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HELP MOREFACETS                                           R. Evans, June 1983

This help file describes the full range of features offered in LIB FACETS.
Note, however, that I assume the reader to be familiar with the basic HELP
*FACETS file; i.e. the basic notion of FACETS and their use will not be
described here. In particular, this file describes LIB FACETS as a
free-standing system, rather than as a 'bolt on' extra for LIB GRAMMAR.

The main difference between FACETS as described here and the FACETS in
HELP FACETS is that here the semantic rules are considered as independent of
any grammar. The DEFGRAM and DEFLEX macros described in HELP FACETS
serve to bind semantic rules to particular grammatical or lexical rules in
LIB GRAMMAR, but the more general semantic rules are not explicitly bound to
anything. How then are they activated? In the LIB GRAMMAR application
semantic rules are run when a program needs to work out the value of a facet
for a particular parse tree. So typically a call might be


Here COLOUR is a facet and SUBJECT is a variable which contains a parse
tree, probably for a noun phrase. In fact, using LIB GRAMMAR, the tree might
    [np [det the]
        [snp [adj brown]
        [noun dog] ] ]

The important point is that the FACETS package uses a parse tree which looks
something like this one whenever it tries to work out a facet value. A
particular semantic rule is used only if it matches the parse tree given. So
for example there might be a rule for finding the COLOUR facet of an NP
which says:

    "if the tree is [np [det ... ] [snp ...]] then the answer is whatever
     the COLOUR facet of the [snp ...] bit is"

Another rule might say:

    "if the tree is [snp [adj ...] ...] then the colour is whatever the
     COLOUR facet of the [adj ...] bit is"

And finally a third might say:

    "if the tree is [adj ...] and the ... bit is a colour, then that colour
     is the value of the COLOUR facet."

To find the colour of the noun phrase above, the first rule would be used,
but what it effectively says is "try the second rule on this bit of the tree"
and what the second one says is "try the third rule on this bit of the tree".
The third rule knows how to get the actual answer!

If you are familiar with MATCHES (see HELP *MATCHES) then you might guess that
the first bit of all these rules can be done in POP-11 using MATCHES and a
pattern. If we have a parse tree called SUBJECT then the test "if the tree
is [np [det ... ] [snp ... ]]" would look like:

    if subject matches [np [det ==] [snp ==]] then ...

All the semantic rules have to do a test like this to decide whether they
should be used. In the HELP FACETS version, the pattern is provided
automatically - it is based on the grammar rule to which the semantic rule is
attached. In the free-standing FACETS system you have to provide the pattern
yourself. The only other extra thing you have to provide is a name for each
rule. This is the name to use for tracing the facet rule (using FTRACE - see
HELP *FACETS) and if there is a mishap while one of the rules is in use, then
its name is printed out in the 'DOING' part of the mishap message to help you
trace the problem.

So free-standing semantic rules look like this:

    semrule rulename pattern

'rulename'  is the name of the rule - a single word.
'pattern'   is the pattern used for matching with parse trees, the rule
            will only be used if the tree matches the pattern. You can use
            all the usual things in the pattern (?x,??x,=,== etc) and any
            'query' variables (ie ?x or ??x) can be used in the body of
            the rule (they are local variables in the rule).
'rule_body' is the POP-11 code, just as in the LIB GRAMMAR semantic rules.

-- AN EXAMPLE ---------------------------------------------------------------

The three rules we saw in English above would come out like this:

    semrule nprule  [np [det ==]  ?x ]
        ;;; x is the 'snp bit'
        colour(x) -> colour(self);

(Remember 'self' from HELP FACETS. Alternatively, we could have written
 x gives colour; )

    semrule snprule [snp ?adj ==]
        colour(adj) -> colour(self);

    semrule adjrule [adj ?word]
        if isacolour(word) then
            word -> colour(self);
            ;;; what should we do if the adjective isn't a colour?

The rules given in this example are dangerously incomplete - what if, in
the first rule, X is not a parse tree for an SNP? What SHOULD we do if the
ADJ is not a colour?  In a few moments we shall discuss some extra features
which help to answer these questions. First, however, we need to think about
how semantic rules are loaded and used.

-- Loading Semantic rules ---------------------------------------------------

It is easy to tell POP-11 about a semantic rule - you just type it in or load
it from a file. But suppose there are two rules which could be used on some
tree (because both their patterns fit), or suppose you load a rule twice
(perhaps accidentally or because you have corrected an error). What happens?
The answer to the first question is easy - the rules are loaded in a
particular order, and that is the order in which they are tried. The FIRST one
whose pattern matches the tree being processed will be run, any others will be
ignored (BUT - see TRY_NEXT_RULE and USEDFOR below). This suggests an
unsatisfactory answer to the second question. If you reload a rule, it will be
the first version which takes precedence. To cope with this there is a
procedure which you can call which causes the FACETS system to forget ALL its
current rules. Just do


Then you can reload the new versions of all your semantic rules.

-- Using Semantic Rules -----------------------------------------------------

The rules are used in the same way as in HELP FACETS, when a program asks for
a facet value to be calculated. Note that the argument provided in the call
(eg SUBJECT in "colour(subject)" ) must be a parse tree which will match
against the patterns you have provided - maybe generated by LIB GRAMMAR or by
some other parser etc. If none of the patterns matches it then a mishap will
be generated ('No interpretation rule given for tree').

The FACETS system remembers all the trees and facet values you ever ask it to
work out (so that it doesn't have to work them out again if they are asked
for). However it is quite likely that you will know when in your program you
have completely finished with all the data currently held (for example, if you
keep inputting sentences and processing them, then every time you get a new
one you might want to forget about the old one). The system provides a
procedure to let you forget all the information stored for a facet. Just do:


and all the COLOUR information currently stored is lost. (The semantic rules
themselves are not affected by this procedure.)

-- ADDITIONAL FEATURES ------------------------------------------------------

USEDFOR - Immediately following the pattern in a rule (or at the very beginning
of a rule when using DEFGRAM etc) you can put a statement

    usedfor <procedure name>
    usedfor [ <list of facets> ]

If you do this, you are providing an extra test for the applicability of the
rule. In the first case, the procedure given is run with one argument, the
facet being calculated, and it should return true or false according to
whether the rule is to be used. In the second case, if the facet is a member
of the list given then the rule may be used, otherwise not. In both cases, if
the test succeeds, the tree must match the pattern AS WELL. NOTE: it is the
NAME of the facet (i.e. a word) not the facet itself (a procedure) which is
passed to any testing procedure.

TRY_NEXT_RULE - Normally, once the tests for a semantic rule have succeeded
you are committed to that rule. If, however, you put


in the body of the rule, when it is encountered the rule will be finished as
though the tests had failed and the search for another suitable rule will
continue. Note: TRY_NEXT_RULE might cause slightly confusing trace messages
since two messages will be printed for one tree/facet pair and the indentation
might go wrong.

CATEGORY - The category macro makes it easier to define and test for syntactic
categories. It looks like a 'vars' statement, but instead of declaring its
arguments as variables, it defines testing procedures for parse trees. If you

    category verb, np, vp;

then CATEGORY defines procedures 'isverb', 'isnp' and 'isvp'. These test a
parse tree to see if it is of the appropriate category. Thus ISVERB(X) tests
whether X is [verb ... ], ISNP(X) tests whether X is [np ... ] etc. These are
particularly useful in pattern tests.

LITERAL - The literal macro is just like the category macro, except the test
procedures it defines merely test for the presence of the specified word. So
if you do

    literal foo;

it is as though you had done:

    define isfoo(X);
        X == "foo";

This test is appropriate for literal words in patterns, rather than
categories. Normally, of course, you would just use the word itself in a
pattern, but the literal macro does have one important application for use
with DEFGRAM. Since DEFGRAM builds its own patterns and puts restriction
procedures on everything, there is no way of putting a literal word into a
pattern. The restriction procedures used by DEFGRAM default to  CATEGORY
procedures, but if you specify them as LITERAL (or anything else!) the default
is overridden; so without LITERAL, a rule like

    [s  [if s then s] semrule ... endsemrule]

would need 'if' and 'then' to be categories, but the stipulation

    literal if then;

will correct this.

FACET - This is described in HELP FACETS. It is necessary to declare all
variables which are used as FACETS with a statement like

    facet colour, gender;

ISFACET - This procedure is provided to test for FACETS - returns true or

IS, GIVES - Two operators are provided to make assignment of facet values in
rules a bit easier:

    FACET is VAL;          ;;; is equivalent to  VAL -> FACET(self);

    CAT gives FACET;       ;;; is equivalent to  FACET(CAT) -> FACET(self);

-- PACKETS ------------------------------------------------------------------

An additional feature provided by LIB FACETS allows you to have several
different sets of facet rules for different purposes; thus, for example, you
may have a special set of rules for analysing noun-phrases. It is more
efficient to keep these separarately from, say, sentence rules, since less
rule searching is involved for a facet if you only have to look through half
the rules. LIB FACETS provided this facility by using the PACKET/ENDPACKET
brackets. In outline these are used as follows:

    packet foo;
        <pop11 code>

FOO is the name of the packet, and is also automatically declared as a
variable (in fact, the variable used to store the rules for the packet).
Inside the brackets, any semantic rules declared are added to the list for the
packet ONLY, and it is only rules in this list which are used for facet
evaluation (inside the brackets). You can go in and out of packets as much as
you like in a program; typically

    packet foo;
        ... load semantic rules for foo

    packet baz;
        ... load semantic rules for baz


and at other points in the program you would re-enter the packet to evaluate,
using its rules:

    packet foo;
        referent(np1) -> subject(s);

or even:

    [^(packet foo; referent(np1) endpacket)
     ^^(packet baz; meaning(vp1) endpacket)] -> meaning(s);

-- THE EXAMPLE REVISITED ----------------------------------------------------

Now we can put right some of the problems we had in our earlier example. A
better version would be:

    category np, snp, det, adj, noun;   ;;; now we can use isnp, issnp etc

    semrule nprule  [np [det ==]  ?x ]
        ;;; x is the 'snp bit'
        colour(x) -> colour(self);

    semrule snprule [snp ?adj ==]
        colour(adj) -> colour(self);

    semrule adjrule [adj ?word]
        word -> colour(self);

An alternative to the last rule:

    semrule adjrule [adj ?word]
        ;;; we must write isacolour ourselves
        if  isacolour(word) then
            word -> colour(self);

See also
HELP *FACETS   - for a more basic explanation of the FACETS package
HELP *GRAMMAR  - for references to GRAMMAR packages
TEACH *GRAMMAR - for an introduction to LIB GRAMMAR