|User-generated knowledge through legal ontologies: how to bring the law into the Semantic Web 2.0|
|Monday, 19 December 2011 19:02|
On December 6th, Meritxell Fernández successfully defended her PhD Thesis "User-generated knowledge through legal ontologies: how to bring the law into the Semantic Web 2.0", at the European University Institute of Florence. The thesis studies the impact of including different textual genres as sources for knowledge acquisition in legal ontology engineering. Results show a correspondence between discourse type and their input for the construction of the ontology. Whereas normative sources mostly contribute to the creation of the most general classes of the domain ontology, case descriptions provide subclasses and instances (in the form of named entities).
The complete abstract of the thesis:
This thesis presents a study of the epistemological and cognitive assumptions which currently underlie knowledge acquisition for legal ontology engineering. The hypothesis is that such assumptions might have a qualitative effect on the final ontological-terminological resources and therefore on the performance of the systems which use them.The first part of the thesis presents the state of the art in legal ontology engineering (the computational concept of ontology, a review of available legal ontologies and modelling methodologies). The second part of the thesis shows that currently knowledge acquisition in legal ontology learning is limited to very concrete legal genres, namely, legislation, case law and legal doctrine. The third part presents a case study in which two different legal genres are used for building a consumer law ontology: a traditional legal genre, Italian consumer regulation, and a Web 2.0 genre, namely an online corpus of citizens‟ queries regarding consumer justice. Results proof the impact of legal genre variation on the construction of the domain ontology. Thus main findings suggest that Web 2.0 corpora are a rich source for the construction of ontological resources, and at the same time these new types of ontological resources might be useful in e-government applications aimed at increasing online communication with citizens.
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