Please have a look at the following paragraph, taken from an Ordnance Survey technical report (if interested, it's here, on page 14 ).

A general principle is to keep hierarchies to shallow and use inheritance sparingly and only when it is genuinely required. Deep hierarchies make it difficult for concepts at the bottom of a hierarchy to be reused since they take with them a significant amount of baggage which may conflict with the structure of the receiving ontology. In fact a starting point for many ontologies are existing taxonomies which tend to have deep hierarchies, because the only relationship available for expression is the hierarchical one, and often this is misused.

I am not sure about that "keep ... to shallow" part.

1. Does "keep hierarchies to shallow" mean "don't build hierarchies having too many levels/tiers"?

2. I tried to guess the meaning of "keep hierarchies to shallow" from the context, and I assumed it was in contrast with "deep hierarchies," which I took to mean "hierarchies with lots of levels/tiers" ... or is this assumption incorrect?

3. Is shallow being used as a noun here? As a verb? I don't understand the structure.

Thank you very much! Emotion: smile
Hello Tanit,

Having read through some of the document, and noted occasional typos and misedits, I would take the phrase as an error for "to keep hierarchies shallow".

I would then say that your interpretations in #1 and #2 are correct.

All the best,

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Thanks, MrP!

It was being as an adjective, then!
The idea of a mistake/misprint didn't cross my mind, doh!

(It's soooo nice to have you back here! Emotion: smile)
Thank you!

(Yes, I would take it as an adjective. Even if the phrasing is intentional, and is therefore idiosyncratic, rather than the product of a typo, it would have the same meaning.)

Best wishes,