Move Cultural Heritage Knowledge Graphs in Everyone's Pocket

Tracking #: 2764-3978

This paper is currently under review
Maria Angela Pellegrino
Vittorio Scarano
Carmine Spagnuolo

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Special Issue Cultural Heritage 2021

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Full Paper
In the last years, we have witnessed a shift from the potential utility in digitization to a crucial need to enjoy activities virtually as an alternative to in-person experiences. The Cultural Heritage domain heavily invested in digitization campaigns, mainly modeling data as Knowledge Graphs by becoming one of the most successful application domains of the Semantic Web technologies. Despite the vast investment in Cultural Heritage Knowledge Graphs, the syntactic complexity of RDF query languages, e.g., SPARQL, negatively affects and threatens data exploitation, risking leaving this enormous potential untapped. Thus, we aim to support the cultural heritage community (and everyone interested in cultural heritage) in querying knowledge graphs without requiring technical skills in Semantic Web technologies. We desire to propose an engaging exploitation tool accessible to all without losing sight of developers' technological challenges. This article, first, analyzes the effort invested in publishing cultural heritage knowledge graphs to quantify data on which developers can rely in designing and implementing data exploitation tools in this domain. Moreover, we point out data aspects and challenges that developers may face in exploiting them in automatic approaches. Second, it presents a domain-agnostic knowledge graph exploitation approach based on virtual assistants as they naturally enable question-answering features where users formulate questions in natural language directly by their smartphones. Then, we discuss the design and implementation of this approach within an automatic community-shared software framework (a.k.a. generator) of virtual assistant extensions and its evaluation on a standard benchmark of question-answering systems. Finally, according to the taxonomy of the cultural heritage field introduced by UNESCO, we present a use case for each category to show the applicability of the proposed approach in the Cultural Heritage domain. In overviewing our analysis and the proposed approach, we point out challenges that a developer may face in designing virtual assistant extensions to query knowledge graphs, and we show the effect of these challenges in practice.
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