Technical Report CS0557

Title: A Set Expression Based Inheritance System
Authors: Ida Dagan and Alan Itai
Abstract: This paper describes a new formalism for inheritance systems, based on the formal semantics of set expressions. Using the formalism, it is possible to defme new semantic classes by arbitrary set expressions operating on previously defined classes. We present an efficient algorithm which follows these defmitions to deduce the properties implied by the inheritance network, i.e. the properties of the classes containing a given element. The application which motivated the development of the formalism, namely semantic disambiguation of natural language, is also described. We conclude by raising several open problems concerning more advanced topics, such as IS-NOT-A links and conflicting properties.
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