Leveraging a Narrative Ontology to Query a Literary Text

Authors Anas Fahad Khan, Andrea Bellandi, Giulia Benotto, Francesca Frontini, Emiliano Giovannetti, Marianne Reboul

Thumbnail PDF


  • Filesize: 1.47 MB
  • 10 pages

Document Identifiers

Author Details

Anas Fahad Khan
Andrea Bellandi
Giulia Benotto
Francesca Frontini
Emiliano Giovannetti
Marianne Reboul

Cite AsGet BibTex

Anas Fahad Khan, Andrea Bellandi, Giulia Benotto, Francesca Frontini, Emiliano Giovannetti, and Marianne Reboul. Leveraging a Narrative Ontology to Query a Literary Text. In 7th Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative (CMN 2016). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 53, pp. 10:1-10:10, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2016)


In this work we propose a model for the representation of the narrative of a literary text. The model is structured in an ontology and a lexicon constituting a knowledge base that can be queried by a system. This narrative ontology, as well as describing the actors, locations, situations found in the text, provides an explicit formal representation of the timeline of the story. We will focus on a specific case study, that of the representation of a selected portion of Homer's Odyssey, in particular of the knowledge required to answer a selection of salient queries, formulated by a literary scholar. This work is being carried out within the framework of the Semantic Web by adopting models and standards such as RDF, OWL, SPARQL, and lemon among others.
  • Ontology
  • Lexicon
  • Computational Narratology
  • Time
  • Semantic Web


  • Access Statistics
  • Total Accesses (updated on a weekly basis)
    PDF Downloads


  1. Fabio Ciotti. Toward a formal ontology for narrative. Matlit: Revista do Programa de Doutoramento em Materialidades da Literatura, 4:29-44, 2016. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.14195/2182-8830_4-1_2.
  2. Fabio Ciotti, Maurizio Lana, and Francesca Tomasi. TEI, ontologies, linked open data: Geolat and beyond. Journal of the Text Encoding Initiative, 8, 2014. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4000/jtei.1365.
  3. Rossana Damiano and Antonio Lieto. Ontological Representations of Narratives: a Case Study on Stories and Actions. In Mark A. Finlayson, Bernhard Fisseni, Benedikt Löwe, and Jan Christoph Meister, editors, 2013 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative, volume 32 of OpenAccess Series in Informatics (OASIcs), pages 76-93, Dagstuhl, Germany, 2013. Schloss Dagstuhl-Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.4230/OASIcs.CMN.2013.76.
  4. Danica Damljanovic, Valentin Tablan, and Kalina Bontcheva. A text-based query interface to OWL ontologies. In The 6th International Conference on Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC), pages 205-212, 2008. Google Scholar
  5. David K. Elson. Modeling Narrative Discourse. PhD thesis, Columbia University, 2012. Google Scholar
  6. Mark A. Finlayson. Learning narrative structure from annotated folktales. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011. Google Scholar
  7. Fabio Grandi and Maria R. Scalas. The valid ontology: A simple OWL temporal versioning framework. In Advances in Semantic Processing, 2009. SEMAPRO'09. Third International Conference on, pages 98-102, 2009. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/SEMAPRO.2009.12.
  8. Michael O. Jewell, K. Faith Lawrence, Mischa M. Tuffield, Adam Prugel-Bennett, David E. Millard, Mark S. Nixon, Nigel R. Shadbolt, et al. Ontomedia: An ontology for the representation of heterogeneous media. In In Proceedings of SIGIR workshop on Mutlimedia Information Retrieval, 2005. Google Scholar
  9. John P. McCrae, Christiane Fellbaum, and Philipp Cimiano. Publishing and Linking WordNet using lemon and RDF. In Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Linked Data in Linguistics, 2014. URL: https://github.com/jmccrae/wn-rdf-paper/raw/master/rdf-wordnet.pdf.
  10. John P. McCrae, Dennis Spohr, and Philipp Cimiano. Linking Lexical Resources and Ontologies on the Semantic Web with lemon. In Proceedings of the 8th Extended Semantic Web Conference, pages 245-249, 2011. Google Scholar
  11. Glenn W. Most. The structure and function of Odysseus' Apologoi. Transactions of the American Philological Association (1974-), 119:15-30, 1989. Google Scholar
  12. Natalya Fridman Noy and Alan Rector. Defining N-ary relations on the semantic web, 2006. Google Scholar
  13. Borislav Popov, Atanas Kiryakov, Damyan Ognyanoff, Dimitar Manov, and Angel Kirilov. KIM–a semantic platform for information extraction and retrieval. Natural Language Engineering, 10(3-4):375-392, 2004. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S135132490400347X.
  14. Elahe Rahimtoroghi, Thomas Corcoran, Reid Swanson, Marilyn A. Walker, Kenji Sagae, and Andrew Gordon. Minimal narrative annotation schemes and their applications. In Seventh Intelligent Narrative Technologies Workshop, 2014. Google Scholar
  15. Rolf Schwitter. Controlled natural languages for knowledge representation. In 23rd International Conference on Computational Linguistics, pages 1113-1121. Association for Computational Linguistics, 2010. Google Scholar
  16. Neel D. Smith and Christopher W. Blackwell. Four URLs, limitless apps: separation of concerns in the Homer multitext architecture. Donum natalicium digitaliter confectum Gregorio Nagy septuagenario a discipulis collegis familiaribus oblatum: A Virtual Birthday Gift Presented to Gregory Nagy on Turning Seventy by His Students, Colleagues, and Friends, 2012. Google Scholar
  17. Mischa M. Tuffield, Dave E. Millard, and Nigel R. Shadbolt. Ontological approaches to modelling narrative, 2006. URL: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/261962/.
  18. Jasper R. R. Uijlings. Designing a virtual environment for story generation. Master’s thesis, University of Amsterdam, 2006. Google Scholar
  19. Chris Welty and Richard Fikes. A reusable ontology for fluents in OWL. In Proceedings of the 2006 Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference (FOIS 2006), pages 226-236, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2006. IOS Press. Google Scholar
  20. Dov Winer. Language, Culture, Computation. Computing of the Humanities, Law, and Narratives: Essays Dedicated to Yaacov Choueka on the Occasion of His 75th Birthday, Part II, chapter Review of Ontology Based Storytelling Devices, pages 394-405. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2014. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-45324-3_12.
  21. Gian Piero Zarri. Representation and management of complex 'narrative' information. In Part II of Essays Dedicated to Yaacov Choueka on Language, Culture, Computation. Computing of the Humanities, Law, and Narratives - Volume 8002, pages 118-137. Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., 2014. URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-45324-3_8.
  22. Amélie Zöllner-Weber. Noctua literaria : a computer-aided approach for the formal description of literary characters using an ontology. PhD thesis, Bielefeld University, 2008. Google Scholar
  23. Amélie Zöllner-Weber and Andreas Witt. Ontology for a formal description of literary characters. In Proceedings of Digital Humanities 2006, 2006. Google Scholar
Questions / Remarks / Feedback

Feedback for Dagstuhl Publishing

Thanks for your feedback!

Feedback submitted

Could not send message

Please try again later or send an E-mail