From Image Schemas to Cognitive Robotics

SCORE: From Image Schemas to Cognitive Robotics: A formal framework and computational models for embodied simulations

A concept that has become increasingly central in several areas concerned with understanding intelligent behaviour, perception, concept learning, cognitive science, conceptual metaphor theory, creativity and language comprehension is that of image schemas (ImS). However, despite an explosion of interest and, indeed, reliance on the concept of image schemas, formalization of the construct still substantially lags behind the broad claims now commonly being made for them. The specific goals that the project sets out to achieve concern the formalization of the theoretical and descriptive proposals made in the literature concerning image schema in a manner that both supports and is complemented by computational models of embodied simulation.

The specific outcomes of the project will be:

  1. an implemented computational system capable of relating linguistic descriptions of actions and movements (e.g., `break the eggs into the bowl', `put the juice into the fridge', `go into the kitchen', `stack the plates in the cupboard', `move up the stairs', `blow up the balloon'), as well as classic movement cases such as the well-known source-path-goal journey metaphor, to formal image schema specifications,
  2. an implemented connection of abstract image schemas with processes for embodied simulation,
  3. a formal communication mechanism for reading out the consequences of simulations for the semantic interpretation (e.g., if an object A is contained in an object B, then moving B will move A with it, or if an object A is placed on an object B, then moving B will move A as long as a sufficiently stable support for A is maintained, i.e., a plate should not be moved too fast, etc.)
  4. a formal specification characterising image schemas within a specially designed logic instantiated as a node extending the existing lattice of logics available within the Distributed Ontology Language (DOL) framework for ontological specification,
  5. an initial open-access repository containing formal specifications of a selected set of commonly occurring image schemes that can be re-used for both theoretical and practical further development.

For both sites, extensive use is made of the strong facilities and existing theoretical frameworks and computational implementations in place.