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Versavant Disclosure Discipline
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"Versavant" is the name that has been given to a particular way of describing/disclosing Topic Map Applications (TMAs) in accordance with the draft Topic Maps Reference Model, ISO/IEC 13250-5. Implementations of the Versavant disclosure discipline— "Versavant transparency engines"— can support any combination of TMAs in any single topic map. The merging of even ontologically diverse topic maps can be supported and even automated, without compromising the integrity of the information that each different topic map contributes to the resulting merged topic map.

An open-source, Python implementation of a Versavant engine, "" is available at and at It can be used with predesigned TMAs. Users can also design their own TMAs, using either predesigned TMA component functions, or their own functions, or both. Topic maps that have been created using (either from scratch or by merging other topic maps) can optionally be exported in such a way that they encapsulate their governing TMAs. This makes them functionally self-describing and ready-to-merge with other topic maps; they are examples of "Smart Content". One of the features of is that its operations are easily audited; you can audit the chain of events that led to each property value of each subject proxy.

Versavant-style TMA disclosures allow Versavant engines to provide the service of "semantic integration"— achieving a condition in which there is one subject proxy per subject, with everything known about each subject accessible from that subject's proxy, and in which all of the subjects that each TMA regards as being implicit have been made explicit (i.e. have been represented by their own subject proxies). In Versavant, meta-subjects, including TMA disclosures and their components, receive the same semantic integration service.

A recent paper describes how subject maps can simultaneously reflect "Multiple Subject Map Patterns for Relationships and TMDM Information Items", using Versavant-style TMA disclosures. (backup copy of this paper)

Two posters about Versavant were posted at the XML 2005 conference in Atlanta in November, 2005:

versavantposter1024x768.png versavantposter1280x1024.png versavantposter1600x1200.png versavantposter5100x3300.png versavantposter11x17.pdf   versavantdebugger1024x768.png versavantdebugger1280x1024.png versavantdebugger1600x1200.png versavantdebugger5100x3300.png versavantdebugger11x17.pdf