THE e-Compliance research project has announced the arrival of its Maritime thesaurus and ontology, designed to help draft, formulate and understand maritime sea law, reports London's Digital Ship.
Partly funded by the EU, e-Compliance aims to integrate maritime law produced by various bodies using a thesaurus and ontology as the basis to develop semantic technologies for searching, drafting and annotating sea law.
The thesaurus contains a large number of terms which are frequently used in maritime law, distinguishing between a "preferred label" and "alternative labels" thereby encouraging the use of official terms like "vessel" rather than "boat".
The ontology will act as a data structure to model in the creation of maritime regulations and aims to capture the meaning of laws in a computer-readable fashion.
While known in philosophy as a branch of metaphysics, in information technology an "ontology" is the working model of entities and interactions within a particular domain of knowledge.
Thus in maritime law, the ontology breaks down regulations into classes, then labels the target subject, "tankers", let's say, and the context and circumstances in which the rule applies, "at sea", for example. And then the requirement that must be engaged, for example, "automatic identification system [AIS]".
Using this structure, the regulation "tankers at sea must have AIS engaged" could be stored in a computer-readable format, according to e-Compliance, which would give software a basic understanding of legal texts.
The technology will rely on the existing content enrichment system Luxid, built by e-Compliance partner Temis, and will be configured specifically for the maritime domain.
Source : HKSG.