Friday, May 15, 2015

Remembrance of things long past

 I first talked in Nuance on October 26th  2012 about my work on NL-based KR representations at PARC  and how I wanted to improve it. 
I first gave a talk similar to this in Feb 2010 at SRI (slides in slideshare, paper).
Then I tried to think a bit more along the lines of expressivity vs. complexity, following the work of Larry Moss
First at Stanford Workshop on Natural Logic, Proof Theory, and Computational Semantics, March 2011 and  then at RAIN in Austin, Texas, June 2012, when I called it Little Engines of Inference. Further I have written a paper for CommonSense2014, Contexts for Quantification.

Logic in the Pub, again?

Can repetition of non-information create new information?
My intuition was to say NO WAY! But look below...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


I must be really good at this. It's only the 31st March and I already have  three papers rejected this year! Maybe I'm taking too seriously the mantra of Silicon Valley "Fail Fast, Fail often".

This doesn't worry me very much. I know the three papers are good, interesting work. Maybe I need to explain myself a little better, maybe I need some more time to check the literature , maybe I need to talk about it more, to see what is it that people don't understand. I can do it, I do some of my best work when people don't believe what I'm saying.

Seriously this is not as bad as having rejected 21 other groups of people. This was news to me, in such large numbers. And I don't like it at all.

(I also had three papers already accepted this year, so maybe I shouldn't complaint!)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Browsing OpenwordNet-PT and other things I need to remember

I don't know how everybody else copes, but I confess that I am overwhelmed by the amount of work I need to do and by the fact that my tools keep failing me. The newest one is Firefox bookmarks, that after years of doing my bidding now decided to revolt and not do what I tell them...
The other one is my cellphone which says that it needs more memory and it won't do a thing unless I change it or do something about the "stuff" that accumulated over the years.
Anyways, while Blogger still does what I tell it, here's the link to the new interface to the OpenWordNet-PT. This is a brilliant piece of code by Fabricio Chalub that is helping an awful lot with the cleaning up of the data.

The other three links  I need to find easily are the conferences am trying to organize this year:
  1. WOLLIC 2015, Bloomington, Indiana (deadline this weekend!)
  2. NLCS 2015, Kyoto, Japan, 
  3. ESSLLI workshop on Logic and Probabilistic Methods for Dialog
For the talks to give and the other zillions of deadlines I need to keep track of, I will have to rely on the adrenalin.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Joys of Christmas Catching-up

Organizing meetings about the things you enjoy discussing is fun. Hearing the talks, putting up programs, coffee break discussions, are all extremely enjoyable. But to be a grown-up academic you also have to do the very boring stuff. Papers need to go to formal journals, and need to be checked and properly formatted and you must remember to chase-up your  reviewers and all the annoying boring stuff also must be done.

Especially if, like me you don't have students and young ones who might (with a bit of luck) get a kick out of doing it. Especially if you don't have a research grant that pays for some of expenses, things tends to get lost, webpages disappear, papers that you're sure had appeared, cannot be found, etc...

And Christmas is the time to do it, of course. But there aren't enough hours or days in the Christmas break, so you end up feeling that you didn't enjoy the season and you didn't do whatever you needed to do. Oh well. The best we can do is the best we can do.

I promise to try to update my personal webpages soon, but for the time being here, while I'm frantically trying to write the preface for IMLA 2011, here's a webpage  to work for IMLA (Intuitionistic Modal Logic and Applications- the future) to complete, with a bit of luck, in the next Christmas break.

Given the nice discussion initiated by Urs Schreiber in Google+ on Modalities and Modal Type Theory and Intuitionistic Modal Logic  as well as the request to present in BACAT my thoughts on the same, I now have too many ideas and leads that I should like to summarize, (or at least get a grip on) and add to the darned preface.

Here are my slides complaining about the dismal state of Constructive Modal Type Theory in 2013 and in 2014. And some blog posts (K for Kripke, IMLA 2013, IMLA 2011IMLA 2008IMLA 2005IMLA 2002, IMLA 1999, Why Constructive Modal Logics? ) on why I still think this is important.

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

D for Dummett

Because of an interesting conversation on modal logic started by Urs Schreiber in google+, I have been re-reading Dummett's "The Elements of Intuitionism".

Trying to find it in the web (I particularly wanted to read his discussion on the distribution laws between  quantifiers and conjunctions/disjunctions) I found instead this most excellent review of the book, by  Sundholm. And another, less favourable, review (of the second edition) by WoleĊ„ski.

I have not found what I wanted, neither have I advanced much on my attempt at understanding Dummett's lessons. But as usual when I open that book, I learn a little more. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Temporality in Natural Logic

Interstellar is a movie that grew on me. I left the theater annoyed with a few things, in particular this stupid idea that we can all get up and go, live in Saturn in torii where the sky is crops. Healthy crops.
But there is much to love about the movie too, especially the fact that the biggest hero of the story is a woman who solves mathematical problems! this is great!

But yeah the blog post is not about the time puzzles of the movie, after all, any sci-fi has to have a few "temporal knots", but it's about simple, linear time and how to model it. So first here's Dick's old lecture notes on temporality Temporality in Natural Logic. This is/was supposed to be read together with Mark Steedman's The Productions of Time, whose title comes from one of the Blake's  Proverbs of Hell. Hard to get any more poetic than this.

Then, hoping against hope that temporal knots may indeed work for us, instead of against us, here is Dick's submission (Transfer Semantics for the Clear Parser) to NLCS'14 in Vienna.