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From Conceptual Blending to Computational Concept Invention

Seminar by Oliver Kutz from KRDB Research Centre on Knowledge and Data of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

14 June 2018 from 15:00 to 17:00

Aula Affreschi, via Zamboni 34

In cognitive science, the theory of conceptual blending provides an explanation of the human ability to invent concepts. This cognitive theory provides an inspiration for computational concept invention theory, which has the goal of building creative systems that generate new concepts automatically. In this talk, I will summarise and discuss logical, ontological, and cognitive aspects of a computational theory for conceptual blending as it was developed within the FP7 project COINVENT.  One critical question for the development of such a system is the choice of an appropriate representation language. For this purpose we use the Distributed Ontology, Model and Specification Language (DOL). DOL is a metalanguage that enables the reuse of existing ontologies as building blocks for new ontologies and, further, allows the specification of intended relationships between ontologies and the abstract specification of blending diagrams. A second critical question is how to evaluate the generated concepts and generally steer the invention process. In cognitive linguistics, image schemas are understood as conceptual building blocks that are learned in early infancy and which shape not only language but conceptualisation as a whole. I will discuss the role that image schemas play in concept invention, and will motivate and outline a formalisation approach to image schemas representing them as interlinked families of theories.


Oliver Kutz is an assistant professor in the KRDB Research Centre on Knowledge and Data of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy. His research focus is on non-classical logics, knowledge representation, ontologies, computational creativity and cognitive modelling.  
He co-designed the logic underlying the web ontology language OWL in 2006, and more recently co-designed the 'Distributed Ontology Language DOL', OMG-standardised in 2017. He authored more than 80 publications in books and peer reviewed international journals, conferences and workshops, co-organised numerous international events, and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Applied Ontology.
He is the General Chair of the 10th International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 2018) and elected Vice-President of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications