Adrian Walker (computer scientist)

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Adrian David Walker is a US Computer Scientist, born in London, England.


Adrian Walker attended Dartington Hall School, an experimental boarding school in England where attendance at classes was optional. He obtained a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering at Sheffield University (where he also chaired the Arts Society and edited a poetry magazine), and a Master's degree in Systems Engineering [1] from the University of Surrey. He next obtained a Ph.D. in Computer Science [2] from the State University of New York.


He was Assistant Professor at Rutgers university in New Jersey [3] , then Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs. He moved to the IBM Almaden Research Center in California as a Research Staff Member [4] then to the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown NY as manager of Principles and Applications of Logic Programming [5] .[6] After 17 years at IBM, he formed his own company, where he works on Internet Business Logic, [7] a system for social knowledge acquisition and use in executable English.

Selected work: Walker's early work [8] [9] established a novel correspondence between stable patterns in formalized biological systems and the well known Chomsky hierarchy of languages—regular, context free, and context sensitive. He continued in grammar-based research [10] by showing how Bayes' theorem can be used to fit a stochastic regular grammar to a collection of data, a result that can be used to inductively infer hidden Markov models. Walker next showed [11] [12] [13] that, under certain practically useful assumptions, it is possible to compute the semantics of sets of syllogism-like rules in open vocabulary, largely open syntax English, in such a way as to answer English questions put to databases. This relaxes an onerous assumption made in many computational natural language understanding systems—namely, that the vocabulary must be narrowly restricted in order to obtain a useful level of understanding. A logical theory of knowledge developed in [14] [15] is applied in a system on the Web (reference 7, below) that combines three kinds of semantics -- (a) data, as in SQL or Resource Description Framework, (b) inference, and (c) English, to answer questions over networked databases, and to explain the results in hypertexted English. The subject knowledge needed to do this (e.g. knowledge about the oil industry, or about energy independence, etc.) can be captured in social network style, by typing executable English into browsers. This contrasts with other social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, in which knowledge written in English is readable, but cannot be executed as a computer program.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Formal grammars and the stability of biological systems. Ph.D. Thesis. Technical Report Number 85, Department of Computer Science, State University of New York, 1974.
  3. ^ Research resource in AI and biomedicine at Rutgers University
  4. ^ R*: An overview of the architecture
  5. ^ Adrian Walker - ACM author profile page
  6. ^ Knowledge Systems and Prolog: Developing Expert, Database, and Natural Language Systems, book, second edition, Addison-Wesley, 1990, (with M. McCord, J. Sowa and W. Wilson).
  7. ^ A Wiki for Business Rules in Open Vocabulary, Executable English. White paper, Reengineering LLC. Findable via Google, or "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2011-06-30.  .
  8. ^ Formal grammars and the stability of biological systems. Ph.D. Thesis. Technical Report Number 85, Department of Computer Science, State University of New York, 1974.
  9. ^ Formal grammars and the regeneration capability of biological systems. Journal of Computer and System Sciences Volume 11, Issue 2, October 1975.
  10. ^ On the inference of stochastic regular grammars (with A Van der Mude). Information and Control, Volume 38, Issue 3, September 1978.
  11. ^ Syllog: a knowledge-based data management system. Report No. 34, Department of Computer Science, New York University, 1981.
  12. ^ People Oriented Software Technology, and its Use in Environmental Reporting. (with Terry Krueger, George Kurian, Anil Nair, Gustaf Neumann, Ulrich Neumerkel, Stefan Nusser, Peter Reintjes, Andrew Taylor, and Daphne Tzoar). Proc. 6th International Conference and Workshop on Database and Expert Systems, September 1995.
  13. ^ Semantics and the Web: e-Government Implications of some Emerging Technology Beyond W3C. Presentation for the Collaborative Expedition Workshop #35, September 14, 2004, at NSF: Design Workshop to Frame National Dialogue on Intelligent Information Use in Manufacturing and Implications for e-Government. Findable via Google.
  14. ^ Towards a Theory of Declarative Knowledge, (with K. Apt and H. Blair). In: Foundations of Deductive Databases and Logic Programming, J. Minker (Ed.), Morgan Kaufman 1988.
  15. ^ Backchain Iteration: Towards a Practical Inference Method that is Simple Enough to be Proved Terminating, Sound and Complete. Journal of Automated Reasoning, 11:1-22, 1993.

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