Natural Language Interfaces to Data Bases: Some Practical Issues



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.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Österreichisches Forschungsinstitut für Artificial IntelligenceWienGermany

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