Seminario MAVIR: Ed Hovy Imprimir E-mail

Seminario MAVIR

Ed Hovy: Learning by Reading. Experiments in Text Analysis and Knowlegde Construction

martes 17 de febrero 2009 a las 10h00


Lugar de celebración

Salón de Grados
ETSI Industriales
c/ Juan del Rosal, 12
28040 Madrid 

Cómo llegar y planos

Emisión en directo por streaming  



A few years ago, three research groups participated in an audacious experiment called Project Halo: (manually) converting the information contained in one chapter of a high school chemistry textbook into knowledge representation statements, and then having the knowledge representation system take the standardized high school AP exam. Surprisingly, all three systems passed, albeit at a relatively low level of performance. Could one do the same, automatically? If not fully, how far can one go?

Since late 2005, several projects have taken up this challenge, or aspects of it. Our first Learning by Reading project at ISI, with part-time participation of experts in NLP and KR&R, addresses the problem from the perspective of NLP. After suitable analysis and preparation, we parsed a high school Chemistry textbook and then converted the results into very shallow ‘pre-logic’ predications, which were asserted to a knowledge base. In later work, we have collaborated with SRI, University of Texas, Boeing, and BBN in Project Möbius, to build a prototype learning by reading system that reads paragraph-length Wikipedia-level texts about the human heart and about engines, and builds up enough knowledge to apply inferences, produce its own further reading requests, and eventually answer questions. Various evaluations illustrate how much knowledge can be acquired and what kinds of gaps remain. Although these projects are merely pilot studies, they uncover some fascinating illustrations of the challenges to be addressed and show how much one can expect from automated text understanding and reasoning systems today. A new DARPA program in this area was announced and will be funded starting later in 2009.









Hovy, E. Learning by Reading: Toward ‘Shallow’ Semantics-Based NLP. Seminario MAVIR. February, 17 2009. Madrid, Spain.