next up previous
Next: Introduction

On the Intersection of Finite State Automata and Definite Clause Grammars

Gertjan van Noord
Vakgroep Alfa-informatica
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen


An elegant framework for robust parsing was presented by Bernard Lang on last year's TWLT. In Lang's approach parsing is viewed as the calculation of the intersection of a FSA (the input) and a CFG. Viewing the input for parsing as a FSA rather than as a string combines well with standard approaches in speech understanding systems in which typically a word lattice is produced as an intermediate result. Furthermore, certain techniques for robust parsing can be modelled as finite state transducers.

In this paper we investigate how we can generalize this approach for unification grammars. In particular we will concentrate how we might calculate the intersection of a FSA and a DCG. It is shown that existing parsing algorithms can be easily extended for FSA inputs. However, we also show that the termination properties change drastically: we show that it is undecidable whether the intersection of a FSA and an off-line parsable DCG is empty.

Furthermore we discuss techniques to cope with the problem.

next up previous
Next: Introduction
Noord G.J.M. van