Augmented Syntax Diagrams - Introduction

Copyright 2003-2010 James A. Mason

Introduction   News
Demos   Examples
Software   Documents 

Augmented Syntax Diagrams (ASDs)
provide a way to represent grammars of natural languages as directed graphs -- that is, as networks of nodes and edges. Nodes represent instances (or usages) of words and phrase types in a language such as English.  Edges link nodes together to indicate how instances of words and phrase types can follow one another to make up phrases, clauses, and sentences in the language.  The  image below shows part of an example ASD grammar as viewed with the graphical ASDEditor tool that is available at this site (See the Documents and Software links above.).  Follow this link for other images of ASDEditor.  A demonstration version of the ASDEditor can be found by following the Demos link above.

Augmented Syntax Diagrams can also be used to represent decision networks.  In that case, nodes represent values of decision variables and edges link nodes together in conjunction (and) relationships.  Alternative links from a node represent disjunction (or) relationships between successor nodes of that node.  See the News, Software and Documents links above for details.

This site contains tools, implemented in Java, for displaying and editing ASD grammars, for parsing typewritten utterances with them, and for searching them when they are used to represent decision networks.  It also contains some examples.  One example in particular, CardWorld, will be used to demonstrate how models of various aspects of English syntax and semantics can be used to build a working model of an agent that understands English in a restricted pragmatic environment.  Additional examples will be added to this site from time to time, along with further notes and tutorial materials about ASDs.

Image of ASDEditor window