Robust Parsing Using Multiple Construction-Specific Strategies

  • J. G. Carbonell
  • P. J. Hayes
Part of the Symbolic Computation book series (SYMBOLIC)

Abstract

Robust natural language interpretation requires strong semantic domain models, “fail-soft” recovery heuristics, flexible control structures, and focused user interaction when automatic correction proves unfeasible. Although single-strategy parsers have met with some success, a multi-strategy approach, with strategies selected dynamically according to the type of construction being parsed at any given time, is shown to provide a higher degree of flexibility, redundancy, and ability to bring task-specific domain knowledge (in addition to general linguistic knowledge) to bear on both grammatical and ungrammatical input. This construction-specific, multi-strategy approach can also help provide tightly focused interaction with the user in cases of semantic or structural ambiguity by allowing such ambiguities to be represented without duplication of unambiguous material. The approach also aids in task-specific language development by allowing direct interpretation of languages defined in terms natural to the task domain, and with the definition of data base interfaces by facilitating a unified treatment of update and access requests. Two small experimental parsers that were implemented to illustrate these advantages are presented, followed by the description of a parsing algorithm that integrates several of the best features of the two smaller parsers, including case-frame instantiation and partial pattern-matching strategies. The algorithm can deal with conjunctions, fragmentary input, and ungrammatical structures, as well as less exotic, grammatically correct input.

Keywords

Haas Poss Clarification 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. G. Carbonell
  • P. J. Hayes

There are no affiliations available

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