Research in Natural Language Understanding
Quarterly progress rept. no. 3, 1 Mar-31 May 1978
BOLT BERANEK AND NEWMAN INC CAMBRIDGE MA
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The goals of the project are to develop techniques required for fluent and effective communication between a decision maker and an intelligent computerized display system in the context of complex decision tasks such as military command and control. This problem is approached as a natural language understanding problem, since most of the techniques required would still be necessary for an artificial language designed specifically for the task. Characteristics that are considered important for such communication are the ability for the user to omit details that can be inferred by the system and to express requests in a form that comes naturally without extensive forethought or problem solving. These characteristics lead to the necessity for a language structure that mirrors the users conceptual model of the task and the equivalents of anaphoric reference, ellipsis, and context-dependent interpretation of requests. these in turn lead to requirements for handling large data bases of general world knowledge to support the necessary inferences. The project is seeking to develop techniques for representing and using real world knowledge in this context, and for combining it efficiently with syntactic and semantic knowledge. This report discusses aspects of research to date and a general approach to definite anaphoric reference and near-deterministic parsing strategies.
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems