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Answering deep queries specified in natural language with respect to a frame based knowledge base and developing related natural language understanding components

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Question Answering has been under active research for decades, but it has recently taken the spotlight following IBM Watson's success in Jeopardy! and digital assistants such as Apple's Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft Cortana through every smart-phone and browser. However,

Question Answering has been under active research for decades, but it has recently taken the spotlight following IBM Watson's success in Jeopardy! and digital assistants such as Apple's Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft Cortana through every smart-phone and browser. However, most of the research in Question Answering aims at factual questions rather than deep ones such as ``How'' and ``Why'' questions.

In this dissertation, I suggest a different approach in tackling this problem. We believe that the answers of deep questions need to be formally defined before found.

Because these answers must be defined based on something, it is better to be more structural in natural language text; I define Knowledge Description Graphs (KDGs), a graphical structure containing information about events, entities, and classes. We then propose formulations and algorithms to construct KDGs from a frame-based knowledge base, define the answers of various ``How'' and ``Why'' questions with respect to KDGs, and suggest how to obtain the answers from KDGs using Answer Set Programming. Moreover, I discuss how to derive missing information in constructing KDGs when the knowledge base is under-specified and how to answer many factual question types with respect to the knowledge base.

After having the answers of various questions with respect to a knowledge base, I extend our research to use natural language text in specifying deep questions and knowledge base, generate natural language text from those specification. Toward these goals, I developed NL2KR, a system which helps in translating natural language to formal language. I show NL2KR's use in translating ``How'' and ``Why'' questions, and generating simple natural language sentences from natural language KDG specification. Finally, I discuss applications of the components I developed in Natural Language Understanding.

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Date Created
2015

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Bridging the gap between classical logic based formalisms and logic programs

Description

Different logic-based knowledge representation formalisms have different limitations either with respect to expressivity or with respect to computational efficiency. First-order logic, which is the basis of Description Logics (DLs), is not suitable for defeasible reasoning due to its monotonic nature.

Different logic-based knowledge representation formalisms have different limitations either with respect to expressivity or with respect to computational efficiency. First-order logic, which is the basis of Description Logics (DLs), is not suitable for defeasible reasoning due to its monotonic nature. The nonmonotonic formalisms that extend first-order logic, such as circumscription and default logic, are expressive but lack efficient implementations. The nonmonotonic formalisms that are based on the declarative logic programming approach, such as Answer Set Programming (ASP), have efficient implementations but are not expressive enough for representing and reasoning with open domains. This dissertation uses the first-order stable model semantics, which extends both first-order logic and ASP, to relate circumscription to ASP, and to integrate DLs and ASP, thereby partially overcoming the limitations of the formalisms. By exploiting the relationship between circumscription and ASP, well-known action formalisms, such as the situation calculus, the event calculus, and Temporal Action Logics, are reformulated in ASP. The advantages of these reformulations are shown with respect to the generality of the reasoning tasks that can be handled and with respect to the computational efficiency. The integration of DLs and ASP presented in this dissertation provides a framework for integrating rules and ontologies for the semantic web. This framework enables us to perform nonmonotonic reasoning with DL knowledge bases. Observing the need to integrate action theories and ontologies, the above results are used to reformulate the problem of integrating action theories and ontologies as a problem of integrating rules and ontologies, thus enabling us to use the computational tools developed in the context of the latter for the former.

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Date Created
2012