclusive.

The discussion, if a government represents itself or its citizens clearly shows, that it is not useful for the CRM to draw a line in which the representation question is resolved in a particularly unambiguous way. It is also not useful to apply principles
(as formulated in our new guide lines that Christian-Emil cited) that require intimate knowledge of the object. Archaeologists will hardly know such details in many cases, but lots of evidence of collective behavior.

Therefore, we apply a principle of potentiality: Having the potential to act collectively. May be this is not explicit enough in the definition of E74.

The requirement to have a name is, in my opinion, overly strict, and in archaeological cases widely inaccessible.

The question if a "nation" is or is not an instance of E74 creates a typical conflict between competing classification systems.

I think the essence of what we have discussed in Cologne was if there are unifying criteria that would exclude per se a collective behavior.

I would draw a line between individual behavior that exhibits similarities without requiring interaction and behavior that is substantially interaction based. In that sense, being German or Greek or Christian or Buddhist or atheist would be an individual classification. Being a Greek citizen however not. A Roman-catholic "christianity" participating in the clerical care would be a group, as well as a spontaneous no-name gang. A "nation" may or may not maintain ties that enable or have lead to collective action, such as migrations. One may distinguish those participating in a community from those being born or raised in a community but acting outside as independent individuals. "Atheists" may hardly be considered as a Group ever.

Interesting are cases of social groups suffering persecution, often falsely accused of acting collectively against the interests of others.

I would not require an organized leadership for E74.

I have rather the impression that we will need E74 to remain superclass of Collective Agent. We may more think of relaxing "legal body" to Collective Agent, than reducing E74.


Posted by Robert Sanderson on 11/5/2018

At the Getty, we have exactly this issue as well, but would extend it to at least gender. We feel that these are not intrinsics, and thus like the group membership pattern, especially for citizenship/nationality, as many people are multi-national over their lifetimes. Religions, as added by Martin, are another good example. One might add profession to the list as well – the set of people who are diplomats do not have the potential to act collectively, only individually within the context of their shared profession.

While the distinction between government and citizenry is debatable, the “church” and its followers, we see no potential for all males, females or other genders across all time to act collectively and would prefer a consistent pattern for these otherwise very similar modeling issues.


Posted by Pat on 14/5/2018

We can certainly consider the option of creating an LRMoo class to correspond to LRM-E8 Collective Agent, and having that be a subclass of E74 Group. This new LRMoo class would be a superclass of F11 Corporate Body and fit in the hierarchy between E74 and F11.

With this solution, the characteristics of having a specific name, and sufficient organizational characteristics so as to exert responsibility for works, expressions, manifestations would be characteristics of the new LRMoo class, not of E74. This would work fine for LRMoo.

In FRBRoo we have F11 Corporate Body as a superclass of E40 Legal Body. LRM-E8 Collective Agent is a superclass of F11. I have no problem in maintaining those levels in LRMoo. I personally don't think it is necessary to broaden E40 at all, and it would be a big step to broaden sufficiently it to encompass LRM-E8.​

Where I continue to have a problem is in the hierarchy above E74. E74 Group is supposed to be a subclass of E39 Actor. But it does not seem to me that all instances allowed as instances of E74 are in fact instances of E39. I agree that this is a problem, and I can't see any way to fix it that does not introduce some sort of backwards incompatibility. Either we narrow E74 so that it can remain a subclass of E39 (causing a potential issue for some instances previously recognized in E74), or we say that E74 is NOT a subclass of E39 any more, causing a whole bunch of other backwards compatibility issues. Or the third option is that we broaden E39 Actor enough that E74 can stay as its subclass (and as a result LRM-R6 Agent would NOT be equal to E39), but I think that is also not backwards compatible and would have an impact on some properties.

For the LRM mapping, the start of this issue, if we go with the third solution, we have LRM-R6 Agent as a subclass of the broader E39 Actor (not its equal), and then LRM-E8 Collective Agent is a subclass of E74 Group. Then we would declare LRMoo classes for these two LRM entities.

In a solution where LRM-E8 is not equal to E74, then we only need to account for the LRM property LRM-R30 (Agent is member of/has member Collective Agent) in LRMoo, not in CRM. It then no longer matters whether we discuss E74 Groups that have other E74 Groups as members.

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