Issue 510: belief adoption

Starting Date: 
Working Group: 

Posted by Thomas Bottini on 6/7/2020

Dear all,

We try to use CRMinf to model a scientific controversy about the attribution of a museum item (the Marie-Antoinette’s travel kit).

We would like to express the fact that a researcher adopts a belief (I7 Belief Adoption) after having studied the item at the museum (S4 Observation).

Why can’t the range of a J7 (is based on evidence from) be a S4 Observation (meaning a E7 Activity)? 

In our case, we don’t have any evidence of E73 (Information Object) type, the observation activity carried out by the researcher IS the evidence.

Thank you very much, in advance,



Current Proposal: 

Posted by George on 6/7/2020

Dear Thomas,

As I would read it, S4 Observation is a subclass of I1 Argumentation, therefore inheriting all of its properties. This being the case, an observation can lead an actor involved in it to come to conclude in a belief (J2). Therefore if the situation is that the scientist goes and analyzes the object (instance of S4) looking at certain properties, and then comes to some sort of belief, then this belief can be documented using J2 concluded that I2 Belief and then continue from there.

Belief adoption, to my understanding, should be used when the belief that one is taking up is not founded in one's own observational acts, but is rather simply taken over from some external authority. Therefore, you would not need two events, the observing, and the belief adopting. Rather you would need one event, the observation, which directly leads to a belief state.

Without any further context, that is how I imagine it should be modelled. CRMinfers, do I have it right?


Posted by Martin on 6/07/2020

Absolutely! "Belief Adaption" means "adopt another one's belief.

Whatever is found on a physical thing is an observation by human senses or other instruments receiving signals, including from chemical reactions, x-ray reflection and transmission, tactile etc.

There may be non-trivial Inferences subsequent to primary observation. For instance, abrasions at amphora handles regarded to stem from ropes that tied cargo in a ship.

Some instruments contain firmware that cannot be separated from the primary signal. We regard then the result as the primary observation, having in mind how the instrument works.


Posted by Olivier Marlet on 8/7/2020

For the logicist publication of the Rigny archaeological excavations, we used the CRMinf to model the principle of logicist argumentation according to Jean-Claude Gardin, which is rather convenient since the CRMinf is directly inspired by this theory.
In our case, we have distinguished 3 processes: 1/ argumentation based on observation or comparison data; 2/ external reference data (what is known and acquired elsewhere, taken from a bibliographical source for example); 3/ arguments built from previous conclusions.


1/ For a proposition based on observation data or comparison data, mapping could be:

S15_Observable_Entity → O11_was_described_by → S6_Data_evaluation (IsA I5_Inference_Making IsA I1_Argumentation) → J2_conclued_that → I2_Belief → J4_that → I4_Proposition_Set

I5_Inference_Making → J3_applies → I3_Inference_Logic


2/ For a proposition based on reference data, mapping could be:

E31_Document (IsA E73_Information_Object) → J7_is_evidence_for → I7_Belief_Adoption (IsA I1_Argumentation) → J6_adopted → I2_Belief → J4_that → I4_Proposition_Set


3/ For intermediate or final propositions, mapping could be:

I4_Proposition_Set → J4_is_subject_of → I2_Belief → J1_was_premise_for → S8_Categorical_hypothesis_building (IsA I5_Inference_Making IsA I1_Argumentation) → J2_conclued_that → I2_Belief → J4_that → I4_Proposition_Set    

I invite you to read our online article :

and to consult the resulting online publication in TEI format:
Here is the schema that helps me to better understand the organization of the CRMinf.
Hope it will be useful.

Posted by Thomas Bottini on 8/07/2020

It appears that I misread the CRMinf documentation, and thought that every I2 Belief should be associated to a I7 Belief Adoption. I was not able to deduce from the scope notes of I7 that it " is the acceptance of somebody else's conclusion about some state of affairs". Stephen's wording is extremely clear.

And thank you George for pointing out that S4 is a subclass of I1.

This leads to the very simple pattern: S4 ---[J2]---> I2

Olivier, thank you very much for the wonderful conceptual and graphical resources you have posted. They will be very useful for our further work.

Posted by Athina on 8/7/2020

I am wondering about the example of I7 Belief Adoption "My adoption of the belief that Dragendorff type 29 bowls are from the 1st Century AD". Maybe, it should be rephrased in order to express more precisely the trust in the source (which is someone else's) and in this sentence and it is actually implied.
just a thought,

Posted by Martijn Van Leusen on 8/7/2020

Thank you Olivier for your clear explanation of the three 'routes'! Maybe the following example of belief adoption could be useful: My source document (Vittucci 1968: 21) has interpreted a particular set of field observations as evidence for the presence of a roman farmstead; trusting in her ability to recognise this type of site, I adopt her belief.

Posted by Martin on 8/7/2020

The Scope Note of I7 will be corrected.

Posted by Martin on 8/7/2020

On 7/8/2020 1:42 PM, athinak wrote:

Dear all,

I am wondering about the example of I7 Belief Adoption "My adoption of the belief that Dragendorff type 29 bowls are from the 1st Century AD". Maybe, it should be rephrased in order to express more precisely the trust in the source (which is someone else's) and in this sentence and it is actually implied.
just a thought,

Yes, examples should also be updated!

Posted by Olivier Marlet on 8/7/2020

The notions of trust and adoption of beliefs are very interesting because they are directly related to the Re-use of FAIR principles. It is certainly a notion on which the ARIADNEplus working group will work in the sub-task 4.4.12 "CIDOC-CRM mapping for Excavation archives" dealing with the link between data and publications.

Posted by Franco on 8/7/2020

I wrote on this topic a paper with Sorin Hermon, some time ago (2017)

"Expressing Reliability with CIDOC CRM", IJDL, 18(4),

It’s available from the IJDL, from the ACM DL, and from me as a self-stored paper.

In short, it shows how to deal with trust in the Re-use framework of FAIR without using CRMinf. The necessary concepts are just subclasses and subproperties of existing ones. They receive special names just for the sake of clarity, but they could just be typized e.g. (Z denotes the new classes):

Z1 Reliability Assessment = E16 Measurement + has type “reliability assessment"
Z2 Reliability = E54 Dimension + has type “reliability"

Sooner or later, I should re-examine the issue in light of the recent discussions. 

In my opinion, “trust" should be machine-actionable otherwise Re-use becomes a purely human activity, but an undoable one as we don’t have enough time to read everything and take the necessary decisions, discarding fake news, as Gardin stated 21 years ago (*). Trust is a chain and at some point one of the referees needs to be “a honourable man” (**), whose assessment is automatically applied to the data together, and if too low it automatically discredits the data and avoids re-use or warns against it.

There are other divertissements of mine on the topic I’ll gladly share with those interested.


(*) Gardin, J.-C. “Calcul et narrativité dans les publications archéologiques”, Archeologia e Calcolatori, 10, 1999, 63-78. Open access.
(**) as everybody knows, this quote actually referred to an untrustworthy person


In the 50th joint meeting of the CIDOC CRM SIG and SO/TC46/SC4/WG9; 43nd FRBR – CIDOC CRM Harmonization meeting, the SIG reviewed HW by PF & MD on I7 Belief Adoption. The presentation they gave can be found here. The relevant set of examples from RICONTRANS (i.e. the project that motivated the expansion of the model) can be found here

The proposal PF & MD put forth resulted in augmenting the model through (a) the introduction of new classes and properties:

  • Ixx Meaning Comprehension
  • Ixx Provenance Assessment
  • Ixx Authenticity Assessment
  • Ixx Provenance Proposition
  • Jxx1 concluded provenance [D; Ixx Provenance Assessment, R: I10 Provenance]
  • Jxx2 that [D: I10Provenance, R: Ixx Provenance Proposition]
  • Jxx3 assuming meaning [D: I7 Belief Adoption, R: Ixx Meaning Comprehension]
  • Jxx4 assuming provenance [D: I7 Belief Adoption, R: I10 Belief]
  • Jxx5 interprets [D: Ixx Meaning Comprehension, R: TX5 Reading]

(b) plus udating the scope note of I7 Belief Adoption and suggesting a different understanding of I10  Provenance. 

Details on the discussion points raised by the SIG can be found here.

DECISION: MD and PF to work on scope notes for the classes mentioned here, work out the substance and position of I10 Provenance in the overall scheme plus elaborate on the properties suggested, work out examples that illustrate the case in point. We need an example in context.
HW: MD & PF to work on the proposal

June 2021

Posted by Martin on 23/9/2021

Dear All,

Pavlos and I are making a new proposal how to deal with belief adoption, following the introduction in the last SIG. We present now an improved diagram, scope notes and FOL, and a possible interface with CRMtex.

The idea is to delete I8 Conviction and I9 Provenanced Comprehension, but retain I10 Provenance statement. The proposed Ix1 Meaning Comprehension may be identified with a modification of TX6 Reading and text recognition be a new class in CRMtex, or TX6 Reading may be reduced to a TX6 Text Recognition and Ix1 be a class of CRMInf.

Please read before the meeting because it is quite a lot of content to digest when we will present this in detail in the next SIG.

Please comment!

In the 51st CIDOC CRM & 44th FRBRoo SIG meeting, MD presented HW --an overview of the enriched model for belief adoption (see diagrams: Overall model, Interpretation Logic, Provenance Logic), the FOL & provenance statements, and the scope notes for the proposed classes/properties [here]. 

Discussion points


  • the texts (f.i. “Odessa school”) go to the instance of I4 Proposition Set (bottom right hand side)
  • the model represents a fully-fledged inferencing path, that in documentation systems will most often be shortcut over. Given a belief adoption and a citation, then we understand the intended meaning to be true.  
  • the revised scope notes should be accepted first, in order to implement this model

Proposed scope note revisions
MD walked the sig through the proposed scope note revisions (I7 Belief Adoption, Ix1 Meaning Comprehension, Ix2 Intended Meaning Belief). 
CRMtex should provide the instances of E73 Information Object derived from instances of S4 Observations. 

No decision was reached on the grounds of SdS not being present for the discussion. 

SIG members were asked to provide examples of named entities, the identity of which has either not been decided upon or provide citations that question existing interpretations thereof. Also review the scope notes and overall model.

HW by Martin and Pavlos on I7 Belief Adoption (31 August 2022)

The Working Document with links to the HW can be found here

In the 54th CIDOC CRM & 47th FRBRoo SIG meeting, the SIG reviewed the model for I7 Belief Adoption (presentation by MD) and the reformulation of the scope note proposed I7. For an overview of the model see here



The reformulated scope note was admitted into the CRMinf. Details here

The example needs to be reformulated, it fails to attribute the Adopted Belief itself. 

Discuss and decide about the properties listed under I7 in the next SIG meeting.

HW: MD & PF to provide the scope notes for the properties in time for the next meeting. 


Rome, September 2022