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This book is about the role of knowledge in information systems. Knowledge is usually articulated and exchanged through human language(s). In this sense, language can be seen as the most natural vehicle to convey our concepts, whose meanings are usually intermingled, grouped and organized according to shared criteria, from simple perceptions ("every tree has a stem") and common sense ("unsupported objects fall") to complex social conventions ("a tax is a fee charged by a government on a product, income, or activity"). But what is natural for a human being turns out to be extremely difficult for machines: machines need to be instilled with knowledge and suitably equipped with logical and statistical algorithms to reason over it. Computers can't represent the external world and communicate their representations as effectively as humans do: ontologies and NLP have been invented to face this problem: in particular, integrating ontologies with (possibly multi-lingual) computational lexical resources is an essential requirement to make human meanings understandable by machines. This book explores the advancements in this integration, from the most recent steps in building the necessary infrastructure, i.e. the Semantic Web, to the different knowledge contents that can be analyzed, encoded and transferred (multimedia, emotions, events, etc.) through it. The work aims at presenting the progress in the field of integrating ontologies and lexicons: together, they constitute the essential technology for adequately represent, elicit and exchange knowledge contents in information systems, web services, text processing and several other domains of application.
Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. K
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