Natural Language
Interfaces to Databases
Meikiu Lo
Gwen Ray
October 29, 2003
I. What is Natural Language
Database Interface?
•
•
allows users to access information stored
in a database by formulating request in
Natural Language.
Examples:
Who is the youngest employee in the
sales department?
Does any employee in the sales
department earn more than $35000?
Two Components
•
Linguistic component
translates Natural Language input into a formal
query and generating a natural language
response based on the results from the
database search.
• Database component
Performs traditional database management
functions
Simple Diagram of NLDBIS
Natural Language Input
Linguistic Component
•Natural Language Understanding
(morphological analysis, syntactic analysis,
semantic analysis, discourse analysis)
•Natural Language Generation
Transfer to Database
Language
Database Component
Response
Linguistic component
Includes :
•
Natural Language Understanding
Mapping the given input in the natural
language into a useful representation.
•
Natural Language Generation
Producing output in the natural language
from some internal representation.
II. What is it related to, or
what will affect?
•
companies are now making their product
databases available online with a multitude
of user interfaces.
•
their accessibility to no-expert users is
desirable.
III. Why use Natural
Language Interface to
Database?
•
Widespread use of Database
•
Accurate retrieval
IV. What and how did it start?
•
1973 -- The first NLDBIS was the LUNAR
system built by Woods. It used chemical
analyses of moon rocks.
•
By late 1970's -- first good database natural
language processing systems was
developed by LIFER/LADDER about US
Navy Ships. This system used a semantic
grammar to parse questions and query a
distributed database.
IV. What and how did it start?
(cont.)
•
1980-1990 -- NLDB systems became large,
diverse and represented completely
different concept.
•
Recent -- commercial products have
created NLDB system to transfer written or
spoken language into database queries e.g.,
PDAs, cell phones. Besides, multilingual
natural language interfaces have developed
in the e-commerce environments.
V. Why is it important, and to
whom?

Database Users – want ease; reliability & accuracy
of responses; reduction in time spent querying;
global accessibility.

Org.s/Companies – improved customer service,
greater and global accessibility; cost to employ vs.
savings.

Database Developers & Administrators - Additional
database development human resources for
linguistic components development (including
multiple languages); Additional database
development testing for reliability and performance
and security.
VI. What is the current state?






Web access
Global access/multilingual
Small devices – PDAs, Cell Phones
Less specialized, more varied databases
Non-specialized database users
Multiple databases
VI. What is the current state?
(cont.)



New natural language database interfaces for
new users!
New techniques/processes that will support
the wide variety of databases being accessed
by a wide variety of users, around the globe!
An example: The Precise System designed
by computer scientists at the University of
Washington.
VI. Current state
The Precise System
VI. Current state
The Precise System (contd.)
VI. Current state
Other initiatives




Spoken language dialogue systems.
Tutorial systems.
Large-scale dependency grammars which
can include semantic and morphologic
information, hierarchical statistical language
models.
Inductive logic programming to construct
natural language processing systems (CHILL
system – Mooney)
VII. What do you expect in the
immediate future?



More transportable natural language
interfaces to a wider spectrum of databases.
Improved natural language interface used
with improved voice recognition.
More appliances with natural language
interfaces.
VIII. What are the implications for
database users, administrators,
developers, and the general
public?
Now that transportable NLIs are in
development that make the use of them more
feasible across a wider spectrum of
databases, it is likely we will see an expansion
of the use of natural language database
interfaces. The trend is already afoot and if
users expect it, it will likely come.
VIII. Implications
(cont.)
Database Users
 Better or expanded customer service
 Ease of finding answers to questions
Administrators
 Additional database development testing for
reliability and performance and security
Developers
 Additional database development human resources
for linguistic components development (including
multiple languages)
General Public
 Improved Global accessibility
The End.
Questions?
Descargar

What is Natural Language Database Interface?