Use of Reconstructed Spatial Image in Natural Language Understanding Process

A. Yamada, T. Yamamoto, H. Ikeda, T. Nishida and S. Doshita

This paper describes the use and the benefit of the spatial image of the world in natural language understanding process. The actual or purely imaginary image of the world heli)s us to understand the natural language texts. In order to treat the image of the described world, the attthors use a geometric representation and try to reconstruct a geometric nmdel of the global scene from the scenic descriptions (in Japanese) drawing spax'e. An exl)erimental coml)uter program SPRINT is made to reconstruct a model. SPRINT extracts the qualitative spatial constraints from the text and represents them by the numerical constraints on spatial attributes of the descril)ed entities in the world. This makes it 1)ossible to express the vagueness of the spatial concepts, to accumulate fragmentary information on the memory, and to derive the maximally plausible model from a chunk of such information. In this process, the view of the observer and its transition is reflected. One can haxdly treat the view without such geometric representations. The visual disappearance of the spatial entities is also discussed with respect to the view of the observer. By constructing a geometric representation of the world, these phenomena are reviewed.

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