Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Ben Pinkowski

Second Advisor

Dr. Iyad Natour

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


A formal grammar was proposed by Lawson and McCauley (1980) to model the cognitive structures underlying an informant's representation of religious ritual acts. This study classifies the language generated by that grammar as context-sensitive, presents an LR(1) parser for the language, and specifies a computer program to implement that model. The system functions as an Intelligent assistant using techniques involving rule-based systems, non-monotonic logic, and multiple levels of abstraction. Knowledge is represented in a parse tree, rules stored as patterns, and the inference engine uses a pattern matcher. The consequences of an act change over time and can change previous consequences. Abstraction ranges from lexical processing of characters through meta knowledge stored as transformations of parse trees. The parser and the intelligent system allow algorithmic exploration of the consequences of a .theory which models the deep principles at work in a complex domain.