File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 125


Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 08:47:50 +0100
From: "Humanist Discussion Group \(by way of Willard McCarty              <willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk>\)" <willard-AT-LISTS.VILLAGE.VIRGINIA.EDU>
Subject: 22.123 talk at Haifa: Packed Computation of Exact Meaning Representations
To: <humanist-AT-Princeton.EDU>


               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 123.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
  www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/humanities/cch/research/publications/humanist.html
                        www.princeton.edu/humanist/
                     Submit to: humanist-AT-princeton.edu



         Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 08:44:13 +0100
         From: Shuly Wintner <shuly-AT-cs.haifa.ac.il>
         Subject: Packed Computation of Exact Meaning 
Representations: Iddo Lev at the	University of Haifa

You are cordially invited to attend the following talk tomorrow,
Wednesday, July 16th, 14:00, at the University of Haifa, Jacobs
Building, entrance floor, room 303.


Speaker: Iddo Lev (http://iddolev.blogspot.com/)
Title: Packed Computation of Exact Meaning Representations


Abstract:
An important question in Natural Language Understanding (NLU) is how
to improve accuracy in NLU tasks. Accuracy is paramount is "exact NLU"
applications, such as solving word problems (logic puzzles, math/
physics/chemistry questions), understanding regulatory texts and
controlled language, as well as NL interfaces to databases. These
applications require exact meaning representations that rely on
knowledge of structural semantics -- the meaning of functional words
(quantifiers, connectives, comparatives, etc.) and how they affect the
meaning of sentences. Exact meaning representations allow the computer
to accurately capture and integrate the information that appears
throughout the document and to draw appropriate inferences from it.
Even in other NLU applications such as question answering, using
knowledge of structural semantics could improve the accuracy of
understanding functional words and of information integration.

Three main questions pertaining to exact meaning representations are:
1) How can the representations be calculated given one syntactic
analysis of a sentence? 2) How can all possible representations be
calculated efficiently given a packed syntactic analysis (parse
forest)? 3) How can the coverage of semantic analysis be extended to
additional linguistic constructions?

In my dissertation, I address these three questions. I show how the
syntax-to-semantics mapping can be specified more easily than in
traditional approaches by using the framework of Glue Semantics
(linear logic). I then develop a novel algorithm that efficiently
computes a packed meaning representation given a packed syntactic
analysis -- this combines the framework of Glue Semantics with the
general framework for ambiguity management developed at the Palo Alto
Research Center ("choice-space packing"). In the second half of the
dissertation, I extend the coverage of semantic analysis to advanced
linguistic constructions, including comparatives, reciprocals, and
words such as 'same' and 'different', where the mapping from syntax to
semantics is complex. In my talk, I will mainly focus on the algorithm
(and necessary background).

   

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