Word Meaning, Data Semantics, Crowdsourcing, and the BKM/A-Lex Approach

  • Thomas Nobel
  • Stijn HoppenbrouwersEmail author
  • Jan Mark Pleijsant
  • Mats Ouborg
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11878)


The lexical definition of concepts is an integral part of Fact Based Modelling. More in general, structured description of term meaning, in many forms and guises, has since the early days played a role in information systems (data dictionaries, data modelling), data management (business glossaries for data governance), knowledge engineering (applied logic, rule definition and management), and the Semantic Web (RDF). We observe that at the core of many different approaches to lexical meaning lies the combination of semantic networks and textual definitions, and propose to re-appreciate these relatively simple basics as the theoretical but also, and perhaps more so, the practical core of dealing with Data Semantics. We also explore some fundamental concepts from cybernetics, providing some theoretical basis for advocating crowdsourcing as a way of taking up a continuous lexical definition in and across domain communities. We discuss and compare various combined aspects in lexical definition approaches from various relevant fields in view of the A-Lex tool, which supports a crowdsourcing approach to the lexical definition in a data management context: Business Knowledge Mapping. We explain why this approach indeed applies most of the core concepts of “word meaning as a vehicle for dealing with data semantics in and across communities”.


Data semantics Semantic networks Lexical definition crowdsourcing Fact Based Modelling Collaborative modelling 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radboud UniversityNijmegenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.HAN University of Applied SciencesArnhemThe Netherlands
  3. 3.ABN AMRO BankAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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