Advertisement

Natural Language Interfaces to Data Bases: Some Practical Issues

Chapter
  • 26 Downloads

Abstract

In this paper the question of what is important for the acceptability of natural language interfaces is addressed. I will argue that while linguistic coverage is an important factor for the acceptance of Natural Language Interfaces (NLIs) it is not the only one. At least as important are features which are consequences of the use of natural language as communication medium. These features can be subsumed under the terms portability, habitability and robustness. Portability concerns the ease of transferring the NLI to different hardware/software environments, different domains, different applications and different natural languages. Good habitability secures ease of use and a short training time for the end-user. Robustness is a key factor in both maintainability and ease of use of an NLI. I will discuss these features in detail and show current solutions as well as their limitations.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. [1]
    Ballard B. (1986): User Specification of Syntactic Case Frames in TELI, A Transportable, User-Customized Natural Language Processor; Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Bonn, pp.454–460.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Ballard B., Lusth J., Tinkham N. (1984): LDC-1: A Transportable Natural Language Processor for Office Environments; ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems 1: 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. [3]
    Ballard B., Stumberber D. (1986): Semantic Acquisition in TELI: A Transportable, User-Customized Natural Language Processor; Proc. 24th Annual Meeting of the ACL, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Bates M., Bobrow R.J. (1984): Natural Language Interfaces: What’s Here, What’s Coming, and Who Needs It; in W. Reitman (ed.), Artificial Intelligence Applications for Business, Ablex, Norwood, NJ.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Bates M., Moser M., Stallard D. (1984): The IRUS Transportable Natural Language Interface; Proc. First International Workshop on Expert Database Systems, Kiawah Island, pp.258-274.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Berwick R.C.: Intelligent Natural Language Processing (1987): Current Trends and Future Prospects; in W. E. Grimson, R. S. Patil (eds.), AI in the 1980s and Beyond, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Buchberger E., Auterith A. (1988): Generating German paraphrases from SQL expressions; in R. Trappl (ed.), Cybernetics and Systems’ 88, Kluwer, Dordrecht, 885-892.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Damerau F.J. (1964): A Technique for Computer Detection and Correction of Spelling Errors; Comm. ACM 7(1964), 171–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    DeJong G. (1982): An overview of the FRUMP system; in W.G. Lehnert, M.H. Ringle (eds.), Strategies for Natural Language Processing, Lawrence Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Dorffner G., Trost H. (1985): Morphologische Analyse und intelligente Fehlerkorrektur in VIE-LANG; H. Trost, J. Retti (eds.), Österreichische Artificial Intelligence-Tagung 1985, pp.42–53, Springer, Berlin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. [11]
    Ginsparg J. (1983): A Robust Portable Natural Language Database Interface; Proc. Conference on Applied Natural Language Processing, Santa Monica, CA, pp.25–30.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Grosz B.J., Appelt D.E., Martin P.A., Pereira F.C.N. (1987): TEAM: An Experiment in the Design of Transportable Natural-Language Interfaces, Artificial Intelligence 32(2)173–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. [13]
    Harris L.R. (1984): Natural Language Front-Ends; in P.H. Winston, K.A. Prendergast (eds.), The AI Business, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    Hendler J.A., Michaelis P.R. (1983): The Effects of Limited Grammar on Interactive Natural Language; Proc. of CHI’83: Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp.190-192, ACM, New York.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Hendrix G.G., Walter B.A. (1987): The Intelligent Assistant — Technical Considerations Involved in Designing Q&A’s Natural-Language Interface; BYTE 12(14)251–258.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Hill I.D. (1983): Natural Language Versus Computer Language; in M.E. Sime, M.J. Coombs (eds.), Designing for Human-Computer Communication, Academic Press, London.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Jarke M., Turner J.A., Stohr E.A., Vassiliou Y., White N.H., Michielsen K. (1985): A Field Evaluation of Natural Language for Data Retrieval, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, SE-11(1).Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Johnson T. (1985): Natural Language Computing: The Commercial Applications; Ovum, London.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    Keenan E.L., Stavi J. (1986): A Semantic Characterization of Natural Language Determiners, Linguistics and Philosophy 9, 253–326.zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    Krause J. (1982): Mensch-Maschine-Interaktion in natuerlicher Sprache, Niemeyer, Tuebingen.Google Scholar
  21. [21]
    Ogden W.C., Sorknes A. (1987): What Do Users Say to Their Natural Language Interface?; in H.-J. Bullinger, B. Shackel (eds.), Human-Computer Interaction — INTERACT’ 87, North-Holland, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    Rettig M, Bates M. (1988): How to Choose Natural Language Software; AI-Expert 3(7)41–49.Google Scholar
  23. [23]
    Saebo K.J. (1988): A Cooperative Yes-No Query System Featuring Discourse Particles, Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Budapest, pp.549-554.Google Scholar
  24. [24]
    Schur S. (1988): The Intelligent Database; AI-Expert 3(1)26–34.Google Scholar
  25. [25]
    Tennant H.R. (1980): Evaluation of Natural Language Processors; Report T-103, Coordinated Science Laboratory, University of Illinois — Urbana.Google Scholar
  26. [26]
    Thompson B., Thompson F. (1985): ASK is Transportable in Half a Dozen Ways; ACM Transactions on Office Information Systems 3(2)185–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. [27]
    Trost H., Buchberger E., Heinz W., Hörtnagl C, Matiasek J. (1987): “Datenbank-DIALOG” — A German Language Interface for Relational Databases; Applied Artificial Intelligence, 2(1)181–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. [28]
    Trost H., Buchberger E., Heinz W. (1988): On the Interaction of Syntax and Semantics in a Syntactically Guided Caseframe Parser; Proceedings of the 12th International onference on Computational Linguistics, Budapest, pp.677-682.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Österreichisches Forschungsinstitut für Artificial IntelligenceWienGermany

Personalised recommendations