Cognitive Model of Time and
Analysis of Natural Language
Texts
Naidenova, X.A.,
Garina, M.I.
Cognitive model of time
Cognitive model of time includes:
The units of time (year, month, spring, minute);






the time intervals and their properties: the beginning, the end,
duration, without beginning (opened in the past), without end
(opened in the future), consisting of points;
Environment: nearest past, nearest future (about noon, soon
after the beginning/the end, toward the evening);
Various relations between units and intervals: coincidence,
contact, presedence, going after, intersection, inclusion,
remoteness into the past/future time;
Degree of relations: the measures of remoteness, intersection
and so on;
Comparison relations of interval duration: longer, less for
long, shorter and so on;
Uncertain (fuzzy) relations: considerably later, once, early in
the morning and so on;
Main cognitive constructions






Event (can be empty)  time interval;
Time interval ::= (the beginning --- the end) / unit of
time/ a set of units of time; a moment of time is the
particular case of interval;
The beginning ::= the date/event; the end::= the
date/event;
Interval has the duration;
Event is associated with time interval. But the very
moment of time can be an event :«September
began», «Days go»;
Time interval can be expressed via some events,
for example, “at dawn, to the first volleys of artillery”,
“long before the first sun rays”.
The Basic Cognitive Model of Time
Periodicity
Event
Time of event
Duration
Methods
The date
Unit of time
The beginning
Interval
The end
Event
Event
The date
Time of event
Duration
Unit of time
Interval
The date
Unit of time
Interval
Time of event
Duration
The Property of Cognitive Model of Time




Obviously, this diagram is recursive, i.e., an
event is associated with the time interval, and
a time interval can be expressed via some
events, for example:
“at dawn”,
“to the first volleys of artillery”,
“long before the first sun rays”.
Methods
Computation Rules for DURATION: а) as the
difference between the end and the beginning
with the precise time markers (the dates); б) as
the time interval between events: since
<EVENT1> to <EVENT2>; в) as a set of time
units (900 days).
 Rules for demonstrating the truthfulnes of
different relations between time intervals:
sequence (which is earlier, which is later, which
will be, which is already past), simultaneity,
inclusion into one and the same time interval,
intersection, contact and so on.
Methods as meta-knowledge



Methods are natural rules for analyzing the relationships
between time units/intervals;
Methods include both computations and implicative
assertions of the general kind: E1,T.end < E2,T.begin 
E1 R E2, where E1 and E2 are events, E.T is interval
associated with event E, T.end and T.begin are the end
and beginning of interval T, respectively, and R is the
precedence relation;
«T.begin ≤ T.end; T.end ≥ T.begin»;
Properties of Events




Events can be indeterminate (fuzzy) in the
time (considerably later, once upon a time);
Events can flow in the time rapidly, slowly;
Periodic events can be frequent or rare;
The temporary properties of events can be
both objective and subjective (estimated).
It is still necessary to consider

A set of events can be associated with only one
time interval;

An event can be expressed by both only one
word and a set of proposals (maybe only one
proposal);
An event and the time interval associated with
it can be in different proposals;

It is still necessary to consider
It is possible that an active agent (including
temporary moment) cannot be determined
without the aid of referential relation ;
 There are the events attached (by default)
to the time intervals (dawn, sunset, schoolleaving ball, dinner, supper, breakfast, the
beginning of workday).

The link of cognitive model of time with NLs

The cognitive model of time does not depend on
language, but it is tuned into different natural languages.

For this goal, the following levels of natural language
are considered: lexical, morphological, and syntactic
ones.
Questions of constructing a translator of the cognitive
model of time (its elements and the generalized
assertions (meta - knowledge)) into language
expressions for a given natural language and vice
versa are examined.
Translator can be built as a trained system that
learns by specially constructed phrases.


The Lexical Level

A special case of time interval
is the name of time unit

Example:

TI = {century, year, month,
twenty-four hours, the
morning, day, evening, the
night, January, February,
March, April, May, June,
minute, second, winter,
summer…}
Relationships between lexical units of NL
Classification («is-a»), composition («concsistof»), part-whole, occurring in cycles, inclusion,
sequence:
 Year is (winter, spring, summer, autumn);
 Occurring in cycles: winter of one year follows
after autumn of previous year;
 Sequence: spring is after winter;
 «Part-Whole»: minute is a part of hour;
 Composition: twenty-four hours consist of
night and day;
Year
Month
Day
January
Time of day
December
Night
February
Morning
November
Afternoon
March
October
April
September
May
August
June
July
Evening
Explanations to the diagram



The relation of classification is shown with
the aid of triangle connections while the
relation of composition - by pointer with the
rhomb.
If the relation of composition is determined
between the intervals of upper level, then it is
determined between the intervaldescendants (for example, June consists of
twenty-four hours).
Specific dimensionality can be determined
only for the connections of the lower level (it
cannot be said how many twenty-four hours
year generally consists of, month generally
consists of, but it can be said, how many
twenty-four hours leap year consists of,
month consists of, January consists of, etc)
Lexical level of time relationships. Table: « Time of event » (for
Russian Language) from «Multidimensionality of the time ». Elkin, S. V. et al.)
1 Event
2 Duration of the event,
durability
3 Long duration, short duration, shortterm, momentary, transitory
Repetition of the event
Process consisting of several
different events
Event series
Multiple repetition of one and
the same event
Daily, every week
It is quarterly, monthly,
Yearly
Once
Once only, it is single-time
Time before the event
Before, in advance, in good time, previously, before the appointed time, it is
preliminary, it is premature, on the threshold of, it is earlier than, long
before, thus far not, not in a long time, recently, as long as, the day
before
Time after the event
Later, afterward, it is later, then, after, hence, hence-forward, forth, in
future, from now on, after all, immediately afterward, further, when
Association of the event with the
time
In one’s life (from birth), originally, while
Indeterminate time

Affirmative time: sometimes, someday, in the
course of time, then, once;

Negative time: never
Temporary pretexts

The approximate classification of
Russian temporary pretexts has been
given by Kreydlin, G.E. “Time through
the prism of temporary pretexts” // The
logical analysis of the language:
Language and time. M. — 1997. - 352 p.
Relation
Pretext
Example
Temporary
marker, the event
Simultaneity
Extent
Duration
For,
During
For entire trip he
said nothing
The time interval
is attached to the
event (trip)
Precedence
Approximately
We awaited
approximately to
midnight
Temporary
marker: midnight;
Time: the
indeterminate
half-interval.
Syntactic Level
Relation
Structure
Syntactic
diagram
Role in the
sentence
Going after
Immediately
afterward<action>/
<event>, <event>
Adverb with the
pretext «afterward»
<action>/<event>,
<event>
Adverbial modifier
Including <the
date>
Verbal Adverb
<the date>
Adverbial modifier
of time.
Example:
Including 2010
Inclusion
of time.
Example:
Immediately after
wedding and parting
words of parents.
Text processing






Text processing system consists of
Cognitive models of time and events that oriented to a
given domain application and the goals of text
processing;
Translater that is adjusted to a given NL;
Block of plausible (commonsense) reasoning which
infers consequences from established temporary
relations between events in the text by means of metaknowledge of cognitive models;
Dialogue Syntactical Analyzer for a given NL;
Block of control or operational subsystem of the
translater.
Cognitive
Model
Of Time
Cognitive
Model
Of Event
Plausible
Inferrence
Translator,
adjusted to NL
Text
Syntactical Analyzer
Control
Base of extracted
events and time
relations between
them
Text processing
Text interacts with the Translator and
Syntactical Analyzer;
 As a result, events, their time moments
or interval are extracted, and then the
conclusions about temporary relations
between the events are inferred.

The work of Translator (1)
Translator first searches for the supporting
(key) words (temporary markers), which
are connected with the expression of time
in the text.
 Then translator, using lexical and syntactic
models, attempts to determine the events,
associated with the chosen time markers.
 If it is necessary, then turning to Syntactic
Analyzer follows.

The work of translator (2)

Translator can repeatedly be turned first
to the text or first to the cognitive model,
then to the syntactic analyzer in order
purposefully to search for the required
(according to the rules of cognitive
model) linguistic constructions.
Formation of the Base of Events
Hypotheses about the events and the
temporary supporting moments are
erected as the list of the possible
facts, extracted from the text.
 The Base of Events is filled up with
the copies of events with their time
characteristics.

The work of Block of Plausible
Reasoning
The block of plausible reasoning derives
all consequences of the discovered facts
(events, their properties, the relations
between them).
Example of extracting events and time
of events from the text
An example of the text analysis has been given
from the narrative of V. Nekrasov “The
entrenchments of Stalingrad”.
This example shows what we will have as a
result of the event-temporary text analysis
with the use of cognitive models of time and
events
Sentence 1
The number of
sentence
Event
Time interval
Inferred
information
1
I do not
recollect
Autumn
Autumn
consists of
«September,
October,
November».
Sentence 2
The number of
sentence
Event
Time interval
Inferred
information
2
September
passed
September It precedes
“October”;
consequently,
“began
October”.
Time interval «September» is an event. Predicate is expressed by the verb of
passed time, whose semantics speaks that the time interval is finished, it left into
the past. It is derived from the cognitive model of time that October goes after
September, next month of autumn.
Sentence 3
The number of
sentence
Event
Time interval
3
Event 1:
In the mornings
Fish laps in the
Volga;
Event 2:
Circles disperse
over the surface
of water.
Inferred
information
Each day in
the morning;
October;
Autumn.
Sentence 6
The number of
sentence
Event
Time interval
6
It is tender =
At dawn;
Left shore of the To the first
Volga is tender volleys of the
artillery;
At dawn = early in
the morning;
To (before) the first
volleys of the
artillery;
Event = the first
volleys of the
artillery;
6
First volleys of
the artillery
Early in the
morning;
October;
Autumn.
At dawn;
Inferred data
Sentence 8
The number of
sentence
Event
Time interval
Inferred
information
8
Event: Х lasts; Х
= the fog
For a while
For a while;
Early in the
morning.
In this proposal there is no subject and therefore
there is no acting agent. We establish it with the
aid of the reference (analysis of the previous
proposal).
Sentence 9
The number of
sentence
Event
Time interval
9
Long-range gun
shoots
Long before
the first sun
rays
9
Event: First
At dawn
sun rays
Inferred
information
Early in the
morning;
October; Autumn.
In proposal 9 there is no explicit indication of moment of time. But adverbial
modifier of time «before the first sun rays» is associated with dawn, and
dawn – with morning. That’s why we extract the event «the first sun rays»
and associate it with « early in the morning ».
Sentences 11 and 12
The number of Event
sentence
Time interval Inferred
information
11
The day
begins
The day
Day comes after
morning;
The beginning
of the day.
12
The « frame »
appears
At seven
o’clock
Seven hours of
the morning;
Beginning of the
day.
Sentence 19
The number
of sentence
Event
Time interval
19
It will determine
Entire day
19
It = the first ten of Entire day
aircrafts
Inferred
information
Entire day =
from the
morning to the
evening
Sentence19 «It will determine entire day» requires the returning to the
previous sentence in order to assiciate the word « it » with « the first ten of
aircrafts ». This action requires the complete syntactic analysis of sentence
18.
Sentence 20
The number of
sentence
Event
Time interval
Inferred
information
20
Event 1:
They will bury
those killed;
Event 2: repair
the damaged
guns;
Event 3 :
dig new slots
and mud-huts;
Entire night
After day;
From the
evening to the
morning;
From the sunset
to the dawn;
Explanations to sentence 20


In proposal 20, we separate the fragment
connected with the keywords “entire night”.
Subject and predicate determine event “we
learn”. However time interval relates to direct
object: «We learn, in what section entire night
they will bury those killed, repair the
damaged machine guns and guns, dig new
slots and mud-huts».
Some observations



The dialogue between the cognitive model of
time, the translator and the syntactic analyzer
occurs.
The completeness and the accuracy of the
extracted knowledge depends on the
cognitive model of time, its completeness
and accuracy.
We rested on the time marks. But it is
possible to make events to be key markers.
What is necessary to make?
(1)
1.
To build Cognitive Model
of Time as completely as
possible including all
abstract elements,
relations and methods. It
is also necessary to take
into account the
uncertainty of time
intervals.
What is necessary to make?
(2)
1.
To build the Cognitive Model of
Event.
2.
Cognitive elements of model are: FACT, PROCESS,
ACTION, RESULT, SUBJECT, OBJECT, PLACE of
EVENT, TIME of EVENT, CAUSAL LINKS between
EVENTS, PROPERTY of OBJECT (SUBJECT).
3.
To refine this model through the
knowledge of a concrete domain
application (business, finances).

To build model of all possible events in a given domain
application with a mechanism of plausible inference
over this models of events.
What is necessary to make?
(3)


After the work on the cognitive models it
is possible to be turned to creating the
translator. It will be necessary to
determine in sentences the parts of
speech (subject, predicate, object,
adverbial modifiers). It is necessary to
recognize different kinds of sentences.
The main thing, that the analysis of
sentences is governed with the aid of the
cognitive models. The conclusions are
done at the level of cognitive models and
the concrete queries to the syntactic
analyzer can be formed via cognitive
models.
Thanks for the attention