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26 Jun The Semantic Web and Model Owls


Standards protect us and constrain us — not like a straight-jacket protects us from ourselves, but more like a governor on the motor protects us from going crazy. Standards organizations such as the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) are there to coordinate between stakeholders to develop a common way of structuring things. The Object Management Group (OMG) is a […]

07 Jun Finding a Tree in the Forest

Forest Trees

Complex Search Finding the information you need can be a problem, particularly when you have to look through tons (or terabytes) of data. I recall when geocaching first became popular. The idea that a technology could create a model for an entertaining activity that connects people in unusual ways is quite diverting. Will it still be popular […]

30 May State of the Art in Knowledge Representation

Digital Data Stream

KR Evolves Slowly The state of the art in computer programming has evolved toward data-driven techniques. In early programs, the data was “hard-coded” into the program with specific functions operating differently on each data item and type. Gradually, programmers began storing data and templates in different files, attempting to write orthogonal procedures to introduce a modularity […]

22 May What Constitutes a Brain

Log and Rope

In its most general sense, the term mechanical brain could be applied to any man-made contrivance that is capable of functioning or generating information in some manner analogous to thinking. Under this broad definition, if the function were remembering an image (as we remember people’s faces), a camera with exposed film would qualify as a mechanical brain. […]

05 May A Slice of Language

A Different Approach The previous section explained why we need the ground-up formulation of a new grammar for Natural Language (NL) understanding: none of the existing ones can accommodate the high demands of modern technology and approximate the paradigm of artificial intelligence as a model for human linguistic competence and performance across all linguistic phenomena. In […]

03 May Up from Words to Sentences

Crossword Puzzle

Words and Sentences The game of Scrabble is completely about words. Crossword puzzles go from sentence or phrase to word. Our analytical approach begins with the word, but doesn’t stop there. From both the cognitive and computational perspectives, the sentence exhibits far more complexity and changeability than the word. At any given moment, the structure of […]

02 May Linguistic Building Blocks

Scrabble Blocks

Linguistic Building Blocks While languages are infinite, each has a finite number of structures, functions and attributes. Functions and attributes are the building blocks of a grammar. Grammars or languages are categorized as regular, context-free (CF), context-sensitive (CS), recursive, and recursively enumerable. A context-sensitive grammar is a powerful formalism that describes the language in terms of […]

01 May Traditional Grammar from the Top Down

Top Down is Not Magic

What is Traditional Grammar Grammars provide the knowledge and rules necessary to understand or disambiguate the often ambiguous strings of words that constitute language. People disambiguate by searching available knowledge (Nirenburg, 1987). Because a traditional grammar specifies a finite set of rules or patterns which attempt to capture the regularities of a language (Grosz, 1986), it […]

30 Apr Exceptional Logic


Exceptions to the Rules In natural language, exceptions to rules of grammar and other characteristics are frequent, and exhibit little consistency or predictability. They may multiply in discourse and in situations where the speaker/writer’s competence is limited. Idioms and irregular verbs are common exceptions which can be quite difficult to categorize or describe using formal descriptive grammar. Further exceptions […]

29 Apr [Huang 2007] Pragmatics