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Re: [ontolog-forum] What is "understanding" - was: Building on common gr

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: bateman@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2008 09:28:42 +0200
Message-id: <20080330092842.9wd0shi1w0cc0kss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
PatC:    (01)

OK, before I was sniping, I admit it (and still a smiley face:
at least for the ontology building effort!), but I must
take exceptions to trivialisations of language and its
treatment (being a linguist), just as other members of this
list (quite rightfully) take exception to misuses and misrepresentations
of logic and logical formalisation.    (02)

Yes, but it is even less than a sketch because I am still trying to
construct an outline of individual components that need to work together.
There is nothing particularly original in the methods I would like to try.
It is basically to revisit the old notion of "word experts" but now with
much more powerful computers than were used back in the early trials, and to
integrate an ontology that has structures that come as close as possible to
at least the most common English-language structures.  Think of it as
"extreme lexicalization" of the grammar.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<    (03)

Given that NLP, including NLU, is now a huge area with multimillion
dollar investments across both research and industry I find a
statement of the form "I am still try to constuct an outline of
the individual components that need to work together" curious:
*WHY*? There are N architectures out there already, being developed
and tested in applications from coffee machines to everything
in the not-so-semantic web. All current large-scale analysis
components use lexicalised grammars, many have lexical semantics
of various kinds, there are many mechanisms for running these
kinds of things in half-efficient ways, and all that is just to
get going so that one can start *thinking of* addressing the
interesting problems!    (04)

Whether that will port to other
languages I have no idea.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<    (05)

Lexicalised grammars are used for all languages.
Multilingual information extraction is an established area.    (06)

The virtue, in my opinion, of the "Word Expert" approach is that it can be
very modular - one verb, one program - and therefore could be built by a
very large collaborative effort, provided that there is a common ontology in
which the meanings are represented.  One big difficulty is in the great
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<    (07)

Which is why one does not just have words lying around but also
has to look at the 'grammar' part of the 'lexicalised grammar'
term. This is where non-linguistic approaches typically start
unravelling to resemble a mixture of patchwork and hacks.
One possible method: adopt a combinatory categorial grammar
(CCG) (like we do :-), make sure you take one that delivers
hybrid dependency logic semantics as a output, and start fitting the
semantic types of the lexicon to the COSMO types. Parsing omplexity
is O(n^6) (mildly context sensitive) and CCG is the closest
thing to 'word experts' that is still formally attractive,
gives you a way of getting at language and other resources
that people are developing, and allows you to focus on the
additional benefits and difficulties of the common defining
vocabulary. Given your repeated statement about lack of
time to work on these things, at least *that* degree of
focus would be useful I'd've thought rather than redesigning
wheels. It would also move everything towards evaluable
prototypes much quicker since so many mechanisms
would already be in place. This is *already* a
"very large collaborative effort", so why not join in?    (08)

Other modules such as image processing, speech
recognition, graphic-oriented reasoning, and robotic functions would be able
to communicate using the same foundation ontology.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<    (09)

another multimillion dollar investment R&D area. This has been
set out in SmartKom and the K-Space network of excellence (EU)
and there are substantial ontological investments here. Again:
integrative work on the basis and with those ongoing efforts
is essential.    (010)

There are plenty of problems for which I have no meaningful proposal,
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<    (011)

if we all had to have meaningful proposals for every aspect of this
huge area we work in, we'd have problems.    (012)

But, getting back to ontology, we will take a look at COSMO and
give feedback: particularly on its manner of combining info from
other sources and the effects that has on the consistency of the
whole. We will be converting it to CASL to do proper structuring
though.    (013)

John.    (014)

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