Connecting works of art within the semantic web of symbolic meanings

Sartini, Bruno (2023) Connecting works of art within the semantic web of symbolic meanings, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Culture letterarie e filologiche, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/11020.
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My doctoral research is about the modelling of symbolism in the cultural heritage domain, and on connecting artworks based on their symbolism through knowledge extraction and representation techniques. In particular, I participated in the design of two ontologies: one models the relationships between a symbol, its symbolic meaning, and the cultural context in which the symbol symbolizes the symbolic meaning; the second models artistic interpretations of a cultural heritage object from an iconographic and iconological (thus also symbolic) perspective. I also converted several sources of unstructured data, a dictionary of symbols and an encyclopaedia of symbolism, and semi-structured data, DBpedia and WordNet, to create HyperReal, the first knowledge graph dedicated to conventional cultural symbolism. By making use of HyperReal's content, I showed how linked open data about cultural symbolism could be utilized to initiate a series of quantitative studies that analyse (i) similarities between cultural contexts based on their symbologies, (ii) broad symbolic associations, (iii) specific case studies of symbolism such as the relationship between symbols, their colours, and their symbolic meanings. Moreover, I developed a system that can infer symbolic, cultural context-dependent interpretations from artworks according to what they depict, envisioning potential use cases for museum curation. I have then re-engineered the iconographic and iconological statements of Wikidata, a widely used general-domain knowledge base, creating ICONdata: an iconographic and iconological knowledge graph. ICONdata was then enriched with automatic symbolic interpretations. Subsequently, I demonstrated the significance of enhancing artwork information through alignment with linked open data related to symbolism, resulting in the discovery of novel connections between artworks. Finally, I contributed to the creation of a software application. This application leverages established connections, allowing users to investigate the symbolic expression of a concept across different cultural contexts through the generation of a three-dimensional exhibition of artefacts symbolising the chosen concept.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Sartini, Bruno
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Symbolism; Linked Open Data; Semantic Web; Cultural Heritage; Knowledge Graph; Ontology Engineering
Data di discussione
4 Luglio 2023

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