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A portable menu-guided natural language interface to knowledge bases

By M (Marco) Trevisan


Menu-based natural language interfaces to databases are software systems that allow their users to edit a query by composing fragments of generated natural language. The fragments available for this purpose are provided by the system through contextual menus. This thesis discusses the development of such a system which relies on a description logic reasoner to determine the available fragments, and on natural language generation to produce them. The logic of the interface, along with the query interaction model, are defined by the Query Tool framework. The focus of this work is on the language model and on the resources needed to represent a query in any knowledge domain, meeting the constraints imposed by the query language and the interaction model of Query Tool. This thesis also documents two experimental techniques to produce automatically the resources needed to interface the system with a new knowledge base. The first technique mines a corpus for natural language expressions describing a semantic relation. The second technique produces a generation template from a natural language expression assembling the appropriate lexical and syntactic elements.

Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:ub.rug.nl:dbi/4b7130c1a44f1
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