Livre: Cimiano etal, Ontology-Based Interpretation of Natural Language

Thierry Hamon hamon at LIMSI.FR
Wed Apr 23 18:26:19 UTC 2014

Date: Mon, 21 Apr 2014 08:55:37 +1000
From: Graeme Hirst <gh at>
Message-Id: <0795CDBE-E352-4F08-84A3-BD662997A156 at>


Ontology-Based Interpretation of Natural Language

by Philipp Cimiano, Christina Unger, and John McCrae
(Semantic Computing Group, CITEC, Bielefeld University, Germany)

Synthesis Lectures on Human Language Technologies #24 (Morgan &
Claypool Publishers), 2014, 178 pages


For humans, understanding a natural language sentence or discourse is so
effortless that we hardly ever think about it. For machines, however,
the task of interpreting natural language, especially grasping meaning
beyond the literal content, has proven extremely difficult and requires
a large amount of background knowledge. This book focuses on the
interpretation of natural language with respect to specific domain
knowledge captured in ontologies. The main contribution is an approach
that puts ontologies at the center of the interpretation process. This
means that ontologies not only provide a formalization of domain
knowledge necessary for interpretation but also support and guide the
construction of meaning representations.

We start with an introduction to ontologies and demonstrate how
linguistic information can be attached to them by means of the ontology
lexicon model lemon. These lexica then serve as basis for the automatic
generation of grammars, which we use to compositionally construct
meaning representations that conform with the vocabulary of an
underlying ontology. As a result, the level of representational
granularity is not driven by language but by the semantic distinctions
made in the underlying ontology and thus by distinctions that are
relevant in the context of a particular domain. We highlight some of the
challenges involved in the construction of ontology-based meaning
representations, and show how ontologies can be exploited for ambiguity
resolution and the interpretation of temporal expressions.  Finally, we
present a question answering system that combines all tools and
techniques introduced throughout the book in a real-world application,
and sketch how the presented approach can scale to larger, multi-domain
scenarios in the context of the Semantic Web.

Table of Contents: List of Figures / Preface / Acknowledgments /
Introduction / Ontologies / Linguistic Formalisms / Ontology Lexica /
Grammar Generation / Putting Everything Together / Ontological Reasoning
for Ambiguity Resolution / Temporal Interpretation / Ontology-Based
Interpretation for Question Answering / Conclusion / Bibliography /
Authors' Biographies

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