Strategies for Natural Language Processing

By Wendy G. Lehnert; Martin H. Ringle | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Natural Communication Between Person and Computer

Bertram C. Bruce Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc. Cambridge, MA

This chapter discusses a computer natural-language system called "HWIM," which accepts either typed or spoken inputs and produces both typed and spoken rxesponses. There are three major purposes of the chapter: (1) to present HWIM as an example of a relatively complete language system in which one can see how the many components of language processing interact; (2) to describe technical problems that arose during HWIM's development and that are illustrative of major concerns of Artificial-Intelligence research; and (3) to discuss the structure of HWIM as a model for discourse processing.


This chapter discusses some general issues of language comprehension and production through examination of a complete natural-language system called HWIM (for "Hear what I mean"). HWIM was developed over a 5-year period as the BBN speech-understanding system. It was designed to understand natural language (typed or spoken); to answer questions, perform calculations, and maintain a data base; and to respond in natural language (typed and spoken). Both its inputs and outputs used a relatively rich grammar with a 1000-word vocabulary. Utterances were assumed to be part of an on-going dialogue so that HWIM had to have a model of the discourse and the user.

HWIM was designed to serve as an assistant for the manager of a travel budget. The task of the system was to assist the travel-budget manager, helping to record the trips taken or proposed and to produce such summary information as


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Strategies for Natural Language Processing
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 533

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?