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Metaphors as an explanation tool (Project C04)

Project C04 investigates metaphors as a specific means to make difficult phenomena interpretable. The innovative aspect is to regard both highlighting and hiding processes when metaphors are utilized in explanations. The project aims to understand how metaphors may either facilitate or impede understanding, and how this understanding can be applied in AI systems to construct metaphors. The project contributes to our understanding of explanation spaces and to the principles by which explanations are generated or tailored to the needs of an explainee by making choices in the explanation space, that is, by systematically highlighting and hiding aspects of the explanandum.


Sengupta, M., Alshomary M., and Wachsmuth, H. (2022) Back to the Roots: Predicting the Source Domain of Metaphors using Contrastive Learning. In Proceedings of the 3rd Workshop on Figurative Language Processing (FLP), pages 137–142, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (Hybrid). Association for Computational Linguistics.


In this video the project leaders present their view of co-construction.
Research areas

psychology, computer science

Project leaders

Prof. Dr. Ingrid Scharlau, Paderborn University

Prof. Dr. Henning Wachsmuth, Leibniz University Hannover


Meghdut Sengupta, Leibniz University Hannover

Annedore Wilmes, Paderborn University

Support Staff

Paul David Fährmann, Paderborn University

Miriam Körber, Paderborn University

Yana Smetana, Paderborn University