Speaker: Stella Verkijk and Piek Vossen
Affiliation: 1, Department of Language, Literature and Communication, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 2, Huygens Institute, The Netherlands
Title: Sunken Ships Shan’t Sail: Ontology Design for Reconstructing Events in the Dutch East India Company Archives
Abstract: This short paper describes ongoing work on the design of an event ontology that supports state-of-the-art event extraction in the archives of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The ontology models Dynamic Events (actions or processes) and Static Events (states). By modelling the transition of a given to a new state as a logical implication that can be inferred automatically from the occurrence of a Dynamic Event, the ontology supports implied information extraction. It also considers implied sub-event detection and models event arguments as coreferential between event classes where possible. By doing so, it enables the extraction of much more information than is only explicitly stated in the archival texts with minimal annotation effort. We define this complete event extraction task that adopts both Natural Language Processing techniques as well as reasoning components as Event Reconstruction. The Event Reconstruction module will be embedded in a search interface that facilitates historical research in the VOC archives.