An Interactive Customization Program for a Natural Language Database Query System

  • Fred J. Damerau
Conference paper
Part of the Topics in Information Systems book series (TINF)


There has been ample evidence for some time, both from prototype systems and, more recently, commercially available systems that it is possible to build a natural language interface to a data base which allows access to data by naive users. However, these systems have been hand tailored to particular data bases, to a greater or lesser degree, by their developers. (Artificial Intelligence Corporation now trains customers to be their own data base linguists, but the principle of requiring a linguist as a customizer remains the same). It is generally recognized that a fixed, domain independent, natural language query system is not now attainable. Nonetheless, it would clearly be preferable, from a commercial point of view, if a query system product could be delivered to a customer without requiring vendor personnel to adapt it to the domain. This paper describes an interactive system which has the aim of making it possible for a customer who knows his data base but is unfamiliar with linguistic processing to provide an English interface to an SQL/DS data base.


Data Base Dictionary Entry Query System Question Answering System Press Enter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred J. Damerau

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