Re: semantic unification

Charles Petrie <>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1993 08:49:15 -0700
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From: Charles Petrie <>
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Subject: Re: semantic unification
>> Your (and Mr. Petrie's) remarks about "semantic unification" 
>> seem very interesting.  Unfortunately, they are also a bit 
>> difficult to follow, since I did not participate in the 
>> earlier discussion, where, appearently, the term "semantic 
>> unification" was defined in the first place.  
>> If you have hints, pointers to the literature, or something else, 
>> I'm very interested, since what you talk about appears to be of interest 
>> to me --- as Fano indicates.  

 It may be useful for you to anon ftp my "Introduction" to the book
"Enterprise Integration Modeling", a proceedings that I edited.  FTP
to, login as anonymous, cd to iceimt/papers, and get The short answer is that "semantic unification" means
translating term usage between two systems sufficiently to get them to

KIF is an intermediate language designed to translate between different
knowledge representations. But it doesn't, and couldn't solve the
translation between terms. Since the semantics of terms are defined
by humans, humans must indicate at least some of the connections
between the terms, and how they are intended to be used: their

But suppose two systems, A and B, have been translated into KIF, (or
conceptual graphs) resulting in Ak and Bk respectively . And suppose a
few connections have been made. Supose we know that constant "a" in Ak
is exactly "b" in Bk.  Then, trivially, if "a --> c" in Ak and "b -->
d" in Bk, an automated theorem prover scanning the two systems could
at least ask the users if "c" and "d" were not related. That is,
perhaps more connections could be discovered once a few had been

Alternatively, such a question could await problem solving in which
there was a need to relate these two constants. But it's an
interesting notion for me to take advantage of the common intermediate
representation and have a theorem prover search for possible
additional connections off-line.