CONVERSE--A SYSTEM FOR THE ON-LINE DESCRIPTION AND RETRIEVAL OF STRUCTURED DATA USING NATURAL LANGUAGE.
SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CORP SANTA MONICA CALIF
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CONVERSE is the result of a project devoted to the development of improved methods for communicating data and requests for data to time-shared data management systems. It is a vehicle constructed at SDC using the IBM Q-32 computer Time-Sharing System. The two principal components of CONVERSE are a data storage and retrieval component, based on an existing data management system and an interactive translator component that translates fact assertions and requests, phrased in a subset of English, into a formal intermediate language that is both user-readable and acceptable to the data management system. CONVERSE further enhances user-computer communication by providing considerable computer-to-user feedback. Computer guidance occurs when a user is describing his data base, to insure a complete data description. If a user exceeds the linguistic resources of the English subset while phrasing a question, another form of feedback occurs. In this case, CONVERSE will identify undefined terms, grammatical patterns, and meaning associations in an attempt to help the user reformulate his request in acceptable terms. Definitions of the notions of fact and fact function are introduced, based on the elements of the predicate calculus and set theory, to clarify the range of data admissible to and retrievable from CONVERSE. The CONVERSE translation procedure reflects the generative approach to syntax and semantics proposed by Chomsky and Katz. Author
- Information Science
- Computer Programming and Software
- Computer Hardware
- Computer Systems