For example, an experiment has
- A protocol consisting of:
- a set of initial conditions
- one or more intermediate steps
- each step may have a set of operators, equipment, constituents/ingredients etc.
- A result set consisting of one or more members,
- any of which might be invalid for one or more reasons
- A set of analysis results
- with methods
- derived results (results that are based upon this result)
- supporting results (results upon which this result is based, such as calibration curves)
My basis for claiming that these are constituents of a "middle distance" ontology is twofold:
- Each component is ontologically necessary. That is, an experiment cannot exist without these components.
- When analyzing these constituents we do not need to go into further detail. We can hide that detail behind an opaque identifier and need not give it further meaning. This opacity allows us to stop our analysis at that point; we don't have to analyze down to the constituent quarks (or chiral forms, for that matter, if they don't have any impact on our current goals).
In future posts I'll cover the entities and relationships that I take as being important in this middle distance and how to identify them (which, like most modularization efforts, is a more of an art than a science).