Mathematics defines the reflexive, symmetric, transitive, antireflexive, and antisymmetric properties for binary relationships. Because associations can be seen as relationships, we can apply these properties to associations that connect two topics.
Taking a closer look at the benefits of each property shows that only transitivity is of real value for topic map purposes. In our approach, transitivity allows the deduction of information from the map that is not explicitly part of it.
Returning to our sample scenario, the ownership association is transitive because if Bertelsmann MOHN Media owns empolis and empolis owns eCOM, then we can derive that Bertelsmann MOHN Media owns eCOM.
Assigning properties to objects is the ...