Mapping Between Semantic Representations Using Horn Clauses

Ralph M. Weischedel

Even after an unambiguous semantic interpretation has been computed for a sentence in context, there are at least three reasons that a system may map the semantic representation R into another form S. 1. The terms of R, while reflecting the user view, may require deeper understanding, e.g. may require a version S where metaphors have been analyzed. 2. Transformations of R may be more appropriate for the underlying application system, e.g. S may be a more nearly optimal form. These transformations may not be linguisticly motivated. 3. Some transformations structural context. depend on non- Design considerations may favor factoring the process into two stages, for reasons of understandability or for easier transportability of the components. This paper describes the use of Horn clauses for the three classes of transformations listed above. The transformations are part of a system that converts the English description of a software module into a formal specification, i.e. an abstract data type.

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