7.6 Voice-enabled Knowledge Engine using Ontologies and Natural Language Processing for Weather and Hydrological Data

Wednesday, 13 January 2016: 9:45 AM
Room 348/349 ( New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Ibrahim Demir, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; and Y. Sermet and W. F. Krajewski

The Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) is a web-based platform developed by the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) to provide access to flood inundation maps, real-time flood conditions, flood forecasts, flood-related data, information and interactive visualizations for communities in Iowa. The IFIS is designed for use by general public, often people with no domain knowledge and limited general science background. To improve effective communication with such audience, we have introduced a voice-enabled knowledge engine on flood related issues in IFIS. Instead of navigating within many features and interfaces of the information system and web-based sources, the system provides dynamic computations based on a collection of built-in data, analysis, and methods. The IFIS Knowledge Engine connects to real-time stream gauges, in-house data sources, analysis and visualization tools to answer natural language questions. Our goal is the systematization of data and modeling results on flood related issues in Iowa, and to provide an interface for definitive answers to factual queries. The goal of the knowledge engine is to make all flood related knowledge in Iowa easily accessible to everyone, and support voice-enabled natural language input. We aim to integrate and curate all flood related data, implement analytical and visualization tools, and make it possible to compute answers from questions. The IFIS explicitly implements analytical methods and models, as algorithms, and curates all flood related data and resources so that all these resources are computable. The IFIS Knowledge Engine computes the answer by deriving it from its computational knowledge base. The knowledge engine processes the statement, access data warehouse, run complex database queries on the server-side and return outputs in various formats. This presentation provides an overview of IFIS Knowledge Engine, its unique information interface and functionality as an educational tool, and discusses the future plans for providing knowledge on flood related issues and resources. IFIS Knowledge Engine provides an alternative access method to these comprehensive set of tools and data resources available in IFIS. Current implementation of the system accepts free-form input and voice recognition capabilities within browser and mobile applications.

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