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Conference Paper  March 1, 2015

Natural Language Access to Data: It Takes Common Sense!

SRI Authors Richard J. Waldinger



Condoravdi, C.; Richardson, K.; Sikka, V.; Suenbuel, A.; and Waldinger, R. Natural Language Access to Data: It Takes Common Sense!, in Twelfth International Symposium on Logical Formalizations of Commonsense Reasoning, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Mar 2015.


Commonsense reasoning proves to be an essential tool for natural-language access to data. In a deductive approach to this problem, language processing technology translates English queries into a first-order logical form, which is regarded as a conjecture to be established by a theorem prover. Subject domain knowledge is encoded in an axiomatic theory equipped with links to appropriate databases. Commonsense reasoning is necessary to disambiguate the query, to connect the query with relevant tables in the databases, to deal with logical relationships in the query, and to achieve interoperability between disparate databases. This is illustrated with examples from the Quest system, which deals with queries over business enterprise data. Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Artificial Intelligence Center, AIC

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