A linguistic ontology of space for natural language processing

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We present a detailed semantics for linguistic spatial expressions supportive of computational processing that draws substantially on the principles and tools of ontological engineering and formal ontology. We cover language concerned with space, actions in space and spatial relationships and develop an ontological organization that relates such expressions to general classes of fixed semantic import. The result is given as an extension of a linguistic ontology, the Generalized Upper Model, an organization which has been used for over a decade in natural language processing applications. We describe the general nature and features of this ontology and show how we have extended it for working particularly with space. Treaitng the semantics of natural language expressions concerning space in this way offers a substantial simplification of the general problem of relating natural spatial language to its contextualized interpretation. Example specifications based on natural language examples are presented, as well as an evaluation of the ontology's coverage, consistency, predictive power, and applicability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1071
JournalArtificial Intelligence
Volume174
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010
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