Modeling Events on the Semantic Web

Abstract

There are many ontologies and datasets on the semantic web that mention events. Events are important in our perception of the world and in our descriptions of it, therefore also on the semantic web. There is however not one best way to model them. This is connected to the fact that even the question what events are can be approached in different ways. Our aim is to better understand how events are represented on the semantic web and how it could be improved. To this end we first turn to the ways events are treated in philosophy and in foundational ontologies. We ask questions such as what sorts of things we call events, what ontological status we assign to events and if and how can events be distinguished from other entities such as situations. Then we move on to an empirical analysis of particular semantic web ontologies for events. In this analysis we find what kinds of things are usually called events on the semantic web. We use the findings from the philosophy of events to critically assess these ontologies, show their problems and indicate possible paths to their solution.

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