A knowledge-based approach to Information Extraction for semantic interoperability in the archaeology domain

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The article presents a method for automatic semantic indexing of archaeological grey-literature reports using empirical (rule-based) Information Extraction techniques in combination with domain-specific knowledge organization systems. The semantic annotation system (OPTIMA) performs the tasks of Named Entity Recognition, Relation Extraction, Negation Detection, and Word-Sense Disambiguation using hand-crafted rules and terminological resources for associating contextual abstractions with classes of the standard ontology CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM) for cultural heritage and its archaeological extension, CRM-EH. Relation Extraction (RE) performance benefits from a syntactic-based definition of RE patterns derived from domain oriented corpus analysis. The evaluation also shows clear benefit in the use of assistive natural language processing (NLP) modules relating to Word-Sense Disambiguation, Negation Detection, and Noun Phrase Validation, together with controlled thesaurus expansion. The semantic indexing results demonstrate the capacity of rule-based Information Extraction techniques to deliver interoperable semantic abstractions (semantic annotations) with respect to the CIDOC CRM and archaeological thesauri. Major contributions include recognition of relevant entities using shallow parsing NLP techniques driven by a complimentary use of ontological and terminological domain resources and empirical derivation of context-driven RE rules for the recognition of semantic relationships from phrases of unstructured text.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138-1152
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number5
Early online date21 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2016


  • natural language processing
  • text mining
  • semantic analysis


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