The Conversation Machine (1959?)
L. Green, E. Berkeley, C. Gotlieb
- Conversation with a computer - Green, Berkeley, Gotlieb (1959)
The Oracle (1960?)
A.V. Philips / MIT
- A question-answering routine - Philips (1960)
The Picture Language Machine
R. Kirsch, D. Cohen, B. Rankin, W. Sillars / Carnegie Institute of Technology
PLM accepts both pictures and English statements as input and translates both into a common logical language. Then it determines whether the statement about the picture is true. It is composed of three subsystems: a parser, a formalizer and a predicate evaluator. The formalizer creates a first-order functional calculus expression like (∀X1)[ Cir(X1) → (∃X2)[ Cir(X2) & Bk(X2) & (X2 = X1) ] ]. The predicate evaluator tests the truth value of the expression against the predicate representation of the pictures in the input.
- Computer interpretation of English text and picture patterns - Kirsch (1964)
- Picture processing in a picture language machine - Cohen (1962)
- A programmable grammar for a fragment of English for use in an information retrieval system - Rankin (1961)
- An algorithm for representing English sentences in a formal language - Sillars (1963)
The Automatic Language Analyzer
Householder, Lyons, Thorne / Indiana University
- Quart. rep. on automatic language analysis - Householder, Lyons, Thorne (1960 - 1962)
- Automatic language analysis - Thorne (1962)
The General Inquirer (1962?)
P. Stone / Harvard University
- The general inquirer: a computational system for content analysis and retrieval based on the sentence as a unit of information - Stone, Bayles, Namerwirth, Ogilvie (1962)
Bert F. Green, Jr., Alice K. Wolf, Carol Chomsky, Kenneth Laughery
Baseball answers questions about the scores, teams, locations and dates of baseball games. It uses list structures to organize data. The input questions are restricted to single clauses. The parser creates a tree structure of word groups. The semantic analyzer builds a spec list from the parsed question. With this spec list the acceptable answers are located. The logical processor processes the aggregations for 'every', 'either' and 'how many'.
- Baseball: an automatic question-answerer - Green, Wolf, Chomsky, Laughery (1963)
Simmons, McConlogue, Klein / SDC
- Indexing and dependency logic for answering English questions - Simmons, Klein, McConlogue (1964)
SAD SAM (1963?)
Sentence Appraiser and Diagrammer and Semantic Analyzing Machine
R. Lindsay / Carnegie Institute of Technology
SAD SAM answers questions about human relationships. Lindsay's primary interest was in machine comprehension of English. SAD SAM reads Basic English sentences about family relationships and extracts from them data for the database. The database is in the form of a family tree represented in the program by a hierarchical set of lists.
The system has a parser and a semantic analyzer. The parser handles simple sentences, relative clauses and some appositional strings and forms a (phrase structure) parse tree.
The semantic analyzer searches for subject-complement combinations (i.e. Bill is Mary's father) and forms triplets (i.e. Bill (father) Mary)
- Inferential memory as the basis of machines which understand natural language - Lindsay (1963)
SIR (1964? - 1964)
Semantic Information Retriever
Bertram Raphael / MIT
- SIR: a computer program for semantic information retrieval - Raphael (1964)
The Specific Question Answerer
F. Black / BBN
- A deductive question-answering system - Black (1964)
Direct English Access and CONtrol
F. Thomson, J. Graig / General Electric, TEMPO
DEACON uses a list-structured database of military shipments. It does not break neatly into a parsing system, a semantic analyzer and a data processor. The sentence is being processed while it is parsed. For example the rule L1 = M + L : T1(M, L) means that when the combination of word classes M + L is found, substitute for L1 the list which is generated by T1 operating to extract the sublist M from the major list L.
- DEACON breadboard summary - Thomson (1964)
- Grammatical aspects of a system for natural man-machine communication - Graig (1963)
SHRDLU (1968 - 1970)
The name SHRDLU was derived from ETAOIN SHRDLU, the arrangement of the alpha keys on a Linotype machine, arranged in descending order of usage frequency in English.
Terry Winograd / MIT
This is one of the first NLI systems ever created, and at the same time one of the most complete. In fact, it has long served as the major showcase for natural language processing.
- Understanding Natural Language - Winograd (1972)
- Procedures a representation for data in a computer program for understanding natural language - Winograd (1971)
Bozena H. Dostert, Frederick B. Thomson
- REL: A Rapidly Extensible Language System (1969)
- A project report on REL (1971)
- The REL System Prototype (1975)
William A. Woods / BBN
It was created in the wake of the Apollo 11 space mission that brought the first men to the moon. The soil samples that came back were catalogued in a database and LUNAR allowed this database to be queried with plain English sentences.
- The Lunar Sciences Natural Language Information System: Final Report
- Progress in natural language understanding - An application to lunar geology
- Semantics and quantification in natural language question answering
- What's in a link: Foundations for Semantic Networks - Woods (1975)
- The Lunar Sciences Natural Language Information System (1972)
RENDEZVOUS (1974 - 1977)
To rendezvous (i.e. "meet") with the casual user
Edgar F. Codd, Robert S. Arnold, Jean-Marc Cadiou, Chin-Liang Chang, Nick Roussopoulos / IBM
Created by the inventor of the relational database, E.F. Codd, this system was designed to meet the quirks of the casual user as much as possible.
The user was allowed to enter one or more sentences, or sentence-parts. He or she was allowed to make mistakes and add and change the restrictions of the question later. The system had a very extended clarification dialog aimed to make sure that the system understood exactly what the user meant. For the same reason, it had extensive support for paraphrasing the generated knowledge base query so as to be comprehensible to the user.
In contrast to other systems, this system does not parse the user's sentence into a parse tree.
In stead, using conditional rules, patterns of words were interpreted directly as parts of a relational query.
- Seven Steps to Rendezvous with the Casual User
- RENDEZVOUS Version 1: An Experimental English Language Query Formulation System for Casual Users of Relational Data Bases
EUFID (1976 - 1981)
End-User Friendly Interface to Data management
Marjorie Templeton, John F. Burger / SDC
It makes the distinction between the user's view and the database's view on application data. This leads to the distinct position that the interpretation of a question goes through two separate domain specific phases. First the question is interpreted in a domain specific way that leads to a representation of the user's view of the domain. Next this representation is transformed into the database's view of the question.
- EUFID: A Friendly And Flexible Front-End For Data Management Systems
- Problems in natural-language interface with examples from EUFID
- Semantic database mapping in EUFID
Veronica Dahl's systems (1976 - 1981?)
- Translating Spanish into Logic through Logic - Dahl (1981)
Gary G. Hendrix
- Human engineering for applied natural language processing - Hendrix
- User-oriented Data Base Query with the ROBOT Natural Language Query System (1977)
- The ROBOT System: Natural Language Processing Applied to Data Base Query (1978)
- Experience with ROBOT in 12 Commercial Natural Language Data Base Query Applications (1979)
Gary G. Hendrix, Earl D. Sacerdoti, Doniel Sagalowicz, Jonathan Slocum
- Developing a Natural Language Interface to Complex Data - Hendrix, Sacerdoti, Sagalowicz, Slocum (1978)
- An English Language Question Answering System for a Large Relational Database (1978)
TEAM (1980 - 1984)
Transportable English Database Access Medium
Barbara J. Grosz, Douglas E. Appelt, Fernando C.N. Pereira, David H.D. Warren, Paul Martin, Armar Archbold, Robert C. Moore, Jerry Hobbs, Jane J. Robinson, Daniel Sagalowicz / SRI
TEAM is the first system that could be used in a new domain by users that had no technical knowledge of the system. Users did not need to have any linguistic knowledge. A database expert with knowledge of the database was all that was needed to transport the system to a new domain.
- TEAM: An experiment in the design of transportable natural-language interfaces
- DIALOGIC: a core natural-language processing system
- TEAM: A transportable natural-language interface system
- Transportability and Generality in a Natural-Language Interface System (1986)
Chat-80 (1981 - 1982)
David H.D. Warren, Fernando C.N. Pereira / SRI
Together with the system of Veronica Dahl, on which it is based, these are the first NLI systems built in Prolog. The code of Chat-80 was circulated widely, and formed the basis of several other experimental NliDbs (e.g. Masque)
- An efficient easily adaptable system for interpreting natural language queries - Pereira, Warren (1982)
- Efficient Processing of Interactive Relational Database Queries Expressed in Logic - Warren (1981)
- Extraposition Grammars - Pereira (1981)
- Logic for natural language analysis - Pereira (1983)
- Applied logic - its use and implementation as a programming tool - Warren (1983)
- Issues in natural language access to databases from a logic programming perspective - Warren (1982?)
- Operating statistics for the transformational question answering system (1981)
- Problems and Some Solutions in Customization of Natural Language Front Ends (1985)
Giovanni Guida, Carlo Tasso
- IR-NLI: An expert natural language interface to online data bases
Bozena H. Thompson, Frederick B. Thompson
- Ask is transportable in half a dozen ways (1985)
- Introducing Ask, a simple knowledgeable system (1983)
- A Robust Portable Natural Language Database Interface (1983)
- Menu-Based Natural Language Understanding (1983)
- Usable Natural Language Interfaces through Menu-Based Natural Language Understanding (1983)
Remko J.H. Scha
- English words and data bases: how to bridge the gap - Scha
- Logical foundations for Question Answering, proefschrift - Scha (1983)
- PHLIQA 1, a question-answering system for data-base consultation in natural English - PHLIQA Project Group
- Natural Language Access to Data Bases: Interpreting Update Requests (1983)
- Interaction of Knowledge Sources in a Portable Natural Language Interface (1984)
- Portability of Syntax and Semantics in Datalog (1985)
- Experience with INTELLECT (1984)
- The Syntax and Semantics of User-Defined Modifiers in a Transportable Natural Language Processor (1984)
- LDC-1: A Transportable, Knowledge-based Natural Language Processor for Office Environments (1984)
- Transportable Natural Language Processing Through Simplicity - the PRE System (1985)
CLE (1986 - 1989)
Core Language Engine
Hiyan Alshawi, David Carter, Jan van Eijk, Björn Gambäck, Robert C. Moore, Douglas B. Moran, Fernando C.N. Pereira, Stephen G. Pulman, Manny Rayner, Arnold G. Smith / SRI, CUCL
CLE distinguishes several distinct stages in the processing of the semantic representation.
CLE uses unification for semantic composition.
- CLARE - A Contextual Reasoning and Cooperative Response Framework for the Core Language Engine (1992)
- The IRUS transportable natural language database interface (1986)
- MASQUE Modular Answering System for Queries in English - Programmers's Manual (1986)
- Semantic Acquisition in TELI (1986)
Philip Resnik, Erhard W. Hinrichs, Ralph M. Weischedel, Marie Meteer, Lance Ramshaw, Jeff Palmucci, Damaris M. Ayuso, Robert J. Bobrow
- Access to multiple underlying systems in Janus - Resnik (1989)
- A compositional semantics of temporal expressions in English - Hinrichs
- A hybrid approach to representation in the JANUS natural language processor - Weischedel
- Coping with Ambiguity and Unknown Words through Probabilistic Models - Weischedel, Schwartz, Palmucci, Meteer, Ramshawi
- Discourse entities in JANUS - Ayuso
- Multiple Underlying Systems: Translating User Requests into Programs to Produce Answers - Bobrow, Resnik, Weischedel
- Portability in the Janus Natural Language Interface Weischedel, Bobrow, Ayuso, Ramshaw (1989)
- Research and Development in Natural Language Understanding as Part of thr Strategic Computing Program. Volume 1: Overview of Technical Results (1986)
- Tense, Quantifiers, and Contexts - Hinrichs (1988)
- Dialog Control in a Natural Language System (1989)
- Loqui: An Open Natural Language Query System - General Description (1991)
- Natural Language Interfaces: A New Philosophy (1991)
- The SNAP System: A Natural Language Front End to Text and Data Bases (1996)
- A Natural Language System Based on Formal Semantics (1991?)
- A Formal Approach to Translating English into SQL in Aspects of Databases (1991)
- Modal Reasoning in Relational Systems (1991)
- An Approach to Paraphrasing Logical Query Languages in English (1991)
ThoughtTreasure (1994 - 1996)
"ThoughtTreasure was originally called ThoughtTrésor, where trésor is the French word for treasury (treasure as well). The idea was that the system would be a treasury of thoughts. The combination of English and French in the name reflected the fact that the system supported both English and French. This original name was difficult for English speakers to pronounce, so I changed the name to ThoughtTreasure. ThoughtTreasury contained an extra syllable and didn't sound right to me." -- Erik T. Mueller
Erik T. Mueller
This system integrates a natural language component in a full-blown AI architecture that includes scripts, spatial orientation, planning, understanding, and even emotions. It also has a wide support for various natural language constructs. It makes commonsense reasoning explicit in the form of understanding agents.
- Natural Language Processing with ThoughtTreasure
Boris Katz, Gary Borchardt, Sue Felshin, Deniz Yuret, Ali Ibrahim, Jimmy Lin, Gregory Marton, Alton Jerome McFarland, Baris Temelkuran, Yuan Shen, Gabriel Zaccak
- Syntactic and Semantic Decomposition Strategies for Question Answering from Multiple Resources - Katx, Borchardt, Felshin
- Omnibase: Uniform Access to
Heterogeneous Data for Question Answering - Felshin, Yuret, Ibrahim, Lin, Marton, McFarland, Temelkuran (2002)
- Answering English Questions using Foreign-Language Semi-Structured Sources - Katz, Felshin, When, Zaccak
- External Knowledge Sources for Question Answering - Katz et al
CALO (2003 - 2008)
Cognitive Assistant that Learns and Organizes. The name was inspired by the Latin word "calonis," which means "soldier’s servant."
about 250 people / SRI (and many others)
It is part of the largest NLI attempt in history, the SRI / DARPA project PAL, and was an important influence for the popular commercial system SIRI.
Its main function is that of meeting planner. It integrates heterogeneous knowledge sources that each return subgoals or ground facts.
- Integration of Heterogeneous Knowledge Sources in the CALO Query Manager
ORAKEL (2004 - 2007)
Philipp Cimiano, Peter Haase, Jörg Heizmann, Matthias Mantel, Rudi Studer / Universität Karlsruhe
ORAKEL is a modern variant of TEAM.
- Towards portable natural language interfaces to knowledge bases - The case of the ORAKEL system - Cimiano, Haase, Heizmann, Mantel, Studer (2007)
- Porting Natural Language Interfaces between Domains - An Experimental User Study with the ORAKEL System - Cimiano, Haase, Heizmann
- ORAKEL: A Natural Language Interface to an F-Logic Knowledge Base - Cimiano
Yunyao Li, Huahai Yang, H. V. Jagadish
- NaLIX: an Interactive Natural Language Interface for Querying XML - Yunyao, Huahai, Jagadish (2005)
N. Schlaefer, P. Gieselmann, G. Sautter
- The Ephyra QA system at TREC 2006
C-PHRASE (2008 - 2014)
"Thus analysis components must be robust, seeking out near misses when input is less than ideal and the system must be adaptable, making it easy for authors to patch running systems to catch unanticipated phrasings. The name C-Phrase is derived from ‘catch phrase’, which we interpret literally as ‘catching phrases’."
Michael Minock / Umeå University
Based on tuple calculus.
- C-Phrase: A system for building robust natural language interfaces to databases
Much of the information in this text was drawn from:
- Answering English Questions by Computer: A Survey - R.F. Simmons (1965)
- Natural Language Question-Answering Systems: 1969 - R.F. Simmons (1970)
- Natural Language Interfaces to Databases – An Introduction - I. Androutsopoulos, G.D. Ritchie, P. Thanisch (1995)