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AceRules: Executing Rules in Controlled
Natural Language
Tobias Kuhn
(University of Zurich)
RR2007
Innsbruck
8 June 2007
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 2
Introduction
 Domain specialists that are supposed to create
and/or validate rules are often not familiar with
formal languages
 Verbalization of the rules in natural language
becomes necessary
 Translation of rules into NL (and backwards) is
complicated and a potential source of errors
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 3
The AceRules Approach
 Expressing rules in controlled natural language
 Attempto Controlled English (ACE)
 http://attempto.ifi.uzh.ch
 formal and human readable
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 4
Attempto Controlled English
(ACE)
 Developed at the University of Zurich
 Formal language with a restricted English grammar
 ACE supports: quantification, negation, conditional
sentences, modality, active & passive voice,
singular & plural, relative clauses, conjunction &
disjunction, anaphoric references, pronouns,
variables, commands, queries, macros
 ACE texts can be translated automatically and
unambiguously into first-order logic
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 5
ACE as a Rule Language:
Some Examples
 John is an important customer.
customer('John') <-
important('John') <-
 No clerk is a customer.
-customer(A) <- clerk(A)
 Everyone who is not provably a criminal is trustworthy.
trustworthy(A) <- ~criminal(A)
 If a resource is public then every user can download the resource.
can(download(A,B)) <- user(A), resource(B), public(B)
 If a user is authenticated and has a subscription and there is a resource
that is available for the subscription then the user can download the
resource.
can(download(A,B)) <- be_available_for(B,C), have(A,C),
resource(B), subscription(C), user(A), authenticated(A)
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 6
AceRules
 Input and output in controlled natural language
(ACE)
 Forward chaining interpreters
John is a man.
Every man is a human.
Mary is a woman.
Every woman is a human.
No man is a woman and no woman is a man.
Everyone who is not provably a criminal is
trustworthy.
John is a criminal.
No criminal is trustworthy.
Every human who is trustworthy gets a credit-
card from BankX.
Mary is trustworthy.
BankX is trustworthy.
Mary is a woman.
Mary is a human.
John is a man.
John is a human.
John is a criminal.
Mary gets a credit-card from BankX.
It is false that John is trustworthy.
It is false that John is a woman.
It is false that Mary is a man.
Program: Answer:
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 7
Semantics
 Semantics are exchangeable
 Currently supported semantics:
 Courteous logic programs
 Stable models
 Stable models with strong negation
 Other semantics (i.e. interpreters) could be
incorporated with little integration effort.
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 8
Web Interface
 http://attempto.ifi.uzh.ch/acerules
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 9
The Missing Link:
Authoring Tool
 Problem: How to learn writing in ACE?
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 10
Thank you for your attention!
Questions?
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 11
Architecture
Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 12
Comparison of the Semantics

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AceRules: Executing Rules in Controlled Natural Language

  • 1. AceRules: Executing Rules in Controlled Natural Language Tobias Kuhn (University of Zurich) RR2007 Innsbruck 8 June 2007
  • 2. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 2 Introduction  Domain specialists that are supposed to create and/or validate rules are often not familiar with formal languages  Verbalization of the rules in natural language becomes necessary  Translation of rules into NL (and backwards) is complicated and a potential source of errors
  • 3. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 3 The AceRules Approach  Expressing rules in controlled natural language  Attempto Controlled English (ACE)  http://attempto.ifi.uzh.ch  formal and human readable
  • 4. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 4 Attempto Controlled English (ACE)  Developed at the University of Zurich  Formal language with a restricted English grammar  ACE supports: quantification, negation, conditional sentences, modality, active & passive voice, singular & plural, relative clauses, conjunction & disjunction, anaphoric references, pronouns, variables, commands, queries, macros  ACE texts can be translated automatically and unambiguously into first-order logic
  • 5. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 5 ACE as a Rule Language: Some Examples  John is an important customer. customer('John') <- important('John') <-  No clerk is a customer. -customer(A) <- clerk(A)  Everyone who is not provably a criminal is trustworthy. trustworthy(A) <- ~criminal(A)  If a resource is public then every user can download the resource. can(download(A,B)) <- user(A), resource(B), public(B)  If a user is authenticated and has a subscription and there is a resource that is available for the subscription then the user can download the resource. can(download(A,B)) <- be_available_for(B,C), have(A,C), resource(B), subscription(C), user(A), authenticated(A)
  • 6. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 6 AceRules  Input and output in controlled natural language (ACE)  Forward chaining interpreters John is a man. Every man is a human. Mary is a woman. Every woman is a human. No man is a woman and no woman is a man. Everyone who is not provably a criminal is trustworthy. John is a criminal. No criminal is trustworthy. Every human who is trustworthy gets a credit- card from BankX. Mary is trustworthy. BankX is trustworthy. Mary is a woman. Mary is a human. John is a man. John is a human. John is a criminal. Mary gets a credit-card from BankX. It is false that John is trustworthy. It is false that John is a woman. It is false that Mary is a man. Program: Answer:
  • 7. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 7 Semantics  Semantics are exchangeable  Currently supported semantics:  Courteous logic programs  Stable models  Stable models with strong negation  Other semantics (i.e. interpreters) could be incorporated with little integration effort.
  • 8. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 8 Web Interface  http://attempto.ifi.uzh.ch/acerules
  • 9. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 9 The Missing Link: Authoring Tool  Problem: How to learn writing in ACE?
  • 10. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 10 Thank you for your attention! Questions?
  • 11. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 11 Architecture
  • 12. Tobias Kuhn, RR2007, 8 June 2007 12 Comparison of the Semantics