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Title: An ontology-based approach to exploring connections between historical events
Author: Corda, Ilaria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 3360
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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Exploring connections between events is paramount to any historical and philosophical investigation. Historians will always be eager to draw connections between events, so that they can better establish the significance of certain happenings and measure their impact effectively. Seeking out information in historical and philosophical domains is complex, multifaceted and requires unveiling and exploring new associations and relationships between happenings. Although several event models and information systems for handling connections between events have been developed so far, there is a lack of formal approaches to build a framework for connecting historical events. Our work contributes to the field of Computing for Humanities, i.e. the field that bridges humanities disciplines and computational approaches. The aim of this research is to describe a formal approach for generating Semantic Trajectories, defined as logically constructed paths derived from an Event Ontology and semantically enriched by using a set of rules as well as connection templates definitions. Our approach employs Semantic Trajectories to help users discover key ideas and explore relevant connections, and it is illustrated in a case study from the History of Science domain. The thesis presents a framework for modelling events and representing temporal information. This was inspired by Davidson's theory of events in which each event-forming predicate is enriched with an additional argument to be filled: with a variable ranging over a number of specific dated occurrences (event-tokens). This results in a unified and systematic way to associate properties to historical events. Moreover, the temporal dimension between events, crucial element especially in historical domains, has been modelled following Allen's interval relationships model, which allows comparing time points between events. We have also specified our temporal framework further in order to deal with time points of different granularity. Our formal framework has been implemented using Logic programming paradigms for the conceptual data modelling and reasoning apparatus. Furthermore, we have evaluated our generic approach in the application domain of Knowledge Discovery for supporting essay writing with the aim of helping students identify semantically connected historical events and entities, according to an essay title.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available