DS-1995-04: Study on the Formal Semantics of Pictures

DS-1995-04: Wang, Dejuan (1995) Study on the Formal Semantics of Pictures. Doctoral thesis, University of Amsterdam.

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In the way natural languages have a semantics, pictures also have
semantics when they are used as a medium to help people to
communicate. However, there is a distinction between picture semantics
and natural language semantics: the semantics of pictures is not fixed
by convention. The same picture may have completely different meanings
when it is used in different circumstances.

The PhD thesis studies how to assign meanings to pictures when they
are used to help people in communicating. Its purpose is to provide
formal frameworks based on which we can design computer systems that
support visual communication.

In particular, I have studied two picture semantic approaches: the
interpretation approach and the picture specification approach. An
interpretation approach assigns meanings to each graphical entity
explicitly, and the semantics of a picture is determined from the
meanings of its components and their spatial relations. A picture
specification approach assigns meanings to pictures in an implicit
way. It creates picture classes according to the requirements of the
problems being tackled in the application domain.

The thesis consists of three parts. In Part I, I study how to describe
pictures geometrically. A formal framework is presented for the
construction of a picture descriptive language and then a set of
principles is given to guide the description of a picture in the
picture descriptive language. In Part II, the interpretation approach
is deveoped. Interpretations are defined on the basis of the study in
Part I. This definition serves as a criterion for checking whether or
not an interpretation is syntactically correct. Then a logical
characterisation is provided that, given an interpretation, determines
how the pictures are used in visual communication and whether or not
an interpretation correctly reflects the user's intention. Possible
applications are discussed. A graphics-assisted reasoning system GAR
is presented and reasoning with diagrammatic representations is
discussed. In Part III, picture specifications are the central topic.
I extended the traditional picture specification method by introducing
pictorial concept operators, so that some picture classes which cannot
be easily specified in the traditional way can be easily created.
Applications are discussed, which including that apply picture
specifications to computational art. Experimental systems CSGS and
CINONG are presented. CSGS can support users to specify pictorial
concepts and CINONG can synthesise some simple computational art

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Report Nr: DS-1995-04
Series Name: ILLC Dissertation (DS) Series
Year: 1995
Subjects: Computation
Depositing User: Dr Marco Vervoort
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 15:16
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2022 15:16
URI: https://eprints.illc.uva.nl/id/eprint/1977

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