Section: New Results
Inference, Discourse and Dialogue
An important line of research in LED is natural language semantic and in particular in Dialogue Systems. We are interested in both its theoretical and practical aspects, and the role that different kinds of inferences play in it. On one hand, the group has started to investigate higher order inference and the use of higher order provers in semantic construction. This is a project developed in collaboration with the Omega group from the University of Saarbrücken, one of the strongest research groups on theorem proving from higher order logics. The Calligramme team is also starting to be interested in these issues.
More recently, a Polish version of the dialogue system CURT has been developed. The new version improves on previous versions in a number of ways, but the most important is that it covers representation and inference for temporal phenomena in natural language, and further extensions to be able to handle also aspect are being developed.
We have also started experimenting on the use of non-standard inference techniques (e.g., hybrids of inference and planning) in the framework of Dialogue Systems, in particular to help handling tacit actions  . When dialogue systems are developed as interfaces for applications, users often left implicit certain actions (which we call, tacit actions) when asking the system to perform a particular action for them. The system has to infer these tacit actions which are preconditions for the execution of the action requested by the user. The team is investigating the use of state of the art planners in this kind of scenarios. This research is related to recent work of Matthew Stone on presupposition and other pragmatic phenomena  .