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ICT4Law Regione Piemonte

Objectives

Law can be considered as a complex, distributed cognitive system. As such, it requires new technologies that can deal with its complexity and with the cognitive abilities of humans. These technologies are stemming from those areas of ICT that are closest to Cognitive Science and from the simulative approach used in Cognitive Science.
The objective of this project is to bring these technologies beyond the state of the art and create a new generation of services, oriented to different kinds of actors, all moving in scenarios regulated by the law: from citizens to public administration, and from enterprises to legislators.
The produced services will share a core of technologies, which are:

  1. Ontologies to represent the meaning of legal terms, to index documents and to reason about procedures.
  2. Automated natural language processing to retrieve legal documents, and to access unstructured spontaneous open information sources to extract opinions.
  3. Cognitive agents simulating human reasoning on norms, and for verifying the compliance of procedures to regulations.
  4. Agent based simulation, the only methodology to make prediction in complex systems like norm-regulated enterprises.
  5. Artificial neural networks for enterprise risk evaluation The advancements of the project on the technological issues will be witnessed by deliverables (as reported in each Work Package), and the achievement of beyond state of the art objectives will be testified by the scientific production of the proponents in their different fields of competence and by the organization of scientific conferences.

These technologies will be used to create a platform delivering a new generation of services for different kinds of users:

  1. Formalization of and automated reasoning on procedures (e.g. administrative practices and financial services), formalized using ontologies. The declarative representation offered by ontologies will allow the representation of several aspects -, like accountable office, validity conditions, referred norms. This service allows to track and log the evolution of the procedures, understand criticalities and verify compliance with current regulations.
  2. Automatic support to normative consolidation. Consolidation means building a new normative document including all the modifications done along time on the original act. The automated Norma system will be extended with natural language processing and agent based reasoning to get in a quicker and more accurate way the consolidated normative text tagged using the Normeinrete standard of the Piedmont Arianna legislative portal. These texts will be organized on a temporal database to retrieve the legislation valid along time.
  3. Automatic retrieval of opinions expressed by citizens by performing computational analysis of the language on open information sources (e.g. dedicated blogs, newsgroups, forums). Using Web 2.0 technologies the service will profit from the spontaneous social networking activity of citizens.
  4. Multilingual legal ontologies for representing the meaning of legal terminology. This knowledge will be used for the semantic indexing of legal texts as well as for supporting Regulatory Impact Assessment, at European, national and regional level.
  5. Automated support for predicting effects of norms on enterprises or industrial districts. Since complex systems like the normative and economic ones are difficult to model on a mathematical basis, to make predictions it is necessary to resort to agent-based simulation.
  6. An articulated solution for risk analysis and management in compliance events by the means of new generation of Business Intelligence tools.

This project will develop an integrated platform for providing services and will implement prototypes of each service, for selected case studies relevant for the Piedmont area.
Moreover, services will be developed considering the feasibility of their future commercial exploitation during the project.