The definition of a Connection

We are talking of 2 entities/concepts being connected / linked to each other. We are trying to define this connection/link.

When A and B are connected to each other, there might be multiple-step links between them – first-order, second-order, …..nth-order. There is a mth order connection between 2 entities which bear a kth and (k+m)th order link with A. 

We try to define a first-order i.e. most fundamental connection between 2 entities.

A is first-orderly/fundamentally connected to B if A is a detail/example of a definitive function/attribute of B or a definitive function/attribute of B.

All the 23 links in Minsky et al’s ConceptNet (is a part of, is a type of, is made up of, is used for, …..etc.)  reduce to this above definition. The above is a fundamental definition, rather than an enumeration of the kinds of possible links between 2 entities/concepts.

Examples  – 

  1. A box is commonsensical-ly connected to the stuff inside it. You do not require a named link like ‘is a part of’ (stuff – is a part of – box) to establish the connection between the two. A definitive function of a box is to contain (something – some content), a detail (contains what) / example (of content) of which is the particular stuff inside it. Hence the connection (according to the above definition) between the two. 

Technically, in usual terms, something kept, say, 50 metres from the box is also “connected to” the box because it is ‘something a location 50 metres’ “from that very box”. But a thing 50 metres from a box is not an example/detail of a definitive function/attribute of a box, which the particular contained content is; having something at a distance of 50 metres from it, is not a definitive function/attribute of a box, which having something inside it is.

       2)  Second order connection – 

Sachin Tendulkar & MBBS – The connection here is that Sachin’s wife is a doctor and the basic degree doctor’s have is an MBBS.

Firstly, Sachin is connected to his wife by the above definition – his wife is a definitive attribute of him as a person. And his wife is connected to MBBS because that degree is a definitive attribute of his hers. Hence, Sachin is connected to MBBS. 

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