Conceptual Dependency

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Last Update: 8 October 2008

Note: NEW or UPDATED material is highlighted


  1. NEW
    Fillmore, Charles J. (1968) "The Case for Case", in E.Bach and R.Harms (ed.), Universals in Linguistic Theory (New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston): 1-88.

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

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

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

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 Ansley, William (1989), "A SNePS Implementation of Micro-SAM" (unpublished MS project).

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

  7. 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
  5.       C       INGEST       F
  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]

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