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Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa


Thesis etd-10222021-095519

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
Thesis title
Enhancing the Computational Representation of Narrative and Its Extraction from Text
Academic discipline
Course of study
tutor Dott. Meghini, Carlo
supervisore Prof.ssa Simi, Maria
  • knowledge extraction
  • narrative
  • natural language processing
  • ontology
  • Semantic Web
  • Wikidata
Graduation session start date
Narratives are a fundamental part of human life. Every human being encounters countless stories during their life, and these stories contribute to form a common understanding of reality. This is reflected in the current digital landscape, and especially on the Web, where narratives are published and shared everyday. However, the current digital representation of narratives is limited by the fact that each narrative is generally expressed as natural language text or other media, in an unstructured way that is neither standardized nor machine-readable. These limitations hinder the manageability of narratives by automated systems. One way to solve this problem would be to create an ontology of narrative, i.e., a formal model of what a narrative is, then develop semi-automated methods to extract narratives from natural language text, and use the extracted data to populate the ontology. This thesis attempts to investigate this research question, starting from the state of the art in the fields of Computational Narratology, Semantic Web, and Natural Language Processing. After identifying a set of requirements, we have developed an informal conceptualization of narrative and expressed it using First-Order Logic. The result of this work is the Narrative Ontology (NOnt), a formal model of narrative that also includes a representation of its textual structure and textual semantics. Based on the ontology, we have developed NarraNext, a semi-automatic tool that is able to extract the main elements of narrative from natural language text. The tool allows the user to create a complete narrative based on a text, using the extracted knowledge to populate the ontology.