What is KPML?

This page provides a brief answer... it assumes that you know what Natural Language Generation is. If this is not the case, see this introductory information.

Generation examples: click for larger viewThe KPML system offers a robust, mature platform for large-scale grammar engineering that is particularly oriented to multilingual grammar development and generation. It is particularly targetted at providing resources for realistic but broad-coverage generation applications, where both flexibility of expression and speed of generation are at issue—for example in online webpage generation or spoken dialogue. KPML is also used extensively in multilingual text generation research and for teaching.

The KPML system is an ongoing development drawing on over a decade of experience in large-scale grammar development work for natural language generation (NLG). It is now maintained at the University of Bremen, Faculty of Linguistics and Literature. The system is a graphically-based development environment for the construction, maintenance, and use of large-scale grammars written with the framework of Systemic-Functional Linguistics (SFL). SFL is a grammatical approach widespread in both use and influence within the field of NLG that gives equal weight to linguistic phenomena which are crucial for the construction of adequate texts but which do not belong to the propositional content, or semantics viewed narrowly. This has been a central area of concern in several long-term generation projects for many years.

Grammars have been developed using KPML for a variety of languages including English, German, Dutch, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Bulgarian, and Czech. Many of these grammars are freely available for further research and development work within the NLG community. The English grammar is the very large Nigel grammar under development since the early 1980s in the Penman project at USC/ISI, Los Angeles.

A variety of configurations of KPML are available, suitable for use both by absolute beginners in a teaching environment and by large-scale grammar work. The variations are summarised on the main KPML page. KPML is written in ANSI Common Lisp, with the graphical interface in the Common Lisp Interface Manager (CLIM). The source code may be compiled and installed in full using commercial Common Lisp products supporting Common Lisp and CLIM under Unix and Windows. There are also standalone executable images available for Windows systems that may be downloaded and used without compilation and without requiring an additional Lisp software licence.

KPML is described in several introductory articles and text books on Natural Language Generation; see, for example, the chapter on tactical generation in:

Ehud Reiter and Robert Dale (2000) Building Natural Language Generation Systems.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

The generation architecture implemented within KPML is a further development of the sentence generation component of the Penman text generation system. This is described most fully in:

Christian M. I. M. Matthiessen and John A. Bateman. (1991) Text generation and systemic-functional linguistics: experiences from English and Japanese. Frances Pinter Publishers and St. Martin's Press, London and New York.

Basic information on the approach to multilinguality and further references are given in:

John A. Bateman.(1997) 'Enabling technology for multilingual natural language generation: the KPML development environment'. Journal of Natural Language Engineering, 3(1):15--55.

Some basic tutorials are available on the main KPML page.

the main KPML page

queries by email

John Bateman
Bremen, January 2003