Representing Narratives in Digital Libraries: The Narrative Ontology

Tracking #: 2574-3788

Carlo Meghini
Valentina Bartalesi
Daniele Metilli

Responsible editor: 
Special Issue Cultural Heritage 2019

Submission type: 
Full Paper
Digital Libraries (DLs), especially in the Cultural Heritage domain, are rich in narratives. Every digital object in a DL tells some kind of story, regardless of the medium, the genre, or the type of the object. However, DLs do not offer services about narratives, for example it is not possible to discover a narrative, to create one, or to compare two narratives. Certainly, DLs offer discovery functionalities over their contents, but these services merely address the objects that carry the narratives (e.g. books, images, audiovisual objects), without regard for the narratives themselves. The present work aims at introducing narratives as first-class citizens in DLs, by providing a formal expression of what a narrative is. In particular, this paper presents a conceptualization of the domain of narratives, and its specification through the Narrative Ontology (NOnt for short), expressed in first-order logic. NOnt has been implemented as an extension of three standard vocabularies, i.e. the CIDOC CRM, FRBRoo, and OWL Time, and using the SWRL rule language to express the axioms. An initial validation of NOnt has been performed in the context of the Mingei European project, in which the ontology has been applied to the representation of knowledge about Craft Heritage.
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Solicited Reviews:
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Review #1
Anonymous submitted on 01/Oct/2020
Review Comment:

The paper has been significantly improved:
- a running example has been introduced and used throughout the paper. Thanks to this example, the proposition is clearly illustrated.
- SPARQL queries generated from the NBVT tool are provided to show the impact in practice of the Narrative Ontology.
- The formal part of the paper has been edited to highlight the originality of the proposition.

Thus, my comments have been adressed and I suggest to accept the paper.

Review #2
Anonymous submitted on 08/Oct/2020
Review Comment:

This revised submission addresses all pending comments. Specifically:
- Some good examples have been added in Section 6 and 8, which demonstrate clearly the use of the ontology and the NBVT tool, which has been built on top of it.
- The code of the SPARQL queries that implement the described functionality of NBVT has been added in an appendix.
- A clear explanation was added about how the concept of 'role' is modelled in the ontology.
- Partic(c) is now described more accurately.

I do not have any further comments and believe that the paper is now ready for publication.