Contribution of Conceptual Modeling to Enhancing Historians' Intuition -Application to Prosopography

Jacky Akoka, Isabelle Comyn-Wattiau, Stéphane Lamassé, Cédric Du Mouza

Historians, and in particular researchers in prosopography, focus a lot of effort on extracting and coding information from historical sources to build databases. To deal with this situation, they rely in some cases on their intuition. One important issue is to provide these researchers with the information extracted from the sources in a sufficiently structured form to allow the databases to be queried and to verify, and possibly, to validate hypotheses. The research in this paper attempts to take up the challenge of helping historians capturing and assessing information throughout automatic processes. The issue emerges when too many sources of uncertain information are available. Based on the high-level information fusion approach, we propose a process that automatically supports historians' intuition in the domain of prosopography. The contribution is threefold: a conceptual data model, a process model, and a set of rules combining the reliability of sources and the credibility of information.

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