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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An Ontological approach to representing historical knowledge Abar, Vanesa Mirzaee


Electronic versions of historical documents are traditionally limited in both the representations they allow as well as the level of computational manipulation they support. Most electronic documents have two minimal advantages over their hard-copy printed counterparts: availability and keyword search. This means that electronic versions of printed matter do not allow the search for concepts, or the relations between concepts, found within a document. In this work, we present a novel approach to this issue by using ontologies to represent the semantics of the knowledge contained in historical documents. We utilize an evolving methodology to design and build an ontology to represent the information in the book, "The History of the Iranian Constitution. " After a review of available ontology development environments, we selected Protege-2000 to formalize and instantiate our ontology. The ontology was later evaluated by utilizing a set of competency questions and motivating scenarios. Our implementation was successful in answering these questions as well as in providing support for the selected scenarios. Our implementation and the evaluation results are presented along with our proposed future work.

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