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Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Environmental Thesaurus/Terminology Workshop UNEP.

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Presentation on theme: "Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Environmental Thesaurus/Terminology Workshop UNEP."— Presentation transcript:

1 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Environmental Thesaurus/Terminology Workshop UNEP Regional Office of Europe Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th EARTh E nvironmental A pplications R eference Th esaurus A proposal for a new environmental thesaurus model Paolo PLINI, Fulvio MAZZOCCHI CNR - Environmental Terminology Unit UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th

2 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche About us The Environmental Terminology Unit (UTA) is a research unit of the Institute for Atmospheric Pollution of CNR, the Italian National Research Council The Unit is active since 1987 in the field of the Environmental Knowledge Organization, Terminology and Thesauri. It was involved in the development of EnVoc (UNEP, 1997) and GEMET (EEA, 1999) The group is characterized by a interdisciplinary approach to environmental issues UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th

3 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Some Premises Some intrinsic and/or contingent weakness of traditional thesauri are emerging and are represented by: Weak conceptualisation; Structure too rigid or oriented to a single specific application; Limited differentiation of relations; Improvable semantic control; Improvable optimisation of the coverage; Limited usability in Artificial Intelligence environment … UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th The information environment is rapidly changing due to: Internet and its requirements; Data sharing and interoperability issues; Enlargement of information usership; Artificial Intelligence opportunities … Traditional thesauri present problems in satisfying all the requirements posed by the new information context. Thesauri have been developed mainly in library environment International Standards were produced more than 15 years ago.

4 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche We are working on a new thesaurus model to be applied in the environmental domain. The thesaurus should: The Vision UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th ensure the porting of the thesaurus into different technological applications. be able to represent a semantic mapping of the environmental domain and to ensure an optimal conceptual coverage; allow different levels of comprehensibility and applicability for users with different expertise; be able to combine the search of stable logical and conceptual basis with a flexibility towards different applications; be based on the awareness of the cultural dimension of knowledge organization;

5 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche –Software Delphi, SQL, Unicode, Client/Server Separate presentation EARTh Architecture UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th –Thesaurus Relations –Differentiation and better semantic expression of relations –Increased Semantic Control –Thesaurus Content –Optimised coverage –Updated conceptual and terminological content –Classification System –Based on Categories –Faceted structure –Thematic set-up to be developed for applications

6 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche EARTh Classification Scheme UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th The Classification Scheme of EARTh is based on categories. Categorial approach ensure: -stable conceptual basis for knowledge organization, -a tool to classify concepts starting from their most basic meaning, as referred to by the logic inherent to the system, -a stronger control over semantic arrangement, -top level applicability to different domains, enhancing interdisciplinarity. EARTh first and second level categories

7 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche EARTh Matrix Classification - 1 UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th Faceted structure The faceted structure of EARTh is based on different classification levels. The hierarchical arrangement completes the vertical structure of the Thesaurus. Node labels will indicate the use of different subdivision criteria in generic hierarchical relations.

8 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche EARTh Matrix Classification - 2 UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th Themes to be developed for applications The model envisages that the faceted structure may be complemented by a system of themes. Although CNR is developing an operational proposal, different thematic systems should be developed according to the specific needs of users.

9 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th EARTh Relations We are working to refine the relation arrangement. Each relation will be further differentiated into subtypes according to their semantic content. Differentiation of Partitive Relations (example from A Taxonomy of Part-Whole Relations, Westhoff et al., 1987) Integral object – component Collection – member Mass – portion Stuff – object Activity – feature Area – place Synonyms and lexical variants are being distinguished. The extended arrangement of relations will support better semantic control, conceptual navigation and automated processing. Increasing and specifying associative relations will better represent the conceptual interconnections of the domain, complementing the hierarchical structure.

10 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche EARTh Content The conceptual and terminological coverage is being optimised in order to represent a sound semantic map of the domain. The thesaurus content is being updated in order to follow the evolution of knowledge and of domain language. EARTh term base is represented by the selection made within the following sources: –GEMET (1999) –UN Environment and Development (1992) –Italian Thesaurus of Earth Sciences (2000) –Inland Water terminology (2001) –Snow and Ice Terminology (2003) –Remote Sensing Terminology (2004) –Emergency Management Terms Thesaurus (1998/2003) –other reference documents in specific fields or concerning contemporary science (chaos theory, complexity) or related to biocultural diversity issue. The terminological base is now approx terms. At present, EARTh contains about already selected and arranged. UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th

11 Institute for Atmospheric Pollution – Environmental Terminology Unit Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche Thank you for your attention! UNEP Workshop - Geneva, April 14 th – 15 th Paolo Plini, Fulvio Mazzocchi, Mario Palmera, Valentina De Santis, Bruno Felluga 2, Sandra Lucke 2, Sabina Di Franco 2 2 CNR-IIA consultant An EARTh Prototype Version should be presented in Rome in Dec. 2004


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