Guest Speaker: Jerry R. Hobbs

Ontologies of Time, Space, and Events

Jerry R. Hobbs
Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California

Monday February 13, 2006, EE/CSci 5-212

In this talk I will describe three ontology-building efforts. The first, OWL-Time, has been developed with the intent of having it be a broadly shared ontolgy of time for the Semantic Web. It covers the topological properties of time, such as the "before" relation and the relations in Allen's interval calculus; measures of duration; clock and calendar concepts; temporal granularity; temporal aggregates, and temporal arithmetic. I'll also talk about discovering the implicit temporal information in event descriptions. Then I"ll describe a similar effort on an ontology of spatial properties and relations. It is intended to cover the areas that correspond to the areas covered by OWL-Time, with additions due to the multidimensionality of space. Specifically, it will cover topological properties as represented in the region connection calculus RCC-8; dimensionality and frames of reference; shape and orientation; measures of length, area, and volume; longitude, lattitude and altitude; and geographical and political regions and subregions. The third ontology is ontology of event structure, as exemplified in two projects, one to develop the Video Event Representation Language (VERL) for describing primitive and complex actions and events in video data, and the other to develop a representation for translating among the various leading representation schemes for representing complex events. The aim is to provide the vocabulary for linking up structural and functional descriptions of events.

Bio: Dr. Jerry R. Hobbs is a prominent researcher in the fields of computational linguistics, discourse analysis, and artificial intelligence. He earned his doctor's degree from New York University in 1974 in computer science. He has taught at Yale University and the City University of New York. From 1977 to 2002 he was with the Artificial Intelligence Center at SRI International, Menlo Park, California, where he was a principal scientist and program director of the Natural Language Program. He has written numerous papers in the areas of parsing, syntax, semantic interpretation, information extraction, knowledge representation, encoding commonsense knowledge, discourse analysis, the structure of conversation, and the Semantic Web. He is the author of the book "Literature and Cognition", and was also editor of the book "Formal Theories of the Commonsense World". He led SRI's text-understanding research, and directed the development of the abduction-based TACITUS system for text understanding, and the FASTUS system for rapid extraction of information from text based on finite-state automata. The latter system constituted the basis for an SRI spinoff, Discern Communications. In September 2002 he took a position as senior computer scientist and research professor at the Information Sciences Institute, University of Southern California. He has been a consulting professor with the Linguistics Department and the Symbolic Systems Program at Stanford University. He has served as general editor of the Ablex Series on Artificial Intelligence. He is a past president of the Association for Computational Linguistics, and is a Fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence. In January 2003 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Uppsala, Sweden.
Copyright: © 2006 by the Regents of the University of Minnesota
Department of Computer Science and Engineering. All rights reserved.
Comments to: Maria Gini