Chronoscopes: A theory of underspecified temporal representations

Author Inderjeet Mani

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Inderjeet Mani

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Inderjeet Mani. Chronoscopes: A theory of underspecified temporal representations. In Annotating, Extracting and Reasoning about Time and Events. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Volume 5151, pp. 1-11, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2005)


Representation and reasoning about time and events is a fundamental aspect of our cognitive abilities and intrinsic to our construal of the structure of our personal and historical lives and recall of past experiences. This talk describes an abstract device called a Chronoscope, that allows a temporal representation (a set of events and their temporal relations) to be viewed based on temporal abstractions. The temporal representation is augmented with abstract events called episodes that stand for discourse segments. The temporal abstractions allow one to collapse temporal relations, or view the representation at different time granularities (hour, day, month, year, etc.), with corresponding changes in event characterization and temporal relations at those granularities. A temporal representation can also be filtered to specify temporal trajectories of particular participants. Trajectories, in turn, can be intersected at various levels of granularity. Chronoscopes can be used to compare temporal representations (e.g., for aggregation, summarization, or evaluation purposes), as well as help in the visualization of temporal narratives
  • Temporal abstraction
  • granularity
  • event structure


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