News

03 JUL 2020

Coreon MKS as LLOD is European Language Grid top funded project

Coreon’s proposal for using the European Language Grid (ELG) as a platform for making multilingual interoperability assets discoverable and retrievable has been awarded. This will be achieved by complementing Multilingual Knowledge Systems with a SPARQL interface. The ELG Open Call 1 received 121 proposals, of which 110 were eligible and 10 were selected. Coreon’s proposal “MKS as Linguistic Linked Open Data” was amongst the three winning proposal from industry and received the highest funding.

The goals of the project are a) to enable Semantic Web systems to query Coreon’s richly elaborated multilingual terminologies stored in concept systems and knowledge graphs…
Coreon’s proposal for using the European Language Grid (ELG) as a platform for making multilingual interoperability assets discoverable and retrievable has been awarded. This will be achieved by complementing Multilingual Knowledge Systems with a SPARQL interface. The ELG Open Call 1 received 121 proposals, of which 110 were eligible and 10 were selected. Coreon’s proposal “MKS as Linguistic Linked Open Data” was amongst the three winning proposal from industry and received the highest funding.

The goals of the project are a) to enable Semantic Web systems to query Coreon’s richly elaborated multilingual terminologies stored in concept systems and knowledge graphs and b) to prove how to overcome the limits of RDF/knowledge graph editors, which usually are fine to model concept relations, but are weak in capturing linguistic information. When deployed in March 2021 on the ELG, the innovation will enable the Semantic Web community to query rich multilingual data with a familiar, industry standard syntax.
07 NOV 2019

CEFAT4Cities Action Gets Funding

The CEFAT4Cities Action, to be executed by a multinational consortium of five partners, led by CrossLang, has received funding. The action starts in April 2020 and runs up to March 2022.
The main objective of the CEFAT4Cities Action is to develop a “Smart cities natural language context”, providing multilingual interoperability of the Context Broker DSI and making public “smart city” services multilingual, with pilots in Vienna and Brussels.
The language resources that will be created will be committed to the ELRC repository and the following languages will be developed: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Slovenian, Croatian and Norwegian.

Coreon's…
The CEFAT4Cities Action, to be executed by a multinational consortium of five partners, led by CrossLang, has received funding. The action starts in April 2020 and runs up to March 2022.
The main objective of the CEFAT4Cities Action is to develop a “Smart cities natural language context”, providing multilingual interoperability of the Context Broker DSI and making public “smart city” services multilingual, with pilots in Vienna and Brussels.
The language resources that will be created will be committed to the ELRC repository and the following languages will be developed: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Slovenian, Croatian and Norwegian.

Coreon's role in the consortium is provide the appropriate technology, to turn vocabularies into multilingual knowledge graphs, to curate and extend them to model the domain of smart cities.
21 SEP 2021

Building a Chatbot with Coreon

A chatbot informs or guides human users on a specific topic, but a machine can only ‘know’ what it is taught by humans. This means the chatbot must ‘know’ about the topic and – above all – how to relate this information to the request of the user. Ontologies are a very helpful data source for this because their purpose is to represent knowledge in context.

What is an Ontology?

An ontology is defined as the ‘shared and formal modelling of knowledge about a domain’ (IEC 62656-5:2017-06). It consists of classes (or concepts), relations, instances, and axioms (http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~stevensr/onto/node3.html)…

A chatbot informs or guides human users on a specific topic, but a machine can only ‘know’ what it is taught by humans. This means the chatbot must ‘know’ about the topic and – above all – how to relate this information to the request of the user. Ontologies are a very helpful data source for this because their purpose is to represent knowledge in context.

What is an Ontology?

An ontology is defined as the ‘shared and formal modelling of knowledge about a domain’ (IEC 62656-5:2017-06). It consists of classes (or concepts), relations, instances, and axioms (http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~stevensr/onto/node3.html). Classes refer to a ‘set […] of entities or 'things' within a domain’. Relations represent the ‘interactions between concepts or a concept's properties’ and instances are ‘the 'things' represented by a concept’. Moreover, axioms are ‘used to constrain values for classes or instances’. This means that axioms define what values a class or instance can or cannot have. Axioms are used to represent additional knowledge that cannot be derived from the classes or instances themselves (e. g., ‘there can be no train connection between Europe and America’).

An ontology can be summarized as a knowledge base consisting of concepts, as well as relations between the concepts and additional information. Ontologies are made machine-readable through standardized ontology languages such as OWL (Web Ontology Language) or RDF. They make it possible for the knowledge represented in an ontology to be understood by machines and programs, such as chatbots.

The Role of Concept Maps

In the Coreon Multilingual Knowledge System, concept maps are built as part of the terminology work. This is a very helpful addition to terminology management because the relations between concepts are captured and displayed next to the concept information. Thanks to this feature, terminologists and experts can define concepts more precisely, as the relationships with and differences to neighbor concepts are crucial factors when settling on a definition. Furthermore, users can access the terminology more easily when they see a concept in context.

Concept maps in Coreon are the perfect base for an ontology, and this is an important advantage when re-using terminology for machine applications. The information stored in concept maps can be exported, analyzed, and used by various machine applications, including chatbots. For exports from Coreon, the proprietary language coreon.xml or the standardized ontology language RDF can be used.

Use Case: A Chatbot for Company Services

In our use case we created a prototype for a chatbot to represent the services of our company, berns language consulting (blc). Its purpose was to lead users on the company website from ‘utterances’ (i.e., questions or messages typed by users) to solutions. If, for example, a customer asks: ‘How do I get a fast translation into 10 languages?’, they are led to the company service ‘Machine Translation’. Not only do customers immediately learn the name of the service, but also additional information about the advantages and different aspects of machine translation. A call to action is also displayed, e.g., an offer to speak directly to a human expert.

Building with Coreon

In our use case, we created a chatbot with the programming language Python. As a database we used the export of a concept map we had created in Coreon beforehand. By doing this, we were able to use the concept map as an ontology. In the concept map, we displayed the following concept classes:

  • company service, e. g., machine translation
  • solutions (part of the service, but also concrete solutions for customers’ problems), e. g., preprocessing
  • customer experience, e. g., translation too expensive
  • other concepts, e. g., MT engine
A concept map in Coreon, focusing on blc services and solutions

The aim of the chatbot is to lead customers from their ‘utterance’ to possible solutions and company services. For this, the chatbot extracts key words from the customer’s typed enquiry and maps them to the concepts in the concept map. It then follows the paths in the concept map until it reaches solutions and/or specific company services. The extracted solutions and services determine the answer of the chatbot. To enable the chatbot to understand as many utterances as possible, there should be a large number of concepts that are related to the range of customer services.

A Smarter, More Advanced Chatbot

The major advantage of using an ontology as a database for a chatbot is that it helps the machine to understand the relationships between concepts. Users’ utterances are easily analyzed and mapped to concepts in the ontology and once the entry into a concept in the ontology is made, related concepts are found and proposed to the user. Another crucial benefit is that a concept map is a controlled database. The administrator can decide which utterances lead to which solutions. Of course, building a concept map as a base for a chatbot entails some manual effort. However, automatic procedures can be included to speed up the terminological work.

A third big advantage is that the ontology cannot only be used in this particular use case. In theory it can be re-used in practically every use case where a machine is trying to ‘understand’ a human. Such scenarios include language assistance systems, text generators, classifiers, or intelligent search engines.

Do you have a good use case for starting an ontology, or would you like to start one but don’t know how? Do you need help building an ontology? Contact us, we are happy to help!

https://berns-language-consulting.de/language/en/terminology-ontology/

Jenny Seidel is responsible for terminology management and language quality at berns language consulting (blc). She helps customers set up terminology processes and implement terminology tools for specific use cases. Her recent focus has been the potential of ontologies as a base for Machine Learning.

The post Building a Chatbot with Coreon appeared first on .

18 MAY 2021

The Journey to a Multilingual SPARQL Endpoint

The idea of accessing a Multilingual Knowledge System through the means and methods of the Semantic Web brings two keywords immediately to mind: SPARQL and LOD (Linked Open Data). We’ve already talked about the benefits of doing this and how it enables your enterprise to handle all its data via one, centralized hub in a previous post, but how did we actually achieve it?

The Coreon MKS is powered by a RESTful Web API, sending its data in JSON data structures through the wire. Everyone can develop extensions and custom solutions based on this. We ourselves did it recently, for…

The idea of accessing a Multilingual Knowledge System through the means and methods of the Semantic Web brings two keywords immediately to mind: SPARQL and LOD (Linked Open Data). We’ve already talked about the benefits of doing this and how it enables your enterprise to handle all its data via one, centralized hub in a previous post, but how did we actually achieve it?

The Coreon MKS is powered by a RESTful Web API, sending its data in JSON data structures through the wire. Everyone can develop extensions and custom solutions based on this. We ourselves did it recently, for instance: creating a plug-in to SDL Trados Studio so that linguists can directly access information stored in Coreon.

However, this required the developer of the plug-in to get familiar with the API and its data structures.

In the world of the Semantic Web (aka ‘the web of data’), we no longer see proprietary APIs. Developers and integrators instead access all the resources through the same method – SPARQL. Wouldn't it be great to also access the Coreon repositories via a SPARQL endpoint?

We will outline how we did it with Coreon, but the process is not only relevant for our own MK system – it could easily act as a blueprint or guideline for those working with similar tools.

JSON Structures to RDF Graph

The first step was to analyze how Coreon's data model could be mirrored in a RDF graph. What were the information objects? What were the predicates between them? What showed up as a literal?

In RDF, all elements or pieces of information you want to "talk about" are good candidates for becoming objects or, technically speaking, OWL classes. There were obvious candidates for classes, namely Concept or Term, but how about the concept relations such as “broader” or custom associative ones like “is-complementary-to”? How about descriptive information such as a Definition or Term Status value? Concretely, we had to go from the JSON data structure to an RDF graph model.

Before we dive in deeper, here’s a sample concept (with ID: 607ed17b318e0c181786b545) in Coreon that has two terms, English screen and German Bildschirm. Notice also the individual IDs of each of the terms – they will become important later on.

Coreon concept example with concept and term ids shown

In the original JSON data structure, this concept is represented as follows (only relevant code lines shown):

{
    "created_at": "2021-04-20T13:04:59.816Z",
    "updated_at": "2021-04-20T13:05:25.856Z",
    "terms": [
        {
            "lang": "en",
            "value": "screen",
            "created_at": "2021-04-20T13:04:59.816Z",
            "updated_at": "2021-04-20T13:04:59.816Z",
            "id": "607ed17b318e0c181786b549",
            "concept_id": "607ed17b318e0c181786b545",
            "properties": [],
            "created_by": {
                "email": "michael.wetzel@coreon.com",
                "name": "Michael Wetzel"
            },
            "updated_by": {
                "email": "michael.wetzel@coreon.com",
                "name": "Michael Wetzel"
            }
        },
        {
            "lang": "de",
            "value": "Bildschirm",
            "created_at": "2021-04-20T13:05:25.856Z",
            "updated_at": "2021-04-20T13:05:25.856Z",
            "id": "607ed195318e0c181786b55e",
            "concept_id": "607ed17b318e0c181786b545",
            "properties": [],
            "created_by": {
                "email": "michael.wetzel@coreon.com",
                "name": "Michael Wetzel"
            },
            "updated_by": {
                "email": "michael.wetzel@coreon.com",
                "name": "Michael Wetzel"
            },
        }
    ],
    "id": "607ed17b318e0c181786b545",
    "coreon_type": null,
    "alias": false,
    "referent_id": null,
    "branch_root": false,
    "properties": [],
    "parent_relations": [
        {
            "concept_id": "606336dab4dbcf018ed99308",
            "type": "SUPERCONCEPT_OF"
        }
    ],
    "child_relations": []
}

When we transform this into an RDF graph, the concept and its two terms are bound together in statements (so-called triples), each consisting of a subject, a predicate and an object. The concept will act as the subject, the term(s) act as the object(s), and the required predicate could be named in this case: hasTerm. This gives us the following triple:

coreon:607ed17b318e0c181786b545 coreon:hasTerm coreon:607ed17b318e0c181786b549 .

The triple shows that the resource with the ID 607ed17b318e0c181786b545 contains a term, and the term’s ID is 607ed17b318e0c181786b549. It doesn't yet say anything about the value or the language of the term. It simply states that the term with the given ID is a member of that concept.

Now the next triple shows that the value for the resource with ID 607ed17b318e0c181786b549 has a literal value in English, namely the string screen:

coreon:607ed17b318e0c181786b549 coreon:value “screen”@en .

Such a set of triples, i.e. many atomic statements bound together via predicates, make up the RDF graph. If we visualize some of these triples, the resulting RDF graph looks like this:

Representing concepts and terms as an RDF graph

Concepts and terms are classes (in green and blue), predicates are graph edges (above the lines).

The complete set of triples would be serialized as follows in RDF / Turtle:

@prefix coreon: <http://www.coreon.com/coreon-rdf#> .
@prefix owl: <http://www.w3.org/2002/07/owl#> .
@prefix rdf: <http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#> .
@prefix xsd: <http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema#> .

<http://www.coreon.com/coreon-instance> a owl:Ontology;
  owl:imports <http://www.coreon.com/coreon-rdf>;
  owl:versionInfo "Created through Coreon export" .

coreon:607ed17b318e0c181786b547 a coreon:Edge;
  coreon:edgeSource coreon:606336dab4dbcf018ed99308;
  coreon:edgeTarget coreon:607ed17b318e0c181786b545;
  coreon:type "SUPERCONCEPT_OF" .

coreon:606336dab4dbcf018ed99307 a coreon:Term;
  coreon:value "peripheral device"@en .

coreon:606336dab4dbcf018ed99308 a coreon:Concept;
  coreon:hasTerm coreon:606336dab4dbcf018ed99307 .

coreon:607ed17b318e0c181786b545 a coreon:Concept;
  coreon:hasTerm coreon:607ed195318e0c181786b55e,
    coreon:607ed17b318e0c181786b549 .

coreon:607ed17b318e0c181786b549 a coreon:Term;
  coreon:value "screen"@en .

coreon:607ed195318e0c181786b55e a coreon:Term;
  coreon:value "Bildschirm"@de .

You may also have noticed in the above syntax that two or more statements are serialized together – separated via semicolons and ending with a full stop. Line 18 indicates that the resource with the ID 606336dab4dbcf018ed99308 is of OWL class coreon:Concept, and line 19 further indicates that it contains a term which has the ID 606336dab4dbcf018ed99307.

No RDF without URIs

Now all the pieces of information are bound together via RDF statements: the triples. They have a pretty atomic, isolated nature. This is quite different to how XML and other standard formats organize information. In RDF and LOD all data is stored in this atomic manner, uniquely identifiable through the URI.

Via the URIs and the predicates such as hasTerm , the resources are bound together. Only then does it become meaningful for an application or a human, as the URIs are an indispensable prerequisite. All information elements that are represented as classes have unique identifiers. The namespace coreon: , together with the unique IDs, unambiguously identifies a given resource. This is regardless of whether it is a concept, term, property, or even a concept relation. Fortunately we stored all data with URIs when we created the fundamental design of Coreon. Phew.

Build the Coreon RDF Vocabulary

After researching the basic approach described above, we analyzed all elements of the Coreon data structure and rethought them as a member of our RDF vocabulary. The following table lists the most important ones:

OWL Type Coreon RDF Vocabulary
Classes owl:Class coreon:Admin, coreon:Edge, coreon:Concept, coreon:Flagset, coreon:Property, coreon:Term
Predicates owl:ObjectProperty coreon:hasAdmin, coreon:hasFlagset, coreon:hasProperty, coreon:hasTerm
Values owl:AnnotationProperty coreon:edgeSource, coreon:edgeTarget, coreon:id, coreon:name, coreon:type, coreon:value

For the predicates we also specified what kind of information can be used, defining owl:range and owl:domain. For instance, the predicate hasTerm can only accept resources of type coreon:Concept as a subject (owl:domain). As an example: the full specification of the predicate hasTerm looks as follows:

coreon:hasTerm
  rdf:type owl:ObjectProperty ;
  rdfs:comment "makes a term member of a concept" ;
  rdfs:domain coreon:Concept ;
  rdfs:label "has term" ;
  rdfs:range coreon:Term .

Publish as an Offline Resource

Once our RDF vocabulary was ready, the first step to implement it into Coreon was to add an RDF publication mechanism to the export engine. Equipped with this, Coreon can now export its repositories in RDF, including various syntaxes (Turtle, N3, JSON-LD and more).

Real-Time Access via a SPARQL Endpoint

The final yet most complicated step was to equip the Coreon cloud service with a real-time accessible SPARQL endpoint. We chose Apache Fuseki. It runs as a secondary index in parallel to a repository's data store, updated in real-time. Thus any change a data maintainer makes is immediately accessible via the SPARQL endpoint!

Let me illustrate the ease and power of SPARQL with some examples...

Example 1: Query All the Definitions via SPARQL:

SELECT *
   WHERE {
       ?p rdf:type coreon:Property .
       ?p coreon:key "Definition" .
       ?p coreon:value ?v.
    }

We are querying all the objects that are of type coreon:Property (line 3) that also have a key with the name Definition (line 4). This is bound against the result variable p, and then for all these we retrieve the values, which are bound against the variable v.

A typical result table (here from a repository dealing with wine grape varieties) looks as follows:

[p] v
http://www.coreon.com/coreon-rdf#5f9ee3609323c01c4728b8a1 Chardonnay is the most famous and most elevated grape in the region of Northern Burgundy in ...
http://www.coreon.com/coreon-rdf#5f9ee3609323c01c4728b8ab A white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety ...
http://www.coreon.com/coreon-rdf#5f9ee3609323c01c4728b8cd Pinot noir (French: [pino nwa?]) is a red wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The ...
... ...
... ...

The first column, representing the variable p, holds the URI of the property; the second column holds the literal value.

Example 2: Query all terms and - if present - also print their usage value:

A more realistic query compared to Example 1: get me all the terms and if they have a usage flag, such as preferred, print it, too.

SELECT ?t ?termvalue ?usagevalue
    WHERE {
        ?t rdf:type coreon:Term .
        ?t coreon:value ?termvalue .
        OPTIONAL {
            ?t coreon:hasProperty ?p .
            ?p coreon:key "Usage" .
            ?p coreon:value ?usagevalue .
        }
    }

A typical result might look as follows:

[t] termvalue usagevalue
http://www.coreon.com/coreon-rdf#5f9ee3609323c01c4728b8aa Riesling
http://www.coreon.com/coreon-rdf#5f9ee3609323c01c4728b8bb Cabernet Sauvignon Preferred
http://www.coreon.com/coreon-rdf#5f9ee3609323c01c4728b8be CS Alternative
http://www.coreon.com/coreon-rdf#5f9ee3609323c01c4728b8c2 Merlot
...

This output table shows the term's URI, then its value, and - if available - the usage recommendation.

Example 3: How many Definitions are in your repository?

A last one to share...do you know how many Definitions or Comments are in your repository, or which are the most used properties? Well, how about this...

SELECT ?k (COUNT(?k) AS ?count)
{
	?uri coreon:key ?k.
}
GROUP BY ?k
ORDER BY DESC(?count)

...which delivers a table looking like this...nice!

k count
concept status 13806
usage status 10532
part of speech 10408
term type 10353
definition 5996

European Language Grid and Outlook

We thank the European Language Grid (ELG) for funding substantial parts of this development. It is a significant step and showcases how to complement software for multilingual knowledge with an open SPARQL / LOD access mechanism. The SPARQL endpoint is available to all Coreon customers. A selected set of demo repositories will also be accessible with the SPARQL endpoint through the ELG hub by summer 2021.

We are sharing our experiences with ISO / TC37 SC3 working groups, as a draft for a technical recommendation of how to represent TBX (TermBase eXchange) as RDF. Many of our findings in this journey towards a SPARQL endpoint can be used as a base for an international standard.

The post The Journey to a Multilingual SPARQL Endpoint appeared first on .

25 MAR 2021

Multilingual Knowledge for the Data-Centric Enterprise

Knowledge graphs are becoming a key resource for global enterprises. The textual labels of a graph’s nodes form a standardized vocabulary. Unfortunately, knowledge solutions are often wastefully developed in parallel within the same organization, be it in different departments or national branches. Starting from zero, domain experts build application-specific vocabularies in a hard-to-use taxonomy or thesaurus editor, mostly only in one language. Yet enterprise terminology databases in many languages are almost always already available. Enterprises and organizations simply have to realize that they can use this treasure chest of data for more than just documentation and translation processes.

Mutual understanding:

Knowledge graphs are becoming a key resource for global enterprises. The textual labels of a graph’s nodes form a standardized vocabulary. Unfortunately, knowledge solutions are often wastefully developed in parallel within the same organization, be it in different departments or national branches. Starting from zero, domain experts build application-specific vocabularies in a hard-to-use taxonomy or thesaurus editor, mostly only in one language. Yet enterprise terminology databases in many languages are almost always already available. Enterprises and organizations simply have to realize that they can use this treasure chest of data for more than just documentation and translation processes.

Mutual understanding: RDF and SPARQL

The problem is that legacy terminology solutions have proprietary APIs or special XML export formats. They also do not structure their concepts in a knowledge graph, which makes it hard to use them for more than translation. Taxonomies, thesauri, or ontology products, on the other hand, don’t cater for cross-language use and thus remain local. Multilingual Knowledge Systems such as Coreon bridge this gap, but until now even this also required integration through proprietary interfaces, or the exporting of data.

Multilingual knowledge unlocks true intelligence for the international enterprise
(App-Centric vs Data-Centric by cinchy).
Multilingual knowledge unlocks true intelligence for the international enterprise
(App-Centric vs Data-Centric by cinchy).

SPARQL (the recursive acronym for SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language) makes it possible to query knowledge systems without having to study their APIs or export formats. Coreon was therefore recently equipped with a SPARQL endpoint. Its knowledge repositories can now be queried in real time using the SPARQL syntax, i.e. a universal language for developers of data centric applications. 

Enterprises and organizations simply have to realize that they can use this treasure chest of data for more than just documentation and translation processes.

Semantic success

A central Multilingual Knowledge System, exposing its data via a SPARQL endpoint, thus becomes a common knowledge infrastructure for any textual enterprise application. This is regardless of department, country, or use case. For example: content management, chatbots, customer support, spare part ordering, or compliance can all be built on the same, normalized enterprise knowledge. In taking proprietary APIs out of the equation and with no need to export, mirror, and deploy into separate triple stores, real time access of live data is guaranteed.

Your organization already possesses this data. It’s just a case of maximizing its potential, introducing a cleaner and more accessible way of handling it. Contact us at info@coreon.com if you’d like to know more about how a common knowledge infrastructure can help your enterprise.

Coreon would like to extend special thanks to the European Language Grid, which funded significant parts of this R & D effort. The SPARQL endpoint will also be deployed into the ELG hub, so it will be reachable and discoverable from there.

The post Multilingual Knowledge for the Data-Centric Enterprise appeared first on .

11 JAN 2021

Keeping Your Sanity with Machine Taxonomization

Taxonomies are crucial for businesses and institutions to handle bigger amounts of data. Manually organizing thousands of concepts into a knowledge tree has so far been the only way to do this. Aside from the fact that this task can be quite tedious, it requires in-demand subject matter experts to complete. Thus, it is often considered too expensive or too much effort. A shame, given that companies then miss out on all the benefits of using taxonomies.

With a little help from your (AI) friend

Imagine a chaotic pile of books (of course, the less-organized among us may not have…

Taxonomies are crucial for businesses and institutions to handle bigger amounts of data. Manually organizing thousands of concepts into a knowledge tree has so far been the only way to do this. Aside from the fact that this task can be quite tedious, it requires in-demand subject matter experts to complete. Thus, it is often considered too expensive or too much effort. A shame, given that companies then miss out on all the benefits of using taxonomies.

With a little help from your (AI) friend

Imagine a chaotic pile of books (of course, the less-organized among us may not have to imagine this) being automatically sorted into shelves, branches, and sub-branches, together with an index to help quickly find a desired book. This describes what our semi‑automatic taxonomization method can do. An initial knowledge tree is produced by Machine Learning (ML), using language models stored in huge neural networks. Clustering algorithms on top of word embeddings automatically converts a haystack of concepts into a structured tree. The final curation of the taxonomy is still carried out by a human, but the most time-consuming and tedious aspects of the task have already been dealt with, and in a consistent way.

‘Cobot’ versus manual

In a study, we benchmarked this collaborative robot approach (ML auto‑taxonomization and human curation) against the manual job done by an expert linguist. Below are the data and task flows of the two approaches:

We aimed to taxonomize 424 concepts related to COVID-19. The traditional manual method was tedious and tiring for the human expert, who took a flat list of concepts and turned them into a systematic knowledge graph by working concept by concept to get everything in its right place. Wading through the list from scratch (including constantly switching contexts – from drugs, to vaccines, to social distancing, for example) made progress on the task difficult to measure. Having no perception of how many clusters of concepts still needed to be created was demotivating.

In contrast, our semi-automatic method started off with a tree of 55 suggested clusters of leaf concepts, each representing a specific context. Of course, ML doesn’t always produce the exact results a human expert would (we hear you, AI skeptics!), so some algorithm-suggested clusters were a bit off. However, the majority of the 55 were pretty accurate. They were ready to be worked on in Coreon’s visual UI, making the human curation task much faster and easier. This also enabled progress to be measured, as the job was done cluster by cluster.

By dramatically lowering the effort, time, and money needed to create taxonomies, managing textual data will become much easier and AI applications will see a tremendous boost.

Advantage, automation!

From a business perspective the most important result was that the semi‑automatic method was five(!) times faster. The structured head-start enabled the human curator to work methodically through the concepts. The clustered nature of the ML‑suggested taxonomy would also allow the workload to be distributed – e.g., one expert could focus on one medicine, another on public health measures.

More difficult to measure (but nicely visible below) was the quality of the two resulting taxonomies. While our linguist did a sterling job working manually, the automatic approach produced a tidier taxonomy which is easier for humans to explore and can be effectively consumed by machines for classification, search, or text analytics. Significantly, as the original data was multilingual, the taxonomy can also be leveraged in all languages.

A barrier removed

So, can we auto-taxonomize a list of semantic concepts? The answer is yes, with some human help. The hybrid approach frees knowledge workers from the tedious work in the taxonomization process and offers immediate benefits – being able to navigate swiftly through data, and efficient conceptualization.

Most importantly, though, linking concepts in a knowledge graph enables machines to consume enterprise data. By dramatically lowering the effort, time, and money needed to create taxonomies, managing textual data will become much easier and AI applications will see a tremendous boost.

If you’d like to discover more about our technology and services on auto-taxonomization, feel free to get in touch with us here

The post Keeping Your Sanity with Machine Taxonomization appeared first on .

9 DEC 2020

Making Translation GDPR-Compliant

Current processes violate GDPR

Out of the six data protection principles, translation regularly violates at least four: purpose limitation, data minimization, storage limitation, and confidentiality. This last one is most likely mentioned in most purchase orders, but it is hard to live up to in an industry which squeezes out every last cent in a long supply chain. 

Spicier is the fact that translators don’t need to know any personal data to translate a text, like who made the payment and how much money was transferred, as in the sample below. Anonymized source texts would address purpose limitation and…

Current processes violate GDPR

Out of the six data protection principles, translation regularly violates at least four: purpose limitation, data minimization, storage limitation, and confidentiality. This last one is most likely mentioned in most purchase orders, but it is hard to live up to in an industry which squeezes out every last cent in a long supply chain. 

Spicier is the fact that translators don’t need to know any personal data to translate a text, like who made the payment and how much money was transferred, as in the sample below. Anonymized source texts would address purpose limitation and data minimization. The biggest offenders, however, are the industry’s workhorses: neural machine translation (NMT) and translation memory (TM). NMT trains and TM stores texts full of personal data without means of deleting it, even though it was unnecessary for them to store the protected data in the first place. 

A GDPR-compliant translation workflow 

Some might argue that this difficult problem cannot be fixed. Well, it can. And not only this, our anonymization workflow saves money and increases quality and process safety, too. 

On a secure server ‘named entities’ (i.e. likely protected data) are recognized. This step is called NER, a standard discipline of Natural Language Processing. There are several anonymizers on the market, mainly supporting structured data and English, but they only support a one-way process. 

In our solution, the data is actually “pseudonymized” in both the source and target languages. This keeps the anonymized data readable for linguists by replacing protected data with another string of the same type. Once translated, the text is de-anonymized by replacing the pseudonyms with the original data. This step is tricky since the data also needs to be localized, as in our example with the title and the decimal and thousands separators. The TMs used along the supply chain will only store the anonymized data. Likewise, NMT is not trained with any personal data. 

Know-how

We recently did a feasibility study to test this approach. Academia considers NER a solved problem, but in reality it’s only somewhat done for English. Luckily, language models can now be trained to work cross-language. Rule-based approaches, like regular expressions, add deterministic process safety. For our study we extended the current standard formats for translation, TMX and XLIFF, to support pseudonymization. De-anonymization is hard, but I had already previously developed its basics for the first versions of TRADOS. 

What remains is the trade-off between data protection and translatability. The more text is anonymized, the better the leverage – but the harder the text is to understand for humans, too. Getting that balance right will still require some testing, best practices, and good UI design. For example, project managers will want a finer granularity on named entities than normally provided by NER tools. Using a multilingual knowledge system like Coreon, they could specify that all entities of type Committee are to be pseudonymized, but not entities of type Treaty

Anonymization is mandatory 

As shown above, a GDPR-compliant translation workflow is possible, and is thus legally mandatory. This is, in fact, good news. Regulations are often perceived as making life harder for businesses, but GDPR has actually created a sector in which the EU is a world leader. Our workflow enables highly-regulated industries, such as Life Sciences or Finance, to safely outsource translation. Service providers won’t have to sweat over confidentiality breaches. The workflow will increase quality as named entities are processed by machines in a secure and consistent way and machine translation has fewer possibilities to make stupid mistakes. It will also save a lot of money, since translation memories will deliver a much higher leverage.

If you want to know more, please contact us.

The post Making Translation GDPR-Compliant appeared first on .

12 DEC 2018

Sunsetting CAT

For decades Computer Assisted Translation based on sentence translation memories has been the standard tool for going global. Although CAT had been originally designed with a mid-90s PC in mind and there have been proposals for changing the underlying data model, the basic architecture of CAT has been left unchanged. The dramatic advances in Neural Machine Translation (NMT) have now made the whole product category obsolete.

NMT Crossing the Rubicon

While selling translation memory I always said, machines will only be able to translate once they understand text; and if one day they would, MT will be a mere…

For decades Computer Assisted Translation based on sentence translation memories has been the standard tool for going global. Although CAT had been originally designed with a mid-90s PC in mind and there have been proposals for changing the underlying data model, the basic architecture of CAT has been left unchanged. The dramatic advances in Neural Machine Translation (NMT) have now made the whole product category obsolete.

NMT Crossing the Rubicon

While selling translation memory I always said, machines will only be able to translate once they understand text; and if one day they would, MT will be a mere footnote of a totally different revolution. Now it turns out that neural networks, stacked deeply enough, do understand us sufficiently to create a well formed translation. Over the last two years NMT has progressed dramatically. It has now achieved “human parity” for important language pairs and domains. That changes everything.

Industry Getting it Wrong

Most players in the $50b translation industry, service providers but also their customers, think that NMT is just another source for a translation proposal. In order to preserve their established way of delivery they pitch the concept of “augmented translation”. However, if the machine translation is as good (or bad) as human translation, who would you have revise it, another translator or a subject matter expert? 
Yes, the expert who knows what the text is about. The workflow is thus changing to automatic translation and expert revision. Translation becomes faster, cheaper, and better!

Different Actors, Different Tools

A revision UI will have to look very different to a CAT tool. The most dramatic change is that a revision UI has to be extremely simple. To support the current model of augmented translation, CAT tools have become very powerful. However, their complexity can only be handled by a highly demanded group of maybe a couple ten thousand of professional translators globally.

For the new workflow a product design is required, that can support dozens of millions of, mostly occasional, expert revisers. Also, the revisers need to be pointed to the sentences which need revision. This requires multilingual knowledge.

Disruption Powered by Coreon

Coreon can answer the two key questions for using NMT in a professional translation workflow: a) which parts of the translated text are not fit-for-purpose and b) why not? To do so the multilingual knowledge system classifies linguistic assets, human resources, QA, and projects in a unified system which is expandable, dynamic, and provides fallback paths. In the future linguists will engineer localization workflows such as Semiox and create multilingual knowledge in Coreon. "Doing words” is left to NMT.

The post Sunsetting CAT appeared first on .

4 APR 2018

Concept Maps Everywhere

On March 22-24 the DTT Symposion (short DTT) took place again in Mannheim. It is the bi-annual meeting of the German Terminology Association (Deutscher Terminologietag). We were exhibiting and I enjoyed talking to many Coreon customers there. It was a truly exciting event this year and according to the organizers the most busy ever. 200+ participants meant house full!

"Ausgebucht - no further seats left!"

After a half day of pre-event workshops, the event kicked off Friday morning with a presentation from Martin Volk (University Zürich) on parallel corpora, terminology extraction, and MT. Martin challenged the hype…

On March 22-24 the DTT Symposion (short DTT) took place again in Mannheim. It is the bi-annual meeting of the German Terminology Association (Deutscher Terminologietag). We were exhibiting and I enjoyed talking to many Coreon customers there. It was a truly exciting event this year and according to the organizers the most busy ever. 200+ participants meant house full!

"Ausgebucht - no further seats left!"

After a half day of pre-event workshops, the event kicked off Friday morning with a presentation from Martin Volk (University Zürich) on parallel corpora, terminology extraction, and MT. Martin challenged the hype around Neural Machine Translation and pinpointed some weaknesses: “NMT operates with a fixed vocabulary. But real world translation has to deal with new words constantly … how can we ensure terminology-consistent translation?”. His research confirms what we've outlined in an earlier blog post: Why Machine Learning still Needs Humans for Language.

“Concept Maps Everywhere”

Back to the event ... as one participant tweeted, concept maps were the dominating topic throughout the days. First a workshop by Annette Weilandt (eccenca) on taxonomy, thesauri, and ontologies, followed by a presentation by Petra Drewer (University Karlsruhe). Petra unveiled a plethora of benefits:

  • insight into the domain
  • systematic presentation
  • clear distinction between concepts
  • identification of gaps
  • equivalence checks across languages
  • new opportunities in AI contexts

No surprise, my event highlight was the Coreon customer presentation from Liebherr on the benefits of multilingual knowledge systems. In this very entertaining presentation Lukas Auer (Liebherr MCCtec) and Johannes Widmann (Liebherr Holding) outlined how pragmatic and effective the work with concept systems turns out. They concluded: “If we all think in networks, why should our termbase then be designed as an alphabetic list of terms??” Instead, the concept system driven approach has many advantages such as training of new staff, context knowledge for technical authors and translators, terminological elaboration of specific domains, insight into the degree of how far a domain is already covered, avoiding doublettes etc. Download a case study from the Coreon web site.

DTT 2018 Award for a Master Thesis on Coreon

And then the “i-Tüpfelchen” (cherry on the cake) on Friday afternoon: David Reininghaus received this year’s DTT award on his master thesis: “Applying concept maps onto terminology collections: implementation of WIPO terminology with Coreon”. David analyzed in his work how a real graph driven technology outperforms simple hyperlink based approaches: no redundancies, more efficient, less error-prone. David further developed an XSL-based method how to transform the MultiTerm / TBX hyperlink based workarounds into a real graph, visualized in Coreon.

Deutsche Bahn: Terminology-Driven AI Applications

Tom Winter (Deutsche Bahn and President of the DTT) illustrated in his session how terminology boosts AI applications. Through already simple synonym expansion the intranet search engines are now more meaningful (a search for the unofficial Schaffner, now finds even documents where only the approved Zugbegleiter was used). Other applications are automatic pre-processing of incoming requests in a customer query-answering system or even improving Alexa driven speech interaction at ticket vending machines … who says terminology is still a niche application?

From Language to Knowledge

I am excited about the evolution of the DTT in recent years. How many more participants will we see in spring 2020? I am convinced the more the DTT community continues to leave the pure documentation niche and the more the focus moves onto areas that our customer Liebherr or Tom Winter have illustrated, the relevance and awareness level of the community will continue to grow. So that the organisers can again proudly announce: Ausgebucht - no more seats left!

The post Concept Maps Everywhere appeared first on .

12 FEB 2018

Internet of Things Banks on Semantic Interoperability

The biggest challenge for widespread adoption of the Internet of Things is interoperability. A much-noticed McKinsey report states that achieving interoperability in IoT would unlock an additional 40% of value. This is not surprising since the IoT is in essence about connecting machines, devices, and sensors – ideally cross organization, cross industries, and even cross borders. But while technical and syntactic interoperability are pretty much solved, little has been available so far to make sure devices actually understand each other.

Focus Semantic Interoperability

Embedded Computing Design superbly describes the situation in a recent series of articlesTechnical interoperability

The biggest challenge for widespread adoption of the Internet of Things is interoperability. A much-noticed McKinsey report states that achieving interoperability in IoT would unlock an additional 40% of value. This is not surprising since the IoT is in essence about connecting machines, devices, and sensors – ideally cross organization, cross industries, and even cross borders. But while technical and syntactic interoperability are pretty much solved, little has been available so far to make sure devices actually understand each other.

Focus Semantic Interoperability

Embedded Computing Design superbly describes the situation in a recent series of articlesTechnical interoperability, the fundamental ability to exchange raw data (bits, frames, packets, messages), is well understood and standardized. Syntactic interoperability, the ability to exchange structured data, is supported by standard data formats such as XML and JSON. Core connectivity standards such as DDS or OPC-UA provide syntactic interoperability cross-industries by communicating through a proposed set of standardized gateways.

Semantic interoperability, though,requires that the meaning (context) of exchanged data is automatically and accurately interpreted. Several industry bodies have tried to implement semantic data models. However, these semantic data schemes have either been way too narrow for cross-industry use cases or had to stay too high-level. Without schemes data from IoT devices lack information to describe their own meaning. Therefore, a laborious and, worse, inflexible normalization effort is required before that data can be really used. 

Luckily there is a solution: abstract metadata from devices by creating an IoT knowledge system.

Controlled Vocabulary and Ontologies

A controlled vocabulary is a collection of identifiers which ensure consistency of metadata terminology. These terms are used to label concepts (nodes) in a graph which provides a standardized classification for a particular domain. Such ontology, incorporating characteristics of a taxonomy and thesaurus, links concepts with their terms and attributes in semantic relationships. This way it provides metadata abstraction. It represents knowledge in machine-readable form and thus functions as a knowledge system for specific domains and their IoT applications.

IoT Knowledge Systems made Easy

A domain ontology can be maintained in a repository completely abstracted from any programming environment. It needs to be created and maintained by domain experts. With the explosive growth of IoT constantly new devices, applications, organizations, industries, and even countries are added. Metadata abstraction parallels object-oriented programming and unfortunately so do the tools used so far to maintain and extend ontologies.

But now our SaaS solution Coreon makes sure that IoT devices understand each other. Not only does Coreon function with its API as a semantic gateway in the IoT connectivity architecture, it also provides a modern, very easy-to-use application to maintain ontologies; featuring a user interface domain experts can actually work with. With Coreon they can deliver the knowledge necessary for semantic interoperability so that IoT applications can unlock their full value.

Coreon will be presented at the Bosch ConnectedWorld Internet of Things conference February 2018 in Berlin. If you cannot come by our stand (S20) just flip thru our presentation or drop us a mail with questions. 

The post Internet of Things Banks on Semantic Interoperability appeared first on .

29 JAN 2018

Language Service Providers Need to Look Ahead to Compete with Machines

By Rachel Wheeler, Morningside Translations

Language localization services have been big business, and estimates indicate that the market will grow at an annual rate of about 7%. Companies that focus solely on translations services will continue to find demand for several years to come. The global marketplace, however, also presents new opportunities for language service providers (LSPs) to elevate their services and expand their businesses beyond translation alone.

Other LSPs Are Not The Only Competition

Some of the key benefits that professional translation agencies provide are quality translation and local expertise. To date, machine language translation software has had it…

By Rachel Wheeler, Morningside Translations

Language localization services have been big business, and estimates indicate that the market will grow at an annual rate of about 7%. Companies that focus solely on translations services will continue to find demand for several years to come. The global marketplace, however, also presents new opportunities for language service providers (LSPs) to elevate their services and expand their businesses beyond translation alone.

Other LSPs Are Not The Only Competition

Some of the key benefits that professional translation agencies provide are quality translation and local expertise. To date, machine language translation software has had it limitations: poor quality, faulty grammar and syntax, and lack of contextual understanding. LSPs have benefited from these flaws by being able to provide a superior alternative.

However, in 2017, Google introduced Google Neural Machine Translation (GNMT). What GNMT promises to provide is a new machine approach that will directly compete with human translators. Machine learning translation software has relied on an algorithmic approach to translation that was an almost a word-for-word dictionary approach. Therein lies its major flaw: it can only learn through predictive behavior analysis.

Neural networks like GNMT, however, incorporate a more complex structure that mimics the way the human brain processes information. This approach replicates the idea of intuition in many ways, not simply hard definitions. In its first published iteration, Google is already claiming a 60% reduction in errors.

For LSPs, these neural networks mean more–and cheaper–competition in the future. The nature of work for translation agencies will need to change in order to remain relevant.

Marketing Remains the Realm of People

By far, the main edge LSPs will have over machine translation is experience and local culture understanding. For global businesses, marketing their goods and services is not just a matter of translating words. Successful marketing understands the emotional impact of how information is presented.

Subtle differences in words–“discover” versus “find”, for example–have a different impact in sales and marketing than they do in more formal written content. Factoring in the additional layer of translation word choices, and the tone or intent of words can change dramatically beyond the original purpose.

Marketing content does not automatically translate from one language to another. Even visual imagery can fall in the purview of the cross-cultural marketer. Lingerie, for instance, is promote differently in conservative countries than in the West. LSPs are in the perfect position to expand their services into marketing, either as outside consultants or even agency-level providers.

Essentially, their ability to localize is a human translator’s greatest differentiator. Whether that’s leveraged for eLearning localization or creating images for a website specifically geared towards a regional audience, this is where an LSP can still shine.

Data Mining Works In Any Language

With today’s enormous output of information, data mining has become big business of its own. Data miners often refer to their work as “discovering insights.” As they review the clicks of a website, the comments on social media, and results of customer surveys, they inherently build a consumer profile with cultural bias built in.

LSPs with experts in particular languages and cultures offer the opportunity to sift through these insights in the original language that a non-native speaker can miss in translation.

Plan Ahead for Competitive Advantage

The technology world makes no secret of its innovations. LSPs should keep on eye on the changes and trends and plan for the future. By anticipating the coming shift in global demand for translation service, language service providers can be ahead of their competitors instead of playing catch-up.

This guest post is written by Rachel Wheeler from Morningside Translations.

The post Language Service Providers Need to Look Ahead to Compete with Machines appeared first on .

6 JUN 2017

The IoT will Thrive on Semantics

In the Internet of Things (IoT) all devices are supposed to communicate among themselves, worldwide. Only, what are they saying to each other? Recently, former Siemens CTO Siegfried Russwurm got to the core of the issue: “Industry 4.0 needs first of all semantics. We can only get through interfaces and breaking points using unified semantics." Apparently not only civil servants in cross-border projects or industry supply chain managers need semantic interoperability. The billions and billions of IoT devices need semantic interoperability as well.

The Must of Semantic Technologies

Sebastian Tramp, coordinator of the Linked Enterprise Data Services…

In the Internet of Things (IoT) all devices are supposed to communicate among themselves, worldwide. Only, what are they saying to each other? Recently, former Siemens CTO Siegfried Russwurm got to the core of the issue: “Industry 4.0 needs first of all semantics. We can only get through interfaces and breaking points using unified semantics." Apparently not only civil servants in cross-border projects or industry supply chain managers need semantic interoperability. The billions and billions of IoT devices need semantic interoperability as well.

The Must of Semantic Technologies

Sebastian Tramp, coordinator of the Linked Enterprise Data Services (LEDS) project, nicely explains why the vision of the IoT and Industry 4.0 cannot be realized without semantics. If the meaning of IoT devices is not clear, it’s hard for them to interact or even communicate. For this the devices and their relevant metadata must be clearly defined. If, for example, some value is supposed to be measured, the data stream needs to contain information which sensor took the value when and where. But also what this value is all about. The power of the IoT is based on combining data from different sources. To link this data in a meaningful way you need interfaces in form of shared knowledge, i.e. ontologies. That’s what semantic technologies deliver.

Textual Metadata

Human language plays a surprisingly big role in the IoT. For example, a visual sensor’s image Exif information records under [Flash mode] the value “flash, red eye, no strobe return”. Another device processing this textual metadata needs to understand what “… red eye, no strobe …” actually means. And, very important, if it can’t provide specific processing for the strobe usage, it should conclude the more generic fact that a flash was active. To make things even more complex, depending on where the device was built it might say this in Chinese or German.

Leverage Terminologies, Taxonomies, and Ontologies

Luckily Multilingual Knowledge Systems (MKS) like Coreon deliver the required semantic and linguistic intelligence for the communication of IoT devices. Companies can leverage existing resources such as word lists, multilingual termbases, and taxonomies to build their metadata concepts with corresponding labels in one or more languages. The metadata concepts need to be semantically structured at least in broader-narrower relations. Through auto-taxonomisation a provisional graph is suggested which is reviewed and finalised by subject matter experts. Knowledge resources require often coverage of several languages. Mono- and bilingual term extraction, text and translation memory harvesting algorithms reduce this effort significantly.

This way a knowledge graph is created with each node representing a metadata meaning expressed by one or more labels. When shared this graph become the interface for IoT devices.

Semantics for the IoT

Without semantic interoperability IoT devices fail to communicate with each other. If human intervention is necessary the Internet of Things with billions of devices remains a buzzword for a great vision. Multilingual Knowledge Systems are a proven solution to make data repositories, systems, organizations, and even countries interoperable. They will provide the unified semantics for the Internet of Things, globally.

Learn more about Coreon or jump right in for a look and feel.

The post The IoT will Thrive on Semantics appeared first on .