Beyond Semantic Ambiguity

Galina Datskovsky Moerdler, Kathleen R. McKeown

An advice giving system, such as an expert system gathers information from a user in order to provide advice. In this type of dialogue a single user statement or question may map into several facts of an underlying system, while several non consecutive statements may derive only one such fact. To support this type of interaction, a truly flexible natural language interface must be able to handle an extended notion of semantic ambiguity; it must avoid failure on producing partial semantic interpretations and be able to gather additional information for the interpretations from subsequent input. In this paper we describe a semantic mechanism that is able to handle this type of semantic ambiguity, while retaining other desirable properties of a general semantic interpreter.

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