Inference and Computational Semantics

  title={Inference and Computational Semantics},
  author={Patrick Blackburn and Michael Kohlhase},
  journal={Journal of Logic, Language and Information},
In this paper we discuss inference in computational semantics. In particular, we argue that state-of-the-art methods in first-order theorem proving and model generation are of direct relevance to inference for natural language processing. This claim is based on our experience of implementing van der Sandt’s approach to presupposition, and much of the paper discusses this application. Incidentally, the reader can experiment with this implementation over the internet: most of what is discussed… 

A Survey of Computational Semantics: Representation, Inference and Knowledge in Wide-Coverage Text Understanding

  • Johan Bos
  • Computer Science
    Lang. Linguistics Compass
  • 2011
Promising future research directions of computational semantics are investigating alternative representation and inference methods (using weaker variants of first-order logic, reasoning with defaults), and developing evaluation methods measuring the semantic adequacy of systems and formalisms.

Computational Semantics in Discourse: Underspecification, Resolution, and Inference

  • Johan Bos
  • Computer Science
    J. Log. Lang. Inf.
  • 2004
It is shown how underspecified semantic representations can be built in a compositional way (for a fragment of English Grammar) using standard techniques borrowed from the λ-calculus, how inferences can becarried out on discourse representations using a translation to first-order logic, and how existing research prototypes (discourseprocessing and spoken-dialogue systems) implement the formalism.

Abducing Coreference by Model Construction

A semantic representation for utterances containing anaphora that enables us to compute possible antecedents by abductive inference and is applied to the resolution of anaphoric expressions in the general model constructing framework for incremental discourse representation.

Computing Meaning : Annotation, Representation, and Inference

This chapter introduces the subsequent chapters in the book and how they are related, against the background of a discussion of the nature and the complexity of processes that compute the meanings of

As brief as possible (but no briefer)

For years researchers struggle to explain an impossible muddle of data, and then BAM! some genius comes and publishes an article in Theoretical Linguistics that turns everything on its head. In this

From TY_n to DRT: an implementation

The significance for computational linguistics of Reinhard Muskens' theoretical work is assessed by implementing the TY_n-based approach to DRT in \nessie, a generic framework for semantic construction that is implemented in the functional programming language OCaml.

Plural semantics for natural language understanding — a computational proof-theoretic approach

This thesis investigates problems of representing, disambiguating and reasoning with plurals from a computational perspective, defines a computationally suitable representation for important plural constructions, proposes a tractable resolution algorithm for semantic plural ambiguities, and integrates an automatic reasoning component for plurals.

Natural language directed inference from ontologies

Towards Wide-Coverage Semantic Interpretation

Further developments in this work are discussed, generating semantic representations for sentences or small texts, showing how to calculate background knowledge required for reasoning, and performing inferences using state-of-the-art theorem provers and model builders.

Towards a large-scale formal semantic lexicon for text processing !

It is argued that the method of continuation is the best approach to deal with event modifiers in a compositional DRT framework, reaching high coverage of which practical text processing systems can benifit.



Representation and Inference for Natural Language: A First Course in Computational Semantics

This book introduces fundamental techniques for computing semantic representations for fragments of natural language and performing inference with the result by using first-order logic and lambda calculus.

A Resolution Calculus for Dynamic Semantics

The aim is to circumvent the computational complexity triggered by natural language ambiguities like pronoun binding, by interleaving pronoun binding with resolution deduction, by using resolution theorem proving to natural language semantics.

Dynamic interpretation and hoare deduction

A dynamic assignment language which extends the dynamic predicate logic of Groenendijk and Stokhof with ι assignment and with generalized quantifiers is presented and it is shown that the calculus gives a straightforward method for finding static meanings of the programs of the representation language.

Combining Montague Semantics and Discourse Representation

Kamp’s Discourse Representation Theory (DRT, see Kamp [1981], Heim [1982, 1983], Kamp & Reyle [1993]) offers an attractive means of modeling the semantics of discourse. The theory works very well for

A Deduction Method Complete for Refutation and Finite Satisfiability

A novel deduction method is introduced for database and Artificial Intelligence applications that processes existential quantifiers in a special manner which makes it complete not only for refutation, but also for finite satisfiability.

Presupposition Projection as Anaphora Resolution

It is argued that presuppositional expressions should not be seen as referring expressions, nor is presupposition to be explicated in terms of some non-standard logic, while the theory is elaborated in the framework of discourse representation theory.

Model generation for discourse representation theory

We present a tableaux-based model generation calculus for DRT, which gives us an incremental approach to discourse processing in the presence of world knowledge. We show the usefulness of such as

Natural language understanding

  • James F. Allen
  • Computer Science
    Bejnamin/Cummings series in computer science
  • 1987
The text features a new chapter on statistically-based methods using large corpora and an appendix on speech recognition and spoken language understanding and information on semantics that was covered in the first edition has been largely expanded in this edition.

A Resolution Decision Procedure for the Guarded Fragment

By constructing an effective decision procedure for the guarded fragment of [ANB96], this work defines an effective procedure for deciding these modal logics.

Automated deduction : a basis for applications

A comparison of Equality Reasoning Heuristics and Equational Reasoning in Saturation-Based Theorem Proving with Automated Deduction in Software Engineering and hardware Design.