The Ontological Semantic Perspective on the Semantic Web

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Chapter: New York City

Date: Aug 24, 2007 · 6:30 PM

Location: Gallery Systems, 261 W. 35th Street - 12th Floor New York, NY 10001-1902 New York City

Event ID: 5950196


The Ontological Semantic Perspective on the Semantic Web

Victor Raskin, Purdue University &,

Christian F. Hempelmann,,

The Semantic Web is a good and obvious idea. Its successful implementation, however, depends on two major components, the adequacy of the formalism used to represent the content and the methods of rendering texts into that formalism. The paper will focus on the general and current issues with both components. It will underscore Bar Hillel's early criticism of mathematical logicians for favoring the manipulation of the logical format to define rules of inference and similar issues over the adequacy of the format. It will also claim that the Semantic Web's (and now, apparently, Google's) idea of relying on manual tagging of web pages with OWL or something like it by individual website owners is a Mao-like dream and a fatal error.

What is Ontological Semantics?

Ontological Semantics (OntoSem)

Ontological Semantics (OntoSem) is a formal and comprehensive linguistic theory of meaning in natural language. As such, it bears significantly on philosophy of language, mathematical logic, and cognitive science. It is a rapidly growing area of intense academic research and of active practical implementations, of which is by far the leading one.

OntoSem offers an advanced methodology and technology for natural language processing, the only one of its kind, so far, to access the full meaning of the text it handles. As such, it is also a set of well-developed and constantly improving resources, including a language-independent ontology of thousands of interrelated concepts; an ontology-based English lexicon of 100,000 word senses, and counting (plus, the lexicons for several other languages under construction); and an ontological parser which "translates" every sentence of the text into its text meaning representation, approximating the complete understanding of the sentence by the native speaker.

An important part of the approach is the well-developed and constantly improving acquisition toolbox which ensures the homogeneity of the ontological concepts and lexical entries by different acquirers of limited training and the proven portability and extensibility of the resources to new domains. Constantly developing, OntoSem is actively researching meaning-based inferencing and reasoning. More information on Ontological Semantics can be found at