UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A portable natural language database query system White, Steven John


With the increased use of computerized databases, the ability to allow users to access information using natural language is becoming more desirable. There are many natural language systems in existence today. The main problem with these systems is the amount of expertise and effort required to adapt them to a new domain. The design of a portable natural language front-end to a relational database is described in this thesis. It is designed so that a typical Database Administrator can implement a new domain in a reasonable amount of time. Database portability has been achieved by separating the domain dependent natural language definitions from the domain independent definitions. These domain dependent definitions are specified in the database schema, which is structured to extract the semantics contained in the structure of the actual database. A rich supply of standard definitions are available to both aid in the development of the database schema and to help force consistency amongst database domains.

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