Computer Sciences Dept.

A Net Structure for Semantic Information Storage, Deduction and Retrieval

Stuart C. Shapiro

This paper descril3es a data structure, MENS (MEmory Net Structure), that is useful for storing semantic information stemming Crom a natural language, and a system, MENTAL (MEmory Net That Answers and Learns) that interacts with a user (human or program), stores information into and retrieves information from MENS and interprets some information in MENS as rules telling it how to deduce new information from what is already stored. MENTAI can be used as a question- answering system with formatted input/output, as a vehicle for experimenting with various theories of semantic structures or as the memory management portion of a natural language question-answering system.

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