Semantic search based on natural language processing – a numismatic example

  • Iconographic representations on ancient artifacts are described in many existing databases and literature as human readable text. We applied Natural Language Processing (NLP) approaches in order to extract the semantics out of these textual descriptions and in this way enable semantic searches over them. This allows more sophisticated requests compared to the common existing keyword searches. As we show in our experiments based on numismatic datasets, the approach is generic in the sense that once the system is trained on one dataset, it can be applied without any further manual work also to datasets that have similar content. Of course, additional adaptions would further improve the results. Since the approach requires manual work only during the training phase, it can easily be applied to huge datasets without manual work and therefore without major extra costs. In fact, in our experience bigger datasets generate even better results because there is more data for training. Since our approach is not bound to a certain domain and the numismatic datasets are just an example, it could serve as a blueprint for many other areas. It could also help to build bridges between disciplines since textual iconographic descriptions are to be found also for pottery, sculpture and elsewhere.

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Author:Patricia Klinger, Sebastian Gampe, Karsten TolleORCiDGND, Ulrike Peter
Parent Title (German):Journal of ancient history and archaeology
Publisher:Mega Publishing House
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2018
Year of first Publication:2018
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2020/04/20
Tag:Iconography; Natural Language Processing; Numismatics; Ontology
Page Number:12
First Page:68
Last Page:79
Institutes:Informatik und Mathematik / Informatik
Dewey Decimal Classification:0 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke / 00 Informatik, Wissen, Systeme / 004 Datenverarbeitung; Informatik
9 Geschichte und Geografie / 93 Geschichte des Altertums (bis ca. 499), Archäologie / 930 Geschichte des Altertums bis ca. 499, Archäologie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitung 4.0