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New Bari Paper on Academia.edu

January 30, 2015

clip_image001José L. Fernández-Sánchez  has uploaded a paper prepared for the Bari conference:  A Features Model of the Shroud of Turin: Considering it as a system. The paper is in English and may be found at Academia.edu.

Here is an abstract:

The Shroud of Turin is among the most studied, controversial and enigmatic of all archaeological objects. The Turin Shroud is an old linen fabric imprinted with the image of a man who lies prone with his hands crossed before him.

The big effort spent in studying the Turin Shroud has produced a huge amount of observations and features describing it. Unfortunately this knowledge is not well classified and structured, and it is frequently presented as ordered lists or tables of properties of the archaeological object.

This paper proposes a modeling approach borrowed from systems engineering and computer science, to be applied to the structuring of the Turin Shroud knowledge representation. The scope of the research modeling presented in the paper includes those features related to the image, but includes, although incompletely, other features as well.

The model shows the features allocated to the different parts of the object, giving a quick view of the Turin Shroud breadth of properties. Further organizing the features in this model makes it easier to identify inconsistent features, missing features and redundant features. The features model presented here may be a framework for adding the new features to be discovered in future observations and experiments of the Turin Shroud.

I very much like the way many features are not overstated. This takes discipline. For instance:

. . . Other experiments show that the shading of the TS image has a correlation with expected cloth-body distances as the shading produced by an unknown image formation mechanism actuating on a cloth draping over a body shape [6].

How much better is this than saying that the shading represents distance? For instance, I think it represents shape. It could be distance. But no one has ever shown me that it is, in fact, distance. The word “correlation” works for me.

I wonder, though, how can we get past the controversy and the presumptions about imaging or authenticity that some features imply? For instance:

No image under bloodstains. As the feature described previously this absence, that needs to be confirmed [21], suggests than the blood images where present on the cloth before the body image formation mechanism actuated on the TS cloth.

How do we call this a feature? System engineering principles are loath to accept ambiguity.

It is a great idea.  It will take a lot of work.

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