[foaf-dev] Fictional stuff

Simon Reinhardt simon.reinhardt at koeln.de
Fri Jun 5 16:01:14 CEST 2009


I'm quite impressed by the completeness of OntoMedia. It is definitely the sort of thing I had in mind and seems to cover so many areas. :-) I will try to root my project in it.
As you say though, pity that most of the pages around it got taken down. What I could find working still is: [1][2][3][4]. The latter contains all the ontology files, though I don't know how up-to-date they are of course. I spotted a few mistakes in them and I have a few questions here and there. But I see large potential in this when published in a stable space and according to best practices [5], together with some more documenation and a couple more examples (smaller in scope, maybe in Turtle for increased readability), and mapped to other vocabularies (for example the Event [6] and Timeline [7] ontologies, hence inviting Yves Raimond to the discussion ;-) ).
So I think it'd be nice to have some space where work on this can be continued collaboratively and where I can ask more questions about your work. So yeah, I want to continue discussing this and preferably off the FOAF list but still publicly. A Google group maybe or even a Google code project so we have a wiki?


[1] http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/research/projects/309
[2] http://interaction.ecs.soton.ac.uk/ir/projects/ontomedia/
[3] http://interaction.ecs.soton.ac.uk/ir/projects/ontomedia/examples/
[4] http://interaction.ecs.soton.ac.uk/ir/projects/ontomedia/ontomedia/
[5] http://www.w3.org/TR/swbp-vocab-pub/
[6] http://motools.sourceforge.net/event/event.html
[7] http://motools.sourceforge.net/timeline/timeline.html

K. Faith Lawrence wrote:
> Thank you to Nick and Misha for mentioning OntoMedia. It is what Paul
> at the BBC has been working with and I am pleased to say that, to the
> best of my knowledge, it has handled with the interesting challenges
> of Dr Who.
> 2009/6/4 Simon Reinhardt <simon.reinhardt at koeln.de>:
>> Michael Smethurst wrote:
>>> We (the BBC) are just kicking of a project to make 'character pages' and
>>> are coming across all the issues you describe here. Obviously being the
>>> bbc we tend to get stuck on doctor who (no bbc meeting ever happens
>>> without a mention of doctor who [2] ;-) ). Is each doctor a different
>>> character, different portrayal, different persona etc...?
>> That is an interesting case, yeah. And it's a horrible one for cleanly describing fiction given how it defies all logic and consistency. ;-)
> One of the first thing that we found when we were looking at designing
> OntoMedia was that we could make no assumptions as to logic or
> consistency or natural laws within any given universe.
> With regards to the multiply-represented character we allowed for the
> possibility of many representations which were either connected
> directly (all the versions of the Doctor are 'The Doctor') or with
> more variation (Faramir in the Lord of the Rings movie is a version of
> Faramir in the Lord of the Rings books, Reboot!Kirk is a version of
> Original!Kirk etc). Obviously when two representations of a character
> are the same and when one is a shadow of the other is a judgment call
> that has to be made on a case by case basis.
>>> Similar problems with different dramatisations or sketches based on
>>> novels. Is character x from the tv adaption the same as character x from
>>> the film or character x from the radio drama or character x from the
>>> comedy sketch or character x from the opera performance? are they
>>> different portrayals of the same character? can 2 different actors make
>>> the same 'portrayal'? as ever you rapidly run of of labels to capture
>>> the concepts...
>> One way to do this might be to bind them to fictional universes. Marvel for example defined loads of different universes for which characters should be consistent then.
> This is the rational that we took. Not only can 'characters' be
> explicitly associated as existing in a given universe, or universes)
> but so can any entity including other universes - this allows for
> dreamscapes, theories and belief systems by including multiple levels
> of 'reality' (where reality is defined by the universe in which the
> given entities exist).
>>> Another problem we've had in the past has been the typing of 'people' as
>>> real or fictional. it starts out fairly easy and rapidly heads into
>>> tricky territory when u hit religion. however u handle it, dealing with
>>> "human, supernatural, mythical, divine [...] or personifications of an
>>> abstraction" ends up upsetting someone...
> OntoMedia handled this having one class of entites, beings, which were
> distinguished by having a sentience/personality and their existence,
> or not, was a trait that described them. It is after all possible to
> have a every active character who doesn't exists as the Tuttle episode
> of MASH and Mr Bunbury in The Importance of Being Earnest.
> We included the state of existence 'unprovable' for use with divinities.
>>> Outside drama you get the same kind of issues in music with multiple
>>> aliases often taking the form of characters (aladin sane etc). But you
>>> also get aliases that are only borderline characters (ringo star is an
>>> alias but is he a character?!? freddy mercury? in some ways they're both
>>> characters but then so are some artists who use their given and family
>>> names....)
>> That might be a role as well. Obviously we all play different roles all the time. But don't ask me what the difference between a role and a character is then. :-)
> OntoMedia looked at this specifically in that it recognised the need
> to model a fictionalised version of a real person as distinct from the
> person themselves and this included both stage personas and
> fictionalisations of an entity (we were working with fan fiction
> groups where the distinction between person, persona and
> fictionalised!person could get quite important). We also allowed for
> different traits to be projected towards the world (or the audience)
> than were given as base information. This allowed for secret
> identities and similar character facets.
>>> Haven't come across much outside SUDs and Paul Rissen's work that tries
>>> to capture fictional universes, timelines etc. If you do go ahead with
>>> this work it'd be really good if you kept us informed of progress. We
>>> can supply endless use cases and getting external input would help us
>>> get our modelling sorted. Sorting definitions for character, portrayal,
>>> persona etc feels like the first step
>> I'd be really glad to get more use cases and input for this!
>> What I'm working on (inspired by someone on IRC) is an ontology and database for comics. The original idea was just to describe the contents of web comics but parts of what I've done so far might be useful for all sorts of comics, cartoons, animation and fiction in general. I'm not sure how far I will pursue this as it's just a free time project and I have loads of other things to do. But I'm definitely interested in discussions about this, somewhere where we don't disturb the audience of the FOAF list. :-)
> I'd definitely suggest having a look at OntoMedia. As Nick mentioned a
> write up on the ontology with examples and discussion is available as
> part of my thesis at http://eprints.ecs.soton.ac.uk/14704/ (just skip
> straight to the section on modeling narrative although the section on
> the philosophy of describing fiction in the related literature chapter
> might also be in interest).
> The ontology is designed to by medium-neutral in that is works with
> any and all forms of expression.
> I'd be more than happy to discuss any of the work we did further.
> Please do get in contact if you would prefer to continue this
> discussion 'off-list'.
> Yours,
> Faith

More information about the foaf-dev mailing list