Allen, J. F.


Towards a general theory of action and time

Classics

A formalism for reasoning about actions is proposed that is based on a temporal logic. It allows a much wider range of actions to be described than with previous approaches such as the situation calculus. This formalism is then used to characterize the different types of events, processes, actions, and properties that can be described in simple English sentences. In addressing this problem, we consider actions that involve non-activity as well as actions that can only be defined in terms of the beliefs and intentions of the actors.



A plan-based analysis of indirect speech acts

Classics

It proposes that, to satisfy their own goals, people often plan their speech acts to affect their listeners' beliefs, goals, and emotional states. Methodological issues of how speech acts should be defined in a plan-based theory are illustrated by defining operators for requesting and informing. The operators are shown to be inadequate since they cannot be composed to form questions (requests to inform) and multiparty requests (requests to request). The solution leads to a metatheoretical principle for modelling speech acts as planning operators.


Analyzing intention in utterances

Classics

This paper describes a model of cooperative behavior and describes how such a model can be applied in a natural language understanding system. We assume that agents attempt to recognize the plans of other agents and, then, use this plan when deciding what response to make. In particular, we show that, given a setting in which purposeful dialogues occur, this model can account for responses that provide more information that explicitly requested and for appropriate responses to both short sentence fragments and indirect speech acts.


Anatomy of LISP

Classics

A model of a text processing package is described which is based on elementary set theory. This is used to describe procedures for computing indexes, concordances, and collocations. Aspects of the implementation of the model are given.