Browse Prior Art Database

AN IDEATIONAL PARSER

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128149D
Original Publication Date: 1978-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-15
Document File: 8 page(s) / 29K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Alan L. Tharp: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

Recent parsers have extended the variety and difficulty of natural language constructs recognizable by a computer. However, one shortcoming of existing parsers is that as the complexity of the sentences recognized increases. the computational complexity increases quadratically. One reason for this compa-tational explosion Is that much if not most of the control'information is embedded in the parser.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 15% of the total text.

Page 1 of 8

THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

AN IDEATIONAL PARSER

Alan L. Tharp Jeffrey F. Eastman*

TR 78-06

Somehow it seems to fill my head with ideas--only I don't know exactly what they are!

Lewis Carroll

Through the Looking Glass

Electrical Engineering, NortK Carolina State University Current Address: Hewlett-Packard Corp., Loveland, Colorado

ABSTRACT

Recent parsers have extended the variety and difficulty of natural language constructs recognizable by a computer. However, one shortcoming of existing parsers is that as the complexity of the sentences recognized increases. the computational complexity increases quadratically. One reason for this compa-tational explosion Is that much if not most of the control'information is embedded in the parser.

A different approach, referred to as an ideational parser. is proposed. Although the design for this parser was motivated by the manner in which people might use language, it is not necessarily intended to be a model for human cognition. The control information, for the most part, Is removed to the lexicon, and the words are considered operators in the formation of a mental picture rather than as 2p~ ~ands to the parser. The parser mechanism is detailed with an example parse and a typical conversation is given In the appendix.

Two primary benefits of the ideational parser are 1) an improved, simpler control mechanism and 2) the ability to acquire new knowledge which Is auto-matically stored in the same format as the given knowledge.

1. INTRODUCTION

The evolution of parsers for an English subset (Woods, 1970; Kaplan, 1972; Winograd, 1972; Schank, 1973; Simmons. 1973; Marcus, 1976) has lead to a definite improvement In the variety and difficulty of natural language constructs recognizable by a 4amputer. Although these parsers are based an different grammatical theories, they all possess a fundamental 4bilitY which may be respon-sible for their added power. That common feature is necessitated by the realiza-tion that it is no longer possible to ignore world knowledge in analyzing sentences (Katz and Fodor, 1963) and still recognize a useful subset of.a natural language. These parsers go beyond mere syntax and incorporate, at least to some extent, that vast knowledge of the world which people draw on automatically In their understanding an utterance. Recent advances in both hardware and software technology have made it possible to develop systems which would

North Carolina State University Page 1 Dec 31, 1978

Page 2 of 8

AN IDEATIONAL PARSER

have previously been considered technologically or economically Infeasible. With this added computer power It is no longer unreasonable to include world knowledge consider-ations.

The current parsers which do rely on worlb knowledge usually operate in a "small" world, i.e., a restricted environment in which world knowledge is likely to be manageable. Even in these limited domains, the systems are often complex and perform an enormo...