An Integrated Narrative Generation System: Synthesis and Expansion

An Integrated Narrative Generation System: Synthesis and Expansion

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9943-2.ch001
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This chapter introduces an integrated narrative generation system (INGS), which is one of the central parts in the author's study that aims to define an integrated approach to narrative generation. In the narrative generation study, all parts are considered as components that serve the extreme generative and productive goals, and the most important element of the goals corresponds to the design and development of INGS. This chapter divides INGS into two parts: mechanisms and contents. The main generation modules in INGS are for story, narrative discourse, and expression including language, music, and picture images, which are performed using various narrative techniques. On the other hand, INGS has dictionaries, including conceptual and language, and various knowledge, including story content and state-event transformation knowledge bases, which correspond to the aspect of contents. This chapter explains the mechanisms in the order of the entire process and states in detail the conceptual dictionaries, mainly noun and verb conceptual dictionaries.
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The “Integrated Narrative Generation System (INGS)” is one of the central parts in this study that aims at an integrated approach to narrative generation for post-narratology. The integrated approach to narrative generation, or post-narratology as the word in this book’s title, deals with interdisciplinary and crossdisciplinary approaches to narrative and narrative generation as well as many related fields and concepts. Moreover, the author introduces philosophical concepts supporting this study and describes narrative analyses of kabuki and advertisements. However, the objectives of this study do not stop with the research of the receptive aspects such as consideration, survey, and analysis regarding narratives and narrative generation.

In this narrative generation study, all parts are considered as components that serve the extreme generative and productive goals. The first and the most important element of the goals corresponds to the design and development of INGS. Further, the “Geinō Information System (GIS),” discussed in Chapter 2 and again in more detail in Chapter 4, is related to the system’s framework that includes an INGS or many INGSs and is executed with an INGS or INGSs. Ogata (2016, 2018a, 2018b, 2019a), which is an enhanced version of Ogata (2016), provides the systematic and comprehensive descriptions of INGS. Although this chapter overlaps with previous papers, with respect to INGS as project, the system has been gradually developed and this new chapter shows the entire system, including newly revised and expanded parts. While the entire structure of the description is based on the above referenced papers, the content is extended and supported with new examples of narrative generation.

The following part describes the chapter’s structure. First, BACKGROUND: COMMON LISP covers Common Lisp, the main programming language for our system development, including INGS and other systems. Although, in previous papers, the author did not explain in detail such purely technological problems, the discussion here reveals that the Lisp programming language, being a nonprocedural and functional language with flexible scalability, was the most adequate programming language for INGS and related other systems and has been expanded gradually.

Next GENERATION PROCESSP OF THE INTEGRAYED NARRATIVE GENERATION SYSTEM describes the research and development process of the author itself used as a kind of narrative generation process, referring to many related papers.

Continuously, THE ARCHITECTURE OF INTEGRATED NARRATIVE GENERATION SYSTEM is the central section in this chapter. As in Ogata (2018b), this chapter divides INGS into two parts: “mechanisms” and “contents.” Since the literary criticism of Russian formalism (1910s–1930s), narratology has divided a narrative or narrative work into form and content and, especially, emphasized the formal side of a narrative. This had significance or meaning as a kind of antithesis to other literary schools of thought (e.g., “Socialist Realism”) that emphasize the contents described in narratives and literary works and consider “what is described” to be the core of values of narratives and literary works. In Japan, many theoretical literary studies, such as Natsume Sōseki (1867–1916) (2007) and Takaaki Yoshimoto (1924–2012) (1965), considered the formal aspect in narratives and literature works to be important. Although the author recognizes an important value in narrative formal aspect, both formal and content aspects are respectively important when we aim at the development of actual narrative generation. Therefore, the author divides a narrative generation process into formal aspects and content aspects. The chief objective of previous narrative generation studies was to present and develop the mechanisms or forms of narrative generation. In contrast, for performing narrative generation, an unavoidable problem is how we richly give content information to a generating narrative. In the current version of INGS, rich content information is mainly given through conceptual dictionaries and narrative content knowledge bases.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Conceptual Dictionary: It formally describes the concepts of words, such as verb concepts and noun concepts, as a component of the author’s “Integrated Narrative Generation System: INGS”; further, it is a kind of ontology that gives the semantic descriptions of concepts and their semantic relationships in the world. INGS organically integrates various modules for narrative generation processing through the conceptual and language-related dictionaries.

Story: The story in a narrative is the equivalent of a temporal sequence of events, and an event is a unit that changes a particular state in a story. This most important narratological concept is clearly different from the concept of narrative discourse. Although a narrative discourse structure is a narrative organization based on the elements directly appearing in a represented narrative itself, a story is a narrative organization that implicitly exists in a represented narrative. For example, a story is constructed through a receiver’s inferential and imaginative abilities through a narrative reception process.

Literary Theories and: Narratology: Various sub-areas in literary theories commonly aim at general literary approaches to diverse literary phenomena beyond the implementation and criticism of each literary work. Narratology is an area of literary theories and specially focuses on narrative phenomena, such as the structure of a narrative text, aspects of a narrative sender and receiver, and narrative media.

Narrative Discourse and Narrative Representation: Narrative discourse, in the broad sense, is divided into structural level (narrative discourse in the narrow sense) and representative level (narrative representation). The former (simply narrative discourse) corresponds to a kind of story adaptation and refers to narrative components based on the composition and order of a story, the organization of events, narrative viewpoints, and tempo. Narrative representation, on the other hand, includes language representation, picture or image representation, music representation, etc.

Story Grammar Based on Propp’s Theory: Such story grammar has originally been developed from the author’s viewpoint that faithfully reflects Propp’s theory as far as possible. The author positions the story grammar based on AI and cognitive science as the micro-level story-development logic, and that based on Propp’s theory as the macro-level story to integrate both approaches in the story generation module in “Integrated Narrative Generation System: INGS.”

Integrated Narrative Generation System (INGS): INGS is a synthetic narrative generation system architecture integrating the previous studies by the author. From the broadest perspective, INGS is divided into two types of part, knowledge and procedure. INGS aims at a kind of narrative synthesizer that integrates a variety of narrative techniques, methods, rhetoric, and knowledge into an organic and dynamic generation framework.

Gerald Genette (1930–2018): As a representative researcher of narratology, Genette published many books on narratological themes, including narrative structural analysis, intertextuality, and the structure of a book. Narratology, in the narrow sense, means Genette’s “narrative discourse theory.” The author’s narrative generation research focuses on this theory to survey, analyze, and redefine it from the narrative generation system’s viewpoint.

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