Lane Lawley


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Logical Story Representations via FrameNet + Semantic Parsing
Lane Lawley | Lenhart Schubert
Proceedings of the Workshop on Dimensions of Meaning: Distributional and Curated Semantics (DistCurate 2022)

We propose a means of augmenting FrameNet parsers with a formal logic parser to obtain rich semantic representations of events. These schematic representations of the frame events, which we call Episodic Logic (EL) schemas, abstract constants to variables, preserving their types and relationships to other individuals in the same text. Due to the temporal semantics of the chosen logical formalism, all identified schemas in a text are also assigned temporally bound “episodes” and related to one another in time. The semantic role information from the FrameNet frames is also incorporated into the schema’s type constraints. We describe an implementation of this method using a neural FrameNet parser, and discuss the approach’s possible applications to question answering and open-domain event schema learning.

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Mining Logical Event Schemas From Pre-Trained Language Models
Lane Lawley | Lenhart Schubert
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Student Research Workshop

We present NESL (the Neuro-Episodic Schema Learner), an event schema learning system that combines large language models, FrameNet parsing, a powerful logical representation of language, and a set of simple behavioral schemas meant to bootstrap the learning process. In lieu of a pre-made corpus of stories, our dataset is a continuous feed of “situation samples” from a pre-trained language model, which are then parsed into FrameNet frames, mapped into simple behavioral schemas, and combined and generalized into complex, hierarchical schemas for a variety of everyday scenarios. We show that careful sampling from the language model can help emphasize stereotypical properties of situations and de-emphasize irrelevant details, and that the resulting schemas specify situations more comprehensively than those learned by other systems.


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Learning General Event Schemas with Episodic Logic
Lane Lawley | Benjamin Kuehnert | Lenhart Schubert
Proceedings of the 1st and 2nd Workshops on Natural Logic Meets Machine Learning (NALOMA)

We present a system for learning generalized, stereotypical patterns of events—or “schemas”—from natural language stories, and applying them to make predictions about other stories. Our schemas are represented with Episodic Logic, a logical form that closely mirrors natural language. By beginning with a “head start” set of protoschemas— schemas that a 1- or 2-year-old child would likely know—we can obtain useful, general world knowledge with very few story examples—often only one or two. Learned schemas can be combined into more complex, composite schemas, and used to make predictions in other stories where only partial information is available.


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Towards Natural Language Story Understanding with Rich Logical Schemas
Lane Lawley | Gene Louis Kim | Lenhart Schubert
Proceedings of the Sixth Workshop on Natural Language and Computer Science

Generating “commonsense’’ knowledge for intelligent understanding and reasoning is a difficult, long-standing problem, whose scale challenges the capacity of any approach driven primarily by human input. Furthermore, approaches based on mining statistically repetitive patterns fail to produce the rich representations humans acquire, and fall far short of human efficiency in inducing knowledge from text. The idea of our approach to this problem is to provide a learning system with a “head start” consisting of a semantic parser, some basic ontological knowledge, and most importantly, a small set of very general schemas about the kinds of patterns of events (often purposive, causal, or socially conventional) that even a one- or two-year-old could reasonably be presumed to possess. We match these initial schemas to simple children’s stories, obtaining concrete instances, and combining and abstracting these into new candidate schemas. Both the initial and generated schemas are specified using a rich, expressive logical form. While modern approaches to schema reasoning often only use slot-and-filler structures, this logical form allows us to specify complex relations and constraints over the slots. Though formal, the representations are language-like, and as such readily relatable to NL text. The agents, objects, and other roles in the schemas are represented by typed variables, and the event variables can be related through partial temporal ordering and causal relations. To match natural language stories with existing schemas, we first parse the stories into an underspecified variant of the logical form used by the schemas, which is suitable for most concrete stories. We include a walkthrough of matching a children’s story to these schemas and generating inferences from these matches.