Competence Center at the Faculty of Informatics, Hamburg University

Recent Projects

CogVis-Gedeck CogVis - Cognitive Vision Systems
EU-Project  IT-2000 29375
2001 - 2004
Resonsible for work at Hamburg University: Bernd Neumann
The main goal of the work in Hamburg was to develop conceptual structures for high-level knowledge relevant for scene understanding. It was shown that scene interpretation can be accomplished  based an taxonomical and compositional aggregate hierarchies describing multi-object motion concepts. The description logic ALCF(D) was identified as a suitable knowledge representation framework. Table-laying activities in a smart-room scenario were used as examples.
DLS - Description Logics and Spatial Reasoning
DFG-Project Ne 279/8
Responsible: Volker Haarslev, Ralf Möller, Bernd Neumann
The DLS project aimed at the integration of spatial and conceptual reasoning in the formal framework of Description Logics (DLs) with the goal to obtain correct and complete inference procedures. In theoretical work, several families of DLs were investigated as possible deductive inference systems for a Geographic Information System (GIS). In practical work, the prototype system DL-MAPS was developed to process spatial queries using ontological structures and inference procedures of the DL system RACER.
ISLE - Interactive Spoken Language Education
EU-Project, 5th Framework
1998 - 2000
Coordinator: Wolfgang Menzel
The ISLE consortium developed a prototype system for pronunciation training in foreign language learning. Based on leading edge speech recognition technology the system features novel diagnostic capabilties for phones and word stress which enable it to provide the student with an unprecedented detail of corrective feedback information, including possibilities to highlight the relevant acoustic contrasts and to generate specifically tailored follow-up exercises.
Dawai - Ressource adaptive parsing of spoken language
DFG-Project Me 1471/1
1997 - 2000
Responsible: Wolfgang Menzel
A novel approach for parsing natural language utterances was developed based on a procedure for structural disambiguation with weighted constraints. The system exhibits a high degree of robustness both against ungrammatical input and temporal pressure.
PaPa - Partial parsing of natural language utterances
DFG-Project Me 1472/4
2001 - 2005
Responsible: Wolfgang Menzel
The project investigates the potential of constraint optimization techniques for dealing with insufficient information. Among the  factors considered are missing lexical information, insufficient  grammar coverage and incomplete input. The ultimate goal consist  in developing a parsing system which is not only able to compensate partial deficits of the availbale information sources but can also  adapt the depth of its results dynamically depending on the available  evidence. The research led to the development of the qualitatively  best syntactic parser for German so far.
ARK – Axiomatics of Spatial Concepts
DFG-Project Ha 1237/7
Responsible: Christopher Habel, Carola Eschenbach
The project ‘Axiomatics of Spatial Concepts’ (ARK) investigates spatial concepts, which play the central role of spatial cognition: spatial concepts constitute the inventory for spatial reasoning and some kinds of spatial memory and provide essential ingredients for the language-perception and the language-action interface. The goal of the ARK project was a systematic formalization of inventories of spatial concepts that serve as a basis to describe the phenomena of spatial cognition and the results of empirical investigations in this field. As methodological background for the formal characterizations the axiomatic method was employed. As the empirical basis of the research in ARK we chose the semantics of natural language expressions relating to space. In particular, we investigated the comprehension and production of route descriptions.
ConcEv – Conceptualizing Events
DFG-Project Ha 1237/10
Responsible: Christopher Habel
The topic of this project are conceptualization processes in language production. Starting from non-linear representations of the content to be described, e.g. pictorial representations, conceptualization generates linear (propositional) representations, the "preverbal message", which serves as input for semantic and syntactic modules. ConcEv focuses on the verbalization of event descriptions. The project is obliged to an interdisciplinary approach. On the basis of empirical investigations computer-linguistic models are developed for selected conceptualization processes, in which results of psycholinguistic research about the course of processes are combined with theoretical-linguistic considerations about linguistic structures.