An overview of cooperative answering in databases

TitleAn overview of cooperative answering in databases
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsMinker J
JournalFlexible Query Answering Systems
Pagination282 - 285
Date Published1998///

The field of cooperative answering goes back to work started by Joshi and Webber [12] in natural language processing in the early 1980s at the University of Pennsylvania. The work was applied to databases and information systems at the University of Pennsylvania by Kaplan [14, 15] and Mays [17]. Other early work at the University of Pennsylvania and at other universities is discussed in [25, 13, 26, 16, 18, 24]. Databases and knowledge base systems are often difficult to use because they do not attempt to cooperate with their users. A database or a knowledge base query system provides literal answers to queries posed to them. Such answers to queries may not always be the best answers. Instead, an answer with extra or alternative information may be more useful and less misleading to a user.This lecture surveys foundational work that has been done toward developing database and knowledge base systems with the ability to exhibit cooperative behavior. In the 1970s, Grice [11] proposed maxims of cooperative conversation. These maxims provide the starting point for the field of cooperative answering.