Chapter

Computational Creativity Research: Towards Creative Machines

Volume 7 of the series Atlantis Thinking Machines pp 167-196

Date:

E Pluribus Unum

Formalisation, Use-Cases, and Computational Support for Conceptual Blending
  • Oliver KutzAffiliated withInstitute of Knowledge and Language Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg Email author 
  • , John BatemanAffiliated withFaculty of Linguistics and Literary Sciences/Research Center on Spatial Cognition (SFB/TR 8), University of Bremen
  • , Fabian NeuhausAffiliated withInstitute of Knowledge and Language Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg
  • , Till MossakowskiAffiliated withInstitute of Knowledge and Language Engineering, Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg
  • , Mehul BhattAffiliated withResearch Center on Spatial Cognition (SFB/TR 8), University of Bremen

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Abstract

Conceptual blending has been employed very successfully to understand the process of concept invention, studied particularly within cognitive psychology and linguistics. However, despite this influential research, within computational creativity little effort has been devoted to fully formalise these ideas and to make them amenable to computational techniques. Unlike other combination techniques, blending aims at creatively generating (new) concepts on the basis of input theories whose domains are thematically distinct but whose specifications share structural similarity based on a relation of analogy, identified in a generic space, the baseontology. We introduce here the basic formalisation of conceptual blending, as sketched by the late Joseph Goguen, and discuss some of its variations. We illustrate the vast array of conceptual blends that may be covered by this approach and discuss the theoretical and conceptual challenges that ensue. Moreover, we show how the Distributed Ontology Language \(\mathsf {DOL}\) can be used to declaratively specify blending diagrams of various shapes, and discuss in detail how the workflow and creative act of generating and evaluating a new, blended concept can be managed and computationally supported within Ontohub, a \(\mathsf {DOL}\)-enabled theory repository with support for a large number of logical languages and formal linking constructs.