A form-based natural language front-end to a CIM database

Nabil R. Adam, Aryya Gangopadhyay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper presents a methodology for developing a user interface that combines fourth generation interface tools (SQL forms) with a natural language processor for a database management system. The natural language processor consists of an index, a lexicon, and a parser. The index is used to uniquely identify each form in the system through a conceptual representation of its purpose. The form fields specify database or nondatabase fields whose values are either entered by the user (user-defined) or are derived by the form (system-defined) in response to user input. A set of grammar rules are associated with each form. The lexicon consists of all words recognized by the system, their grammatical categories, roots, their associations (if any) with database objects and forms. The parser scans a natural language query to identify a form in a bottom-up fashion. The information requested in the user query is determined in a top-down manner by parsing through the grammar rules associated with the identified form. Extragrammatical inputs with limited deviations from the grammar rules are supported. Combining a natural language processor with SQL forms allows processing data modification tasks without violating any database integrity constraint, having duplicate records, or entering invalid data. A prototype natural language interface is described as a front-end to an ORACLE database for a computer integrated manufacturing system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-250
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


  • 4GL
  • Database management system
  • Natural language processing
  • Query processing
  • User interface


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