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D2.13: Virtual Persons and Identities

Links between entities  D2.13 Virtual Persons
 Virtual Persons



In this section, we have given a formal description of the concept of identity in the Information Society in relation with rights, duties, obligations and responsibilities, as well as a formal description of a two-layer model based on virtual persons. All core concepts used in this model are precisely defined.  

The first layer – the physical world – is the collection of all physical entities. Physical persons belong to this world. The second layer – the virtual world – is an abstract layer. It creates an indirection between acting subjects of the physical world and the identifying information related to their actions and/or the objects supporting these actions, information that is used to describe virtual persons. Virtual persons belong to the virtual world.

Rights, duties, obligations and/or responsibilities can be associated to virtual persons. 

We have described the influence of the parameter time on both the physical world and the virtual one. In particular, the existence of a physical entity is time-dependant and the lifetime of a physical entity is usually bound in time. Both worlds are time-dependent, but only the virtual world is cumulative (monotonically increasing). This makes the virtual world much less time-sensitive than the physical one.

The virtual world allows a unified description of many identity-related concepts that are usually defined separately without taking into consideration their similarities: avatars, pseudonyms, categories, profiles, legal persons, etc. This unified description is based on a generalization of the traditional concepts of virtual persons.

The concept of subject, in the physical world, allows also to handle in a similar way physical entities of different nature that share, for example, some acting capabilities or some identity-related characteristics. 


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