I'm grateful for your introducing me to the notion of controlled
languages. It was the genesis of our work on the Controlled English to
Logic Translation system (ref below). But I do think from that starting
point, we took a slightly different path than the few other researchers
working in this area. CELT uses terms from SUMO in its output. Rather
than just using linguistic elements as though they were logical terms,
CELT relates linguistic tokens to terms in SUMO, thereby giving the
translated sentences a rich structure of meaning, because of the
existing defined terms that appear in the output.
Also, I should clarify that we did not use controlled English to
define SUMO, but rather used SUMO as the definition for terms in the
output of CELT. SUMO has been defined entirely in the logical language
of SUO-KIF, by hand and by knowledge engineers. (01)
Pease, A., and Li, J. (2010) Controlled English to Logic Translation. In
Theory and Applications of Ontology, ed. Roberto Poli, Michael Healy,
and Achilles Kameas, Springer, ISBN: 978-90-481-8846-8.
On Sat, 2011-03-05 at 13:08 -0500, John F. Sowa wrote:
> In some discussions for the Ontology Summit in April, I mentioned the
> use of controlled English for specifying and/or explaining ontologies.
> Following is an objection to a point I made:
> > Sure, you could use a highly formalistic English to be much more
> > precise, but by then it may be so verbose as to be harder to understand
> > than a formal lang depicted in a good visualization/exploration tool.
> In response, I would like to cite the example of Naproche (NAtural-
> language PROof CHecker):
> From that web page:
> > The Naproche system accepts a controlled but rich subset of ordinary
> > mathematical language including TeX-style typeset formulas and
> > transforms them into formal statements. Linguistic techniques are
> > adapted to allow for common grammatical constructs and to extract
> > mathematically relevant implicit information about hypotheses and
> > conclusions. Finally, automated theorem provers are used to prove
> > the correctness of the input text.
> See the examples and publications on their web site. The language
> they use is English as written in a mathematical textbook, and they
> allow any special symbols or expressions that can be written in
> TeX notation.
> The English is very readable, it does allow some symbols and
> expressions to be embedded in the English, and it is no more
> verbose that the explanations in a typical textbook.
> I am not recommending controlled English as the *only* notation
> for ontology, but it can be a very helpful supplement. I also
> like diagrams, and I would definitely support diagrams as
> a supplementary representation.
> Important point: With controlled English, the comments and the
> implementation can always be kept in *exact* correspondence because
> one can be derived from (and/or checked with) the other.
> Adam Pease, for example, was originally skeptical about using
> controlled English for SUMO, but he later agreed that it was
> very helpful.
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