SPARQLing Conversation: Automating The Bechdel-Wallace Test

TitleSPARQLing Conversation: Automating The Bechdel-Wallace Test
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsLawrence, FK
Conference NameNarrative and Hypertext Workshop
KeywordsAnnotation, OntoMedia, SPARQL

 One of the goals in digital narrative is to describe the ele- ments within a story in such a way that they can be analysed and queried. In this paper we present one attempt at rep- resenting and applying a well-known rubric, the Bechdel- Wallace test, to a work of fiction. While the final results were disappointing we describe the process that we under- took and highlight the areas of difficulty and complexity which we found and which we will need to address in future work.



UPDATE: The SPARQL query problem described in the paper has now been solved (with thanks to Chris Guttridge and Dave Challis at ECS, University of Southampton). See

The query solution looks like:

SELECT ?event ?label ?name1 ?name2 WHERE {
?event a <>;
<> ?char1;
<> ?char2;
rdfs:label ?label .
?char1 <> <>;
<> ?name1 .
?char2 <> <>;
<> ?name2 .
FILTER(?char1 != ?char2) .

OPTIONAL { ?event <> ?char3 .
?char3 <> <> . }
FILTER( !bound( ?char3 ) )

} ORDER BY ?event