[DL] Mapping words or utterances (in natural language) to ontology concepts

Olivier Austina olivier.austina at gmail.com
Tue Aug 13 13:45:21 CEST 2013

My question is about mapping a word or an utterance (in natural language)
to ontology for Natural Language Interface to DataBase (NLIDB). The
database can be an RDF graph or traditional database.
The problem is that the lexicon derived from the ontology is very limited
to cover how the natural language can express the concepts of the ontology.
It is possible to enriched labels of the ontology with synonymy or
hypernymy/hyponymy but it is still insufficient to cover the way natural
language can refer to ontology concepts.

The first motivation is not reasoning but be able to map natural language
to ontology. I think Description Logic is suitable for this task by
providing  a way a word or an  utterance can be describe according a given
ontology but I don't know how far it is possible to go with DL (strength
and limitation of DL for this kind of task).

This an example taken from the DL handbook 2003 (p. 93) :

for a person having at least 2 sons and at most 5 daughters.

Somtimes, it is possible to have an expression or function instead of
integer like 2 or 5 in this example to quantify roles or concepts. For
example : A person with more than a third of her children are males. The
expression or th function can be provided by a formal query language such
as SQL or SPARQL or a user defined functions.
My questions are the following:

Can DL support an arbitrary expression, function?
What can be expressed using DL and cannot be expressed (the motivation s
not reasoning but mapping natural language to ontology concept).

Any suggestion is welcome. Thanks.

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