qualifying relations between types

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  gerbenzaagsma 1 year, 3 months ago.

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    I am currently building a database of the networks of people in which a Jewish family in hiding was embedded. The project deals with people that could either be in hiding, their helpers or those that were involved in their betrayal. I am aware that the link between two persons is directional: “X is helping Y” or “X betrays Y”.

    What I want is to visualise the network of Jews in hiding and the people they are connected to, whether these people are helpers, are somehow involved in betrayal, or simply had knowledge about Jews in hiding without being active themselves. Ideally this visualisation distinguishes the kind of people that are shown, for example a different colour for helpers versus someone involved in betrayal.

    I started out with a Type called Person and gave it an Object named Relation which is linked to Type: Person so two persons can be linked. This link then needs to be qualified further and I have to indicate what role these people had (i.e.: hiding, helping, possibly involved in betraying). To do this I made a Classification called Role with several possible roles (hiding, helper, etc); in my Person Type I made an an Object named Role which is linked to this Role Classification. However, ideally I would like to specify these major categories (for example if someone is a helper to indicate different types of help). It seems this cannot be done using a Classification and I wonder if a Type instead is the way to go?



    Seen the prominence of the relationships between people and the complexities they could have, you could consider creating a separate type called ‘Relationship’. This makes it easy to specify various in-depth aspects of roles and other specifics of this relationship between persons.

    You could first classify each relationship object by means of an object description that relates to the kinds of relationships (similar to your roles classification), like ‘Helping’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘Providing a hiding place’.

    Next you would define two object descriptions that each relate to persons. The first object description would contain the subjects of the relationships (helper(s), betrayer(s)), and the second one the objects of the relationships (helpee(s), betrayee(s)). Use the ‘multiple definitions’ option in the data design to allow for adding relations to multiple persons for each object description.

    The added value of this is that you then also can add sub-objects per relationship object. So you would be able to store the information of one person betraying a number of other people on a given location at a certain time. This also allows you to account for changes in relationships between people. Maybe somebody who helped some person once might also play a role in a betrayal later on?

    Does this help you?


    Thanks a lot for the suggestions! Yes this helps; I am going to experiment further to see what works best for my purposes.

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Network analysis in the historical disciplines