Ontologies and the Brain: Using Spreading Activation through Ontologies to Support Personal Interaction

Akrivi Katifori1, Costas Vassilakis2, Alan Dix3

1 Department of Informatics & Telecommunications, University of Athens, Athens, Hellas (Greece)
2 Dept. of Computer Science and Technology, University of Peloponnese, Tripolis, Hellas (Greece)
3 Computing Department, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK

Published in Cognitive Systems Research.

Full paper available at Science Direct doi:10.1016/j.cogsys.2009.02.001


Ontologies, as knowledge engineering tools, allow information to be modelled in ways resembling to those used by the human brain, and may be very useful in the context of personal information management (PIM) and Task Information Management (TIM). This work proposes the use of ontologies as a long-term knowledge store for PIM-related information, and the use of spreading activation over ontologies in order to provide context inference to tools that support TIM. Details on the ontology creation and content are provided, along with a full description of the spreading activation algorithm and its preliminary evaluation.

keywords: Spreading activation, Personal interaction, Ontology, Personal ontology, User tasks


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Figure 1. An overview of the personal ontology extended with class related to the researcher stereotype.


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Figure 2. The first levels of the slot hierarchy modeling person relations. The inverse slots are represented by Protégé with grey colour .


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Figure 3. Basic outline of a PIMS system.


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Figure 4. Part of the plug-in window showing the STA, MTA and LTA values for the entities that received STA activation value greater than 12, when entity “Alan Dix” got IA = 1..


Alan Dix 10/11/2008