Thursday, November 3, 2016

What is the "information model"? A summary narrative?

The underlying idea of Narwhal is: if you have a model for information to be found in text, you can start with the model, then see how much of it is filled from the text. This notion of an information model is close to what I understand as the database format they use at FrameNet to store the semantic frame alternatives.

So here is an anecdote: I am moving towards developing the higher level work of the Narwhal class - the work where multiple narratives interact. So I was thinking about an underlying information model, and it is very tempting to come up with a class definition for "Hotel" with sub classes for "Room" and all kinds of structure around descriptions of sound. Trying to diagram it, it quickly becomes a confusing mess of boxes and arrows. But that approach is an alternative to using a summary narrative, which captures all possible stories. For noise, various versions of this parent narrative occur, such as
Sound->Me :: Me_/affect , Me->staff : staff_/ action
I am starting to understand that this narrative format is much more concise than any attempt to break it out as a collection of connected boxes.

The key discovery, this summer, which enabled designing Narwhal, was the realization that this parent narrative rarely occurs but instead a variety of smaller partial narratives appear. These "empirical narrative" are to be read and then corresponding parts of the information model are to be set, and delivered. However, with the anecdote above, it is highly recommended that one thinks of the totality of information as itself a narrative, the "summary/parent" narrative, and that smaller partial narratives should be translated into versions of the parent. Hence the Narwhal developer can skip designing a "schema" for the information, and instead focus on determining a parent narrative and rules for translating the partial narratives into it.

No comments:

Post a Comment