Commonsense from the Web: Relation Properties
Commonsense from the Web: Relation Properties
authors Thomas Lin, Mausam and Oren Etzioni
venue AAAI Fall Symposium Series
year 2010
abstract When general purpose software agents fail, it’s often because they’re brittle and need more background commonsense knowledge. In this paper we present relation properties as a valuable type of commonsense knowledge that can be automatically inferred at scale by reading the Web. People base many commonsense inferences on their knowledge of relation properties such as functionality, transitivity, and others. For example, all people know that bornIn(Year) satisfies the functionality property, meaning that each person can be born in exactly one year. Thus inferences like "Obama was born in 1961, so he was not born in 2008", which computers do not know, are obvious even to children. We demonstrate scalable heuristics for learning relation functionality from noisy Web text that outperform existing approaches to detecting functionality. The heuristics we use address Web NLP challenges that are also common to learning other relation properties, and can be easily transferred. Each relation property we learn for a Web-scale set of relations will enable computers to solve real tasks, and the data from learning many such properties will be a useful addition to general commonsense knowledge bases.

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