Is there place for logic in recognizing textual entailment?

Johan Bos


From a purely theoretical point of view, it makes sense to approach recognizing textual entailment (RTE) with the help of logic. After all, entailment matters are all about logic. In practice, only few RTE systems follow the bumpy road from words to logic. This is probably because it requires a combination of robust, deep semantic analysis and logical inference — and why develop something with this com- plexity if you perhaps can get away with something simpler? In this article, with the help of an RTE system based on Combinatory Cat- egorial Grammar, Discourse Representation Theory, and first-order theorem proving, we make an empirical assessment of the logic-based approach. High precision paired with low recall is a key characteristic of this system. The bottleneck in achieving high recall is the lack of a systematic way to produce relevant background knowledge. There is a place for logic in RTE, but it is (still) overshadowed by the knowledge acquisition problem.


categorial grammar; textual inference; theorem proving

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