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

Peter Patel-Schneider pfpschneider at gmail.com
Sat Aug 17 18:51:30 CEST 2013

There are entire lines of research on how to map NL constructs into domain
vocabulary.  In some sense, you are asking for complete natural language

I believe that using an ontology as part of the bridge is a very good
idea.  However, there is much more to natural language than can be
expressed in ontologies (unless you believe that all knowledge is just an
ontology).   Certainly current DLs don't express rules, or action, or ....

You could think of DLs as providing some machinery to talk about static
noun phrases that are not too complex.


On Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 4:45 AM, Olivier Austina
<olivier.austina at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi,
> 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.
> Regards
> Olivier
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