Department of Computer Science at UH

University of Houston

Department of Computer Science

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy

Waleed Faris

Will defend his dissertation

Building a Natural Language Interface for ALPS


Building computer systems that can communicate using our everyday natural languages would make them more accessible to any user. This dissertation looks at creating a Natural Language Processing (NLP) application to serve as the communication agent for an existing knowledge system known as A Learning Program System (ALPS). This is accomplished by providing the system with the tools necessary to learn a new natural language and use it to communicate. A primary component introduced in the dissertation is the role of a grammar term, which defines the purpose of that term. The role serves as a link between the world of grammar and the knowledge in ALPS. By utilizing the connections formed by these roles, the domain of the grammar and the semantics can be kept separate, allowing for independent development of each.

Four key aspects of communication are developed. The first aspect is a flexible and incremental grammar. Second is the ability to use that grammar to parse a given sentence and organize the knowledge identified within it. Third is the process for understanding the intent of what was parsed; and finally, the ability to respond to queries by producing a sentence reflective of a thought.


Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Time: 4:00 PM
Place: PGH 550

Faculty, students, and the general public are invited.
Advisor: Prof. Kam-Hoi Cheng