AAAI Publications, Fifteenth International Conference on the Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning

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On Referring Expressions in Query Answering over First Order Knowledge Bases
Alexander Borgida, David Toman, Grant Weddell

Last modified: 2016-03-30


A referring expression in linguistics is any noun phrase identifying an object in a way that will be useful to interlocutors. In the context of a query over a first order knowledge base K, constant symbols occurring in K are the artifacts usually used as referring expressions in certain answers to the query. In this paper, we begin to explore how this can be usefully extended by allowing a class of more general formulas, called Singular Referring Expressions, to replace constants in this role. In particular, we lay a foundation for admitting Singular Referring Expressions in certain answer computation for queries over K. An integral part of this foundation are characterization theorems for identification properties of Singular Referring Expressions for queries annotated with a domain specific language for referring concept types. Finally, we apply this framework in the context of tractable description logic dialects, showing how identification properties can be determined at compile-time for conjunctive queries, and how off-the-shelf conjunctive query evaluation for these dialects can be used in query evaluations, preserving, in all cases, underlying tractability.


identity in KR-based querying; referring expressions; certain answers

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