Ontology-Based Semantic Representation of Silk Road’s Caravanserais: Conceptualization of Multifaceted Links

  • Elham AndaroodiEmail author
  • Frederic Andres
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11341)


Knowledge representation and reasoning has gained relevance during the last years to improve historic architecture understanding and comparisons by developing innovative systems. This article presents research results about semantic representation of a sub set of Silk Road heritages, caravanserai. The core of the information system is an ontology-based schema to capture general and domain-based features of caravanserai by conceptualizing multifaceted links. Lexical links which are mapped from upper level sources are defined to give meaning, quotation and derivation to terms. Upper level links are proposed to give parent-child relations, part-whole relations or associative relations to building components or divisions represented as entities in terminology schema. The major contribution of the research is to conceptualize domain based links for architectural heritage. After studying different thesauruses or standards related to architectural classification or spatial reasoning, three schemas were defined as construction, services and spatial configuration. They acquire qualitative relations between building elements or divisions of a selected corpus of caravanserais. The paper concludes with technical and domain-based assessment of the ontology by publishing the ontology online in Web protégé and using the knowledge to classify 140 cases of the corpus of desert on route caravanserais of Safavid Period. Future work is to publish the RDF ontology as Linked Data.


Ontology schema Lexical links Caravanserais Architectural links Spatial configuration 



We would like to commemorate the late professor, Pierre Lebigre, Emeritus Professor of ENSAPVS and Researcher at EVCAU for his constant support. We appreciate Prof. Kinji Ono from National Institute of Informatics for his ongoing advises. The Ontology has been developed by using the Protégé Knowledge Acquisition Tool.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TehranTehranIran
  2. 2.National Institute of InformaticsChiyoda-kuJapan

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