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Path: Home | Structure | Working Groups | WP5 | Documents | Workshop 2004-07-06


Identification of user needs, content and quality framework for common access points Working group

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1° MINERVA Workshop
Knowledge Representation in the semantic cultural web

The seminar “Knowledge representation in the semantic cultural web” organized in Rome, 6 July 2004 in Palazzo Massimo, (Largo Peretti 1), is the first initiative coordinated by the Italian WG5 of the MINERVA project, in collaboration with W3C Italian office, in order to delineate the context of the semantic web and ontologies applied to cultural heritage. The Italian WG5 has committed itself in this field of research, creating and internal study committee on ‘Ontologies for cultural heritage’ headed by Oreste Signore. The object is to create a meeting point of experiences and diffusion of knowledge attained in this field. The results of the study committee will be presented at the Convention organized by MINERVA and the Italian Ministry of Culture that will take place in Venice in November 2004.

The seminar was articulated in four parts:

  • General framework, in which the themes and problems created by the application of ontologies in the sector of cultural heritage.
    Made contributions: Rossella Caffo (Head of the Minerva Project, Manager Service VI MiBAC), Fedora Filippi (Coordinator, Minerva project Italian WG5, Archaeologist of the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Roma), Oreste Signore (ISTI-CNR and W3C Office in Italy) Nicola Guarino (Laboratory of Applied Ontology of the ISTC-CNR)
  • The International context in which on-going projects have been presented, like the CIDOC CRM (a proposal for a Conceptual Reference Model fostered by the International Committee for Documentation of the International Council of Museums. It has the form of an object–oriented domain ontology for the interchange of rich and heterogeneous cultural heritage information from museums, libraries and archives and its purpose is to provide a building block for supporting the development of a global Semantic Cultural Web) and the development of ontologies carried out by the re-engineering of dictionaries, thesauri, controlled dictionaries, such as, for example, the Art and Architecture Thesaurus or the Cultural Heritage Thesaurus of the British Museum, obtained by extracting simple ontologies from texts.
    Made contributions: Oleg Missikoff (CeRSI-LUISS) and Aldo Gangemi (Laboratori of Appplied Ontology of the ISTC-CNR)
  • Experiences and projects, in which some results obtained in the field of Italian research were presented: In particular Paola Moscati (Istituto di Studi sulle Civiltà Italiche e del Mediterraneo Antico – CNR) presented the work carried out by ISCIMA of the CNR for the codification of non structured archaeological documents for the creation of a model of on-line archiving, management and consultation of data concerning archaeological research carried out in Etruria and the Sabina tiberina, which emphasised the use of Metadata for ontology, research, and communication in archaeology.
    Marco Berni (Institute and Museum of the History of Science of Florence) described the work on ontologies carried out by the Institute and Museum of the History of Science of Florence initiated with the European Project MESMUSES.
    The Project BRICKS (Building Resources for Integrated Cultural Knowledge Services) has among its objectives the creation of the technological and organisational foundations of a ‘Digital Library’ in the ambit of the European Digital Memory. An on-line system of services on completely available collections of digital documents will be set up, providing diverse levels of information according to the user profile and access modalities. Francesco Nucci of Engineering Roma, partner in the Project, described the Bricks approach to ontologies: emerging semantics. Great attention will be dedicated to the semantic web standard (like RDF(S), OWL), working in collaboration with the Minerva Project. BRICKS will use many onthologies to describe specific Cultural Contents. At the same time BRICKS aims to manage different agreements between different onthologies In this way it will be possible to create areas of co-operation. These areas will co-operate with each other to share contents and services.
    Paola Velardi (teacher within the Dipartimento di Informatica - Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’) presented OntoLearn, a methodology and a battery of software tools that use text mining and statistical techniques to construct a domain ontology for automatic semantic annotation.
  • Future Prospects. The day concluded with the presentation of Oreste Signore which traced the lines for the development of ‘A reference model for the semantic cultural web’. In particular, Signore indicated the problem of semantic interoperability as an important aspect in the domain of representing knowledge of cultural heritage. The complexity is made up by the harmonization of the descriptive screens and the ontologies, two tightly connected aspects. In fact, one has keep in mind that the organisation of the concepts (ontological aspect) cannot be separate from or unrelated to the scheme adopted to represent the information. In other words, the complexity deriving, for example, from the specialisation of the objects by function or type (e.g. flying buttress, ointment jar, spiral column) must necessarily find place in a classification system (thesaurus) or in the articulation of the descriptive card (namely sector, sub-sector, characteristic). It therefore follows that the semantic interoperability among collections cannot be faced by simply finding equivalent terms, not an easy task in itself, but must take into account how a determinate organisation of concepts can be translated towards a specific plan of representation.
    In the ambit of the Italian WG5’s activity experiments on the material of current projects will be carried out.

To view the programme, the abstracts and the presentations consult W3C website at the address http://www.w3c.it/events/minerva20040706/index.html


Copyright Minerva Project 2004-09, last revision 2004-09-03, edited by Minerva Editorial Board.
URL: www.minervaeurope.org/structure/workinggroups/userneeds/docoments/seminariowp504_07_06.htm