Interpreting Spatiotemporal Expressions from English to Fuzzy Logic

  • William R. Murray
  • Philip Harrison
  • Tomas Singliar
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8035)


We discuss extensions to a controlled natural language allowing spatiotemporal expressions to be interpreted as fuzzy logic functions. The extensions first required new sentence templates. Next, changes to a GPSG parser modified its lexicon, and then extended its parsing and logical form rules to allow user-defined spatial and temporal constraints to be extracted. The sentence templates ground user-defined culturally-specific times and places to boundaries surrounding prototypical ideals. Query points, defined by location and time, are compared to these definitions using Gaussians centered at prototypical ’ideal’ times or places. The Gaussians provide soft fall-off at the boundaries. Fuzzy logic operators allow larger expressions to be interpreted, analogous to Boolean combinations of terms.

The mathematically-interpreted spatiotemporal terms act as domain features for a machine learning algorithm. They allow easy specification (compared to programming) of basis functions for an inverse reinforcement learning algorithm that detects anomalous vehicle tracks or suspicious agent behavior.


controlled natural language CPL spatiotemporal reasoning GPSG parsing inverse reinforcement learning fuzzy logic anomaly detection 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • William R. Murray
    • 1
  • Philip Harrison
    • 1
  • Tomas Singliar
    • 1
  1. 1.Boeing Research and TechnologySeattleUSA

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