System Name
ThoughtTreasure generator
B2Z list of NLG systems
System Builders Mueller
Development Dates 1994-2000
Languages English, French
URL (if available)
who's who


Generates any ThoughtTreasure assertion for which appropriate lexical entries are defined. Under development since 1994, ThoughtTreasure is a comprehensive platform for natural language processing (English and French) and commonsense reasoning. ThoughtTreasure contains a database of 25,000 concepts organized into a hierarchy. For example, Evian is a type of flat-water, which is a type of drinking-water, which is a type of beverage, which is a type of food, and so on.

Each concept has one or more English and French approximate synonyms, for a total of 55,000 words and phrases. For example, associated with the food concept are the English words food and foodstuffs and the French words aliment and nourriture (and others).

ThoughtTreasure contains 50,000 assertions about concepts, such as: a green-pea is a seed-vegetable, a green-pea is green, a green-pea is part of a pod-of-peas, and a pod-of-peas is found in a typical grocery store.

ThoughtTreasure contains about 100 scripts, or computer-understandable descriptions of typical activities such as going to a restaurant or birthday party.

ThoughtTreasure contains 70,000 lines of C code implementing:

  • text agents for recognizing words, phrases, names, and phone numbers,
  • mechanisms for learning new words,
  • a syntactic parser,
  • a natural language generator,
  • a semantic parser for producing a surface-level understanding of a sentence,
  • an anaphoric parser for resolving pronouns,
  • planning agents for achieving goals on behalf of simulated actors, and
  • understanding agents for producing a more detailed understanding of a discourse.

The ThoughtTreasure system was developed by Erik Mueller under the guide of the company Signiform. Signiform was founded in 1997; it shut down business in 2000.


Main reference

Erik T. Mueller.
Natural language processing with ThoughtTreasure.
Signiform, New York, 1998.
Available at:

Information last updated: 05.12.2001 (
Page last generated: 25-1-2009 21:01:39