Colloquium: Modular Action Language ALM and Its Application to Question Answering

Computer Science Department Colloquium

Title: Modular Action Language ALM and Its Application to
Question Answering

Speaker: Professor Daniela Inclezan

Affiliation: Miami University of Ohio

Hosts: Professors Victor Marek and Mirek Truszczynski

Time and Date: 3:00-4:00PM, Friday, January 29, 2016

Location: Marksbury Theater, some refreshments are expected.

Abstract: Action languages are formal languages with a syntax
close to that of natural language, dedicated to the representation
of actions, their effects, and preconditions for their execution.
Several action languages exist nowadays, but the vast majority of
them do not provide means for the reuse and structuring of knowledge.
Such means are needed in order to represent vast amounts of common
sense knowledge and create libraries. Modular action language ALM was
introduced to remedy this problem. It allows describing actions as
special cases of other actions by introducing the concept of a class.
Its other two main features are the separation between a general
theory and the interpretation of its symbols, and the organization of
knowledge into modules. In this presentation, I introduce language
ALM and report on its use in building a system for answering complex
end-of-the-chapter questions from a popular college-level biology
textbook. This application was developed as part of the Digital
Aristotle project sponsored by Vulcan Inc. and SRI International.

Biography: Daniela Inclezan received her Ph.D. in Computer Science
from Texas Tech University in 2012. Her research interests include
knowledge representation, nonmonotonic reasoning, logic programming,
and automated narrative understanding. The title of her dissertation
is "Modular Action Language ALM for Dynamic Domain Representation."
Dr. Inclezan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer
Science and Software Engineering at Miami University of Ohio, which
she joined in 2013. She teaches courses on knowledge representation,
database systems, and data structure.