Semantic models and services for conservation and restoration of cultural heritage: a comprehensive survey

Tracking #: 2817-4031

Efthymia Moraitou
Yannis Christodoulou
George Caridakis

Responsible editor: 
Special Issue Cultural Heritage 2021

Submission type: 
Survey Article
Over the last decade, the Cultural Heritage (CH) domain has gradually adopted Semantic Web (SW) technologies for organizing information and for tackling interoperability issues. Several semantic models have been proposed which accommo-date essential aspects of information management: retrieval, integration, reuse and sharing. In this context, the CH subdomain of Conservation and Restoration (CnR) exhibits an increasing interest in SW technologies, in an attempt to effectively handle the highly heterogeneous and often secluded CnR information. This paper investigates semantic models relevant to the CnR knowledge domain. The scope, development methodology and coverage of CnR aspects are described and discussed. Further-more, the evaluation, deployment and current exploitation of each model are examined, with focus on the types and variety of services provided to support the CnR professional. Through this study, the following research questions are investigated: To what extent the various aspects of CnR are covered by existing CnR models? To what extent existing CnR models incorporate models of the broader CH domain and of relevant disciplines (e.g., Chemistry)? In what ways and to what extent services built upon the reviewed models facilitate CnR professionals in their various tasks? Finally, based on the findings, fields of interest that merit further investigation are suggested.
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Minor Revision

Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
By Valentina Carriero submitted on 17/Jun/2021
Review Comment:

I thank the authors for their response and for significantly revising the paper. They addressed all the issues I raised. I still believe that ontologies no longer available are only partly useful to be described in much detail, but I understand the criterion of this survey.
In my opinion, the paper is publishable, but I recommend that the authors take into account the few minor comments I listed below.

p. 4: "in order to eventually publish ICCD data as LOD": a big amount of ICCD data is already published as LOD (even if the project is still ongoing)

I would suggest to replace ref [22] (ODOCH) with "Carriero et al. 2021, Pattern-based design applied to cultural heritage knowledge graphs" ( Indeed, [22] does not add anything more than ref [23] (ISWC), on the contrary. Instead, this SWJ paper is more recent and contains many more insights.

p. 4: The CRM CRM --> CIDOC CRM?
p. 4: italian --> Italian
I still think that cited text should be in either italic or quotes.

Review #2
By Vincenzo Lombardo submitted on 05/Aug/2021
Major Revision
Review Comment:

Review of
Semantic models and services for conservation and restoration of cultural
heritage: a comprehensive survey
by Efthymia Moraitou, Yannis Christodoulou and George Caridakis
re-submitted after swj2647

The revised paper addresses some of the issues raised on my first review;
however, changes do not address the substance of the paper and the result is
a bit disappointing.
My general comment is that the paper is still overly long and tedious. I
still believe that the content of the paper is of interest to people working
in the CnR area and beyond in general CH. However, most of the information
reported in the paper (namely the list of model descriptions) should be
displayed effectively through a web resource, with appropriate shortcuts and
easy accesses to the major components of the descriptions. The journal paper
should rather address the major guidelines to the survey and avoid the
current length and unstructuring.
The most evident result of the re-submission is the extension from 10 to 16
surveyed models (while my suggestion was rather to identify the most
influential models) and the increased mentions to ontologies (e.g., ArCo):
these additions have not modified the final comments at all (ArCo does not
appear again in the paper).

The descriptions still contain heavy paragraphs, namely lists of names, which
are more suitable for a tech rep than a journal paper. Check e.g., the
"Furthermore, OPPRA reuses existing controlled vocabularies about i)
deterioration mechanisms and preservation methods, namely Getty Art and Ar-
chitecture Thesaurus (AAT) [47] and Visual Glossary of the Australian
Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM) [3], ii) artistic
techniques, namely AAT [47] and International Network for the Conservation of
Contemporary Art Database for Artists’ Archive (INCCA) [86] and iii)
materials and chemicals, namely RUG Spectral Database (from now on RUG) [53],
Conservation and Art Materials Encyclopedia Online (CAMEO) [71] and US
National Institute of Standards and Technology Chemistry Web-Book (from now
on NIST) [85]. OPPRA ontology consists of totally 2325 classes and 181
relations (either new or reused) [86]."
These issues are well synthesized in the Fig.2 at the end of the paper, and
can be omitted here.

The synthetic tables, not commented, which should clarify and harmonize the
several descriptions, are often useless. Check, e.g., the entry Materials &
technology for a number of models:
DOC-Culture: Artifact
PARCOURS: Conservation Object
CHAP: Physical artefact
What is the difference between Artifact, Conservation Object, and Physical
Artifact in the context of this paper? One goal of the paper should be to
harmonize these differences or explain them.
Or, more clamorous,
BCHO: Analysis
Then, at p.22, in the discussion section, these issues should arrive at some
conclusion (lesson learned, takeaway). Check the paragraph:
"The materials & technology aspect is covered by the majority (15 out of 16)
of the reviewed models. This is expected since the conservation object
itself, its structure, materials and features are in the center of the
initial stage of the CnR process, i.e. the establishment of the conservation
project (see Section 1)."
I hope to have clarified my concerns.

I had started to mark typos and specific corrections, but then I gave up this
"this paper reviews the development and deployment of semantic models
developed for the CnR domain"
"Semantic Web and CIDOC CRM": "and" not in italics
The CRM CRM and its official extensions ...