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“Best paper award” at the SEMMES 2024 workshop to A. Guillem, J. Samuel, G. Gesquière, L. De Luca, V. Abergel

the Notre-Dame de Paris arch reconstruction study (T4-T9) aims at formulating knowledge about a disappeared past (T1), the arch before its destruction (T2). T[N] corresponds to the time of the reconstruction study activities.

Anaïs Guillem, John Samuel, Gilles Gesquière, Livio De Luca and Violette Abergel received the “Best paper award” at the “SEMMES’24: Semantic Methods for Events and Stories” workshop, held on 27 May 2024 in Hersonissos, Crete, as part of the 20th Extended Semantic Web Conference (ESWC2024). The winning paper is entitled: “Let the fallen voussoirs of Notre-Dame de Paris speak: Scientific Narration and 3D Visualization of Virtual Reconstruction Hypotheses and Reasoning”.

This article explores the restitution of the collapsed transverse arch of Notre-Dame de Paris, through its data: the restitution hypotheses are modelled as versions, which can be questioned and visualised in a dedicated 3D viewer.

Abstract :

Virtual reconstruction should go beyond merely presenting images and 3D models by documenting the scientific context and reasoning underlying the reconstruction process, rather than just showcasing the final product. For instance, the collapsed transverse arch in the nave of Notre-Dame de Paris serves as a case study to demonstrate an interdisciplinary reconstruction workflow. By letting the voussoirs speak, we mean that the materiality of the voussoirs and immateriality of digital surrogates are the support to make explicit the argumentation of the reconstruction. The 3D visualization moves away from a static and finalized illustrative output of the reconstruction study and toward an open and dynamic visualization of reconstruction data. The data explicitly records both factual information on the physical and digital objects, as well as the counterfactual propositions of the reasoning of reconstruction hypotheses. The proposed experiment is twofold:setting up of the 3D dataset of the arch reconstruction with archaeological argumentation where the hypotheses are modeled as versions, and evaluation of the scientific narrative of reconstruction argumentation through both a custom 3D visualization and competency questions on the enriched 3D data combining hypotheses and arguments. The humanistic question of reconstruction is the starting point for a nonlinear scientific narrative composed of hypotheses and argument loops. We consider the conflicting interpretations of the voussoirs and the knowledge encapsulated in relation to the spatial configuration of the arch. The results of the queries and 3D visualization are interdependent:they demonstrate that hypothetical reasoning facets of the arch reconstruction are embedded in the spacetime volumes of the voussoirs.