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Scientific Discourse Meeting, July 11, 2011


1. Talk Adrian Walker
2. Ontologies status
3. AOB.

Application Semantics via Rules in Open Vocabulary Executable English

Adrian Walker, Reengineering LLC

There has been much progress assigning semantics to data. However the meaning that resides in an application (or in a SPARQL query) should be taken into account. Even if data identifiers and ontologies have really fine readable meanings, an application can change the semantics completely. And, unless there are explanations of what the app has done, no-one will be any the wiser unless the error is egregious (eg -- the Eiffel tower is a dog).

This talk describes a system on the Web that combines three kinds of semantics -- (a) data -- as in SQL or RDF, (b) inference -- via a theory of declarative knowledge, and (c) open vocabulary English. The combination is used to answer questions over networked databases, and to explain the results in hypertexted English. The subject knowledge needed to do this can be acquired in social network style, by typing executable English into browsers.

Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/adriandwalker/scientific-discourseappsemantics20110711

Video: http://www.reengineeringllc.com/ibldrugdbdemo1.htm (video with audio)


  • Knowledge Systems and Prolog: Developing Expert, Database, and Natural Language Systems, book, second edition, Addison-Wesley, 1990, (A. Walker, M. McCord, J. Sowa and W. Wilson).
  • Towards a Theory of Declarative Knowledge, (K. Apt, H. Blair and A. Walker). In: Foundations of Deductive Databases and Logic Programming, J. Minker (Ed.), Morgan Kaufman 1988.
  • Backchain Iteration: Towards a Practical Inference Method that is Simple Enough to be Proved Terminating, Sound and Complete. Journal of Automated Reasoning, (A. Walker) 11:1-22, 1993.

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