im4Things: An ontology-based natural language interface for controlling devices in the internet of things

José Ángel Noguera-Arnaldos, Mario Andrés Paredes-Valverde*, María Pilar Salas-Zárate, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez-García, Rafael Valencia-García, José Luis Ochoa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The Internet of Things (IoT) offers opportunities for new applications and services that enable users to access and control their working and home environment from local and remote locations, aiming to perform daily life activities in an easy way. However, the IoT also introduces new challenges, some of which arise from the large range of devices currently available and the heterogeneous interfaces provided for their control. The control and management of this variety of devices and interfaces represent a new challenge for non-expert users, instead of making their life easier. Based on this understanding, in this work we present a natural language interface for the IoT, which takes advantage of Semantic Web technologies to allow non-expert users to control their home environment through an instant messaging application in an easy and intuitive way. We conducted several experiments with a group of end users aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of our approach to control home appliances by means of natural language instructions. The evaluation results proved that without the need for technicalities, the user was able to control the home appliances in an efficient way.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligent Systems Reference Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameIntelligent Systems Reference Library
ISSN (Print)1868-4394
ISSN (Electronic)1868-4408

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
María Pilar Salas-Zárate and Mario Andrés Paredes-Valverde are supported by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT) and the Mexican government.

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer International Publishing AG 2017.


  • Internet of things
  • Natural language interface
  • Semantic Web


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