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A Visual Ontology-Driven Interface for a Web Sign Language Dictionary
M. Felice – EURAC T. Di Mascio – University of L’Aquila R. Gennari – Free University of Bozen

Outline
• Context of use
– Italian sign language (LIS) – The e-LIS project – The e-LIS ontology

• Users and organisational requirements • Design solutions • Conclusions and future work
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Italian sign language:definition
Context of use -> Italian sign language

• Visual-gestural language developed in Italian deaf communities • Signs are used instead of voice to convey meaning • A sign is realised through hand(s), facial expressions, and mouthings • Sign Languages (SLs) have a tempo-spatial nature, they are difficult to write
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Italian sign language: transcription
Context of use -> Italian signlanguage

• Several transcription systems proposed in the literature for SLs • The Stokoe transcription system can be employed for notating single and decontextualised signs • LIS -> Radutzky transcription system
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Radutzky transcription system
Context of use -> Italian sign language

• Four classes
– Handshape – Palm orientation – Movement – Location

• Non manual components areneglected!

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The e-LIS project
Context of use -> The e-LIS project

• A research project developed at the European Academy (EURAC) of Bozen-Bolzano • Cooperation with
– ALBA from Turin, active in deaf studies – KRDB of Free University of Bozen-Bolzano – University of L’Aquila

• Main goal
– Create a bilingual website (Italian and LIS), offering a dictionary, two search engines and aforum
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The dictionary
Context of use -> The e-LIS project

• It allows translations form Italian to LIS and from LIS to Italian • Not only the translation, but also lexicographic information are shown • Information is shown both in Italian and LIS (digital videos are used) • Word search and sign search • http://elisdiz.eurac.edu/diz
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Sign search
Context of use -> The e-LISproject

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Current advantages and limits
Context of use -> The e-LIS project

• Advantages
– Wizard-like interaction – Iconic representations of sign components (transcription system is hidden) – Video of signing people are shown

• Limits
– Powerful undo tools are not present, thus the decision-making process is not well supported – The interaction is too long (too many mouse clicks)– Users are not supported, thus they can make mistakes – Users have to know the rules of sign composition
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The e-LIS ontology
Context of use -> The e-LIS ontology

• Ontology: a formal representation of a specific knowledge, which encodes semantics • The e-LIS ontology represents a sign in LIS, and it encodes the rules of sign composition (e.g., how the Stokoe classes are linked, or howa sign is realised) • Domain ontology (+ application ontology)
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Overview of the domain ontology
Context of use -> The e-LIS ontology

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Taxonomy of Handshape
Context of use -> The e-LIS ontology

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Taxonomy of PalmOrientation
Context of use -> The e-LIS ontology

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Taxonomy of Location
Context of use -> The e-LIS ontology

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Taxonomy ofOneHandMovement
Context of use -> The e-LIS ontology

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Taxonomy of RelationalMovement
Context of use -> The e-LIS ontology

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Revised version of the ontology
Context of use -> The e-LIS ontology

• Original ontology
– Many concepts and relations – Intermediate abstract concepts (e.g. curved shapes)

• Simplified ontology
– – – – Only the five concepts related to Stokoeclasses Focus on the taxonomy of such concepts Stokoe classes are 0-level elements Handshapes are grouped into more intuitive concepts (0-finger, 1-finger, etc.) – Relational movement and one hand movement are considered both children of movement Stokoe class
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Outline
• Context of use • Users and organisational requirements
– Profiling of users – Tasks – Usability goals

• Design...
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