ERIC Number: ED030469
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1967-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Answering Questions by Computer: A Logical Study.
Kuhns, J. L.
This document is a study of the processing of questions input to computerized question-answering system such as the RAND Relational Data File. The process consists of (1)transforming the natural-language question into a symbolic question (i.e., a certain formula of predicate calculus) and (2)generating the answer by calculating the value set of the resulting formula. This study is addressed to the second step. A key problem is the identification of "reasonable" input queries. These are characterized by introducing the concept of definite formula. A particular class of definite formulas--the proper formulas--is especially suitable for machine processing. A set of machine-recognizable sufficient conditions for their identification is given, together with rules for calculating their value sets. The definite, but improper formulas are also studies. It is shown that definite formulas without quantifiers can be transformed into proper equivalents. For definite formulas with quantifiers, limited but useful results are obtained. (Author)
Descriptors: Computers, Information Retrieval, Information Systems, Man Machine Systems, Mathematical Logic, Search Strategies, Semiotics
Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information, Springfield, Va. 22151 (AD-664 882, MF-$0.65; HC-$3.00)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Air Force Directorate of Operational Requirements and Development Plans, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.