Basic Conceptual Structures Theory

  • Michel Wermeliager
  • José Gabriel Lopes
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 835)


Although the theory of Conceptual Structures is over 10 years old, basic notions (like canonical graphs) are far from settled and are subject to constant extensions and reformulations. However, most of these are done in an informal way, which doesn't help in clarifying the issues involved. It is our hope that this paper will provide a first step towards the complete and rigorous account of Conceptual Structures (CS) Theory, which is needed for ongoing standardization and implementation efforts.

Towards that goal, we present formal definitions of some of the central notions of CS theory (type, referent, concept, relation, conceptual graph, canonical formation rules, canon, and canonical graph) in its simplest form, i.e. no contexts nor coreference links are allowed and referents must be individuals. We thereby introduce higher-order types in order to enable the use of conceptual graphs at the metalevel, the restriction operation of the canonical formation rules is extended to make use of the relation hierarchy, we show the relationship between denotation and conformity relation, and we give a rigorous meaning to the canonical basis, among other things.

Key phrases

formalization of CS theory higher-order concept and relation types type and marker hierarchies metalevel and instance level 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel Wermeliager
    • 1
  • José Gabriel Lopes
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de InformáticaUniversidade Nova de LisboaMonte da CaparicaPortugal

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