Conceptual Dependency

(Click on the title above to do a Google search on it.)

Last Update: 4 October 2006

Note: NEW or UPDATED material is highlighted


  1. Schank, Roger C., & Rieger, Charles J., III (1974), "Inference and the Computer Understanding of Natural Language", Artificial Intelligence 5: 373-412.

  2. Schank, Roger C., & Riesbeck, Christopher K. (1981), Inside Computer Understanding: Five Programs Plus Miniatures (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates).

  3. Sterling, Leon, & Shapiro, Ehud (1986), The Art of Prolog: Advanced Programming Techniques (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press): 234.

  4. NEW
    Ansley, William (1989), "A SNePS Implementation of Micro-SAM" (unpublished MS project).

  5. Rich, Elaine & Knight, Kevin (1991), "Conceptual Dependency" and "Scripts", from Artificial Intelligence, Second Edition (New York: McGraw-Hill): 277-289.

  6. Lytinen, Steven L. (1992), "Conceptual Dependency and its Descendants", [PDF] Computers and Mathematics with Applications 23(2-5): 51-73.

CD Primitives:




  1. John went to Duff's for dinner last night.
  2. He ordered wings.
  3. When he paid for them, he noticed that he was running out of money.
  4. He hurried home, since it had started to rain.

QUESTION: Did John eat dinner last night?

SCRIPT Restaurant

ROLES C customer
W waiter

PROPS F food

LOC'N R restaurant


  1. C PTRANS C to R
  2. C ATTEND eyes to menu
  3. C MTRANS "I want F" to W
  4. W PTRANS F to C
  6. W PTRANS bill to C
  7. C PTRANS money to R
  8. C PTRANS C from R


(1) matches (unifies with) (a), where C:=John, R:=Duff's

(2) matches (c)

So, infer (b)

(3) matches (g)

So, infer (d)-(f)

So, ANSWER = Yes [(e) = John ate wings]

Copyright © 2001-2006 by William J. Rapaport (
file: 663/F06/cd-20061004.html