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rfc:rfc420

Network Working Group H. Murray Request for Comments: 420 Computer Corporation of America NIC 12764 04 January 1973

                       CCA ICCC WEATHER DEMO
 THE WEATHER DEMO ORIGINALLY DEVELOPED FOR THE ICCC SHOW IS NOW
 GENERALLY AVAILABLE.  IT IS A VERY NICE NETWORK DEMO SINCE IT REALLY
 CAN/DOES RUN ON TWO MACHINES.
 THIS DEMO IS TWO INDEPENDENT PROGRAMS.  TOGETHER THEY TRY TO ANSWER
 ENGLISH QUESTIONS ABOUT THE WEATHER.  FOR EXAMPLE, 'DID IT RAIN IN
 BOSTON ON OCTOBER 7?'.  THE NATURAL LANGUAGE PROGRAM IS WRITTEN IN
 LISP.  IT IS A MODIFICATION OF A SYSTEM DEVELOPED BY T.  WINOGRAD AT
 MIT.  THE OTHER HALF IS A PRIMITIVE DATACOMPUTER.  THE DATACOMPUTER
 PROVIDES NETWORK DATAMANAGEMENT FACILITIES AND WILL INCORPORATE THE
 TRILLION-BIT UNICON CURRENTLY BEING INSTALLED AT AMES.
 THE TWO PROGRAMS COMMUNICATE VIA DATALANGUAGE USING THE NET.
 'WEATHER' NOW USES HOST '37' AS THE LOCATION OF THE DATACOMPUTER.
 THIS FIXES THE OLD 'CCA' NOT IN THE HOST TABLES BUG.
 KEEP IN MIND THAT IS AN EVOLVING SYSTEM, WE PLAN TO IMPROVE 'WEATHER'
 AND THE DATACOMPUTER THAT IT USES, SO THINGS THAT WORK ONE DAY MAY
 GET BROKEN THE NEXT.

AVAILABILITY

 'WEATHER' (THE LISP HALF) IS A REAL MACHINE USER - BOTH CPU AND CORE.
 WE WOULD OBVIOUSLY PREFER THAT YOU RUN IT ON YOUR MACHINE.  IF WE ARE
 REALLY EMPTY (WHICH FREQUENTLY HAPPENS AT 3 AM) FEEL FREE TO RUN IT
 ON OUR MACHINE.  SINCE OUR SYSTEM HAS NO DRUM, AND WEATHER TAKES ALL
 OF CORE, PLEASE CHECK WITH SOMEBODY AT CCA BEFORE RUNNING WEATHER IF
 WE ARE DOING ANYTHING AT ALL.  IT IS REALLY A MAJOR LOAD ON OUR
 MACHINE.
 SINCE THE DATACOMPUTER IS LESS OF A LOAD, THE SYSTEM WILL BE MORE
 AVAILABLE IF YOU CAN RUN 'WEATHER' ON YOUR MACHINE.  WE WILL TRY TO
 RUN THE DATACOMPUTER DURING NON-PRIME TIME.  IT CAN BE THOUGHT OF AS
 THE SERVER HALF OF THIS COMBINATION.  PRIME TIME HERE IS 1 TO 5 PM
 EASTERN TIME, BUT THE MORNING IS FREQUENTLY QUITE BUSY TOO.  PLEASE
 DO NOT USE THE DATACOMPUTER DURING THIS TIME.  IT WILL SAVE US THE
 EFFORT OF TURNING IT OFF.  CURRENTLY, ONLY ONE USER AT A TIME CAN RUN
 - A LIMITATION OF THE DATACOMPUTER THAT WILL GO AWAY SOMEDAY.

Murray [Page 1] RFC 420 CCA ICCC Weather Demo January 1973

 IF YOU WANT TO RUN A DEMO (NOT JUST PLAY AROUND) WE WILL PROBABLY BE
 ABLE TO COOPERATE.  PLEASE CALL TO MAKE ARRANGEMENTS WELL IN ADVANCE.
 WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU DO NOT TRY TO GIVE AN IMPORTANT DEMO
 UNLESS YOU HAVE USED BOTH VERSIONS OF THE SYSTEMS THAT WILL BE USED
 FOR THE DEMO.  EVEN WE GET IN TROUBLE WHEN WE FORGET TO REHEARSE
 THINGS A BIT.
 WEDNESDAY MORNING IS SCHEDULED PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE TIME.  OUR
 MACHINE WILL NOT BE UP BETWWEN 9 AND 12, BUT IT FREQUENTLY IS DOWN
 PAST NOON.

MORE INFORMATION

 FOR THE LATEST INFORMATION, LOOK AT *.TXT IN <WDB-DEMO> AT CCA.  IN
 PARTICULAR, MESSAGE.TXT SHOULD BE A QUICK SUMMARY OF ANY OTHER
 INTERESTING TXT FILES.  THE LATEST VERSION OF THIS FILE (IN RUNOFF
 FORMAT) IS <HGM-MEMOS>ANNOUNCE.RNO.
 THE LATEST VERSION OF THE LISP PROGRAM WILL BE IN <WDB-DEMO> AS
 WEATHER.SAV. NORMAL FTP CAN BE USED TO COPY IT - IT IS 400+ PAGES.
 IT TAKES 6 MIN TO TRANSFER IT TO OURSELVES (1.5 MIN OF CPU, 22KBAUD)
 WHEN THE MACHINE IS VERY LIGHLY LOADED.  BE SURE TO SET THE BYTE SIZE
 TO 36 ('TENEX' COMMAND TO FTP) SINCE THIS IS A SAVE FILE.

PROBLEMS

 IF YOU FIND ANY PROBLEMS WITH LISP HALF, PLEASE USE SNDMSG TO SEND
 THINGS TO JEFF HILL - HE IS JMH@CCA.  WE ARE INTERESTED IN EXAMPLES
 WHICH LOOK LIKE THEY SHOULD WORK BUT DON'T.  IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS
 ABOUT GENERAL OPERATIONS GLITCHES - LIKE THE DATACOMPUTER IS NOT UP -
 BITCH TO ME - HGM@CCA.  CCA IS HOST 31 DECIMAL, 37 OCTAL.

USING THE SYSTEM

 AFTER STARTING WEATHER, THE SYSTEM WILL INITIALIZE ITSELF, TYPE OUT
 SOME MESSAGES, AND ASK FOR THE JULIAN DATE (REALLY THE DAY NUMBER OF
 THE YEAR OF 'TODAY').  300 IS THE BEST ANSWER.  THAT MAKES 'TODAY' BE
 OCT 26, THE LAST DAY OF THE ICCC DEMO, AND ONE DAY PAST THE LATEST
 DATA.  IF YOU TYPE SOME OTHER NUMBER, 'YESTERDAY', AND 'LAST WEEK'
 WON'T WORK AS WELL.  THE SYSTEM PROMPTS WITH 'READY' WHEN IT IS READY
 TO ACCEPT A SENTENCE.  BE SURE TO END THE SENTENCE WITH THE PROPER
 PUNCTUATION.  SENTENCES MAY BE EDITED WITH:
    ^A (CONTROL A) -- DELETES LAST CHARACTER OR WORD TYPED
    ^R (CONTROL R) -- RETYPES SENTENCE SO FAR
    ^Q (CONTROL Q) -- DELETES ENTIRE SENTENCE

Murray [Page 2] RFC 420 CCA ICCC Weather Demo January 1973

    ^X (CONTROL X) -- SAME AS CONTROL Q
 IN ADDITION, TWO CONTROL CHARACTERS CAN BE USED DURING THE PROCESSING
 OF SENTENCES, ^E (CONTROL E) ABORTS THE PROCESSING OF THE SENTENCE
 AND RETURNS TO THE READY STATE.  ^D (CONTROL D) ABORTS THE WHOLE
 SYSTEM, AND CAUSES IT TO RE-INITIALIZE ITSELF.
 DURING SENTENCE INPUT, THE SYSTEM ATTEMPTS TO LOOK UP EACH WORD AS IT
 IS TYPED, AND DO SPELLING CORRECTION.  HOWEVER, SINCE THE NAMES OF
 ALL THE CITIES ARE KEPT AT THE DATACOMPUTER, THE SYSTEM ACCEPTS ALL
 UNKNOWN WORDS AS POSSIBLE PLACE NAMES TO BE CHECKED LATER ON IN THE
 PROCESSING.  IF THE SPELLING CORRECTOR CORRECTS ONE OF YOUR CITY
 NAMES TO A VOCABULARY WORD, YOU CAN ERASE THE WORD AND RETYPE IT
 PRECEEDED BY AN EQUAL SIGN (=).  THIS FORCES THE SYSTEM TO ACCEPT THE
 WORD AS A PROPER NOUN.
 THE SYSTEM RETURNS TO THE READY STATE AFTER ANSWERING THE QUESTION.
 TO TERMINATE A SESSION YOU MAY TYPE 'GOODBYE.', WHICH WILL LEAVE YOU
 BACK AT THE TENEX COMMAND LEVEL.
 IF THE SYSTEM CANNOT UNDERSTAND YOUR REQUEST, IT TRIES TO GIVE YOU
 SOME EXPLANATORY MESSAGE.  HOWEVER, IT'S NOT VERY GOOD AT EXPLAINING
 ITS BEHAVIOR SO YOU WILL USUALLY GET THE DEFAULT MESSAGE 'SORRY, I
 COULDN'T UNDERSTAND THAT REQUEST.' IF YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHY,
 SEND US A TRANSCRIPTIPT OF YOUR SESSION.

RESTRICTIONS - HINTS

 THE SYSTEM IS NOT LINGUISTICALLY SOPHISTICATED.  IT PERFORMS PASSABLY
 ON SENTENCES WHICH WOULD BE CONSIDERED SIMPLE REQUESTS FOR
 INFORMATION.  IT DOES NOT REALLY UNDERSTAND THE 'WEATHER', RATHER IT
 UNDERSTANDS HOW TO COMPOSE RETRIEVAL REQUESTS FOR WEATHER DATA IN ITS
 DATA BASE.
 A LARGE SET OF EXAMPLE SENTENCES CAN BE FOUND IN <WDB-
 DEMO>SENTENCES.TXT.  THOSE SENTENCES PRECEDE BY A BACKSLASH (\) DO
 NOT WORK.  AN EXPLANATORY COMMENT, PRECEEDED BY A SEMI-COLON (;),
 EXPLAINS THE REASONS FOR FAILURE.  SOME OF THE OTHERS MAY NOT WORK
 EITHER.
 THE MAJOR THINGS THAT WE KNOW DON'T WORK ARE:
    1. CONJUNCTION
    2. NEGATION
    3. COMPLEX QUANTIFICATION

Murray [Page 3] RFC 420 CCA ICCC Weather Demo January 1973

    4. SOPHISTICATED PRONOUN REFERENCE
    5. QUESTIONS NOT (!!) INVOLVING WEATHER,E.G.,
       'WHAT DAY WAS YESTERDAY?'
       'WHAT CITIES ARE IN MASSACHUSETTS?'
 'IT' IS NOT WORKING TOO WELL THESE DAYS.  IF YOU GET IN TROUBLE, TRY
 SOMETHING WITHOU 'IT' THAT IS KNOWN TO WORK.  'WHAT WAS THE
 TEMPERATURE IN BOSTON YESTERDAY?' IS BETTER THAN MOST - WE ARE QUITE
 APT TO TEST THAT PHRASE.
 THE SYSTEM DOES NOT KNOW ABOUT THE WORD 'SNOW'.  THERE IS NO WAY TO
 LIST ITS VOCABULARY.  HOWEVER, THE SENTENCES IN SENTENCES.TXT SHOULD
 GIVE YOU A GOOD IDEA OF THE WORDS THE SYSTEM UNDESTANDS.
 THE AVERAGE TIME FOR UNDERSTANDING AND ANSWERING A QUESTION IS ABOUT
 1 MINUTE.  IF THE SYSTEM TAKES MUCH LONGER THAN THIS YOU SHOULD GET
 SUSPICIOUS.  IF YOU ASK A VERY BIG QUESTION, LIKE 'WHAT WAS THE
 HOTTEST PLACE IN CANADA?', THE LISP SYSTEM MAY GO INTO A GC (GARBAGE
 COLLENTION) LOOP.  RESTARTING ALL OVER (WITH ^D) WILL BE OK, BUT THE
 DATACOMPUTER MAY TAKE A LONG TIME TO RECOVER - IT DOESN'T (YET)
 NOTICE THAT ANYTHING HAS GONE WRONG UNTIL IT ASKS FOR MORE INPUT.

DATA

 THE DATA FROM OCT 1 THRU 16 IS ALMOST COMPLETE.  BETWEEN OCT 17 TO 25
 IT IS FREQUENTLY SKETCHY.  WE PLAN TO RELOAD EVERYTHING SOMETIME
 USING SEPTEMBER'S DATA, SO WE WILL HAVE A COMPLETE MONTH OF CLEAN
 DATA.  NOTE: THIS DATA HAS BEEN EXTENSIVELY SUMMARIZED - IT IS
 PROBABLY NOT USEFUL FOR PEOPLE INTERESTED IN WEATHER.
 THE OCTOBER DATA IS ABOUT 2400 PAGES OF REAL DATA, PLUS ABOUT 200
 MORE FOR THE INVERSION.  THERE ARE ABOUT 4000 CITIES.  THE CITY NAMES
 HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO THE LOCAL CITY WHENEVER POSSIBLE.  I.E. 'BOSTON'
 IS 'BOSTON' NOT 'LOGAN'.
 'ALASKA' GOT LOST SOMEHOW.  DON'T BOTHER ASKING FOR IT.

SAMPLE DATALANGUAGE

 THESE EXAMPLES ON THIS AND THE FOLLOWING PAGES WORK ON A VERY OLD
 VERSION OF THE DATACOMPUTER.  THEY ARE NOT THE FINAL FORM OF
 DATALANGUAGE THAT SHOULD BA AVAILABLE SOON.

Murray [Page 4] RFC 420 CCA ICCC Weather Demo January 1973

 THE FOLLOWING QUESTION TO 'WEATHER' GENERATED TWO REQUESTS TO THE
 DATACOMPUTER.  THE FIRST USES THE CHECK PORT TO VERIFY THAT 'BOSTON'
 IS A VALID CITY NAME, AND THE SECOND USES THE ANSWER PORT TO RETRIEVE
 THE DATA.  THE ACTUAL REQUESTS THAT ARE SENT TO THE DATACOMPUTER DO
 NOT HAVE THE CARRIAGE RETURNS THAT MAKE THEM READABLE - THEY ARE SENT
 AS ONE VERY LONG LINE.  THE '^Z' IS THE END OF DATA MARKER.
 TO WEATHER
 HAS IT RAINED IN BOSTON RECENTLY?
 TO THE DATACOMPUTER:
 OR CHECK.PLACE,STATION WITH CITY EQ 'BOSTON'
 PLACE.LP1 = '('
 PLACE.CITY = STATION,CITY
 PLACE.RP1 = ')'
 PLACE.BSN = STATION.BSN
 PLACE.LP2 = '('
 PLACE.REGION = STATION.REGION
 PLACE.RP2 = ')'
 END
 FROM THE DATACOMPUTER:
 (BOSTON                  )725090(MASSACHUSETTS            )
 ^Z
 TO THE DATACOMPUTER:
 FOR THE STATION WITH (REGION EQ 'MASSACHUSETTS' AND CITY EQ 'BOSTON')
  FOR ANSWER.ANS OBSERVATION WITH GE '273' AND DATE LE '300'
         ANS.LP1 = '('
         ANS.CITY = STATION.CITY
         ANS.RP1 =')'
         ANS.DATE = OBSERVATION.DATE
         ANS.LP2 = ')'
         ANS.DATA = PRECIP
         ANS.DATA1 = '     '
         ANS.DATA2 = '     '
         ANS.RP2 = ')'
  END
 END

Murray [Page 5] RFC 420 CCA ICCC Weather Demo January 1973

 AND BACK FROM THE DATACOMPUTER:
 (BOSTON            )293(          )
 (BOSTON            )294(    0     )
 (BOSTON            )295(          )
 (BOSTON            )296(   10     )
 (BOSTON            )297(    0     )
 (BOSTON            )298(    0     )
 (BOSTON            )299(    0     )
 (BOSTON            )300(          )
 ^Z
 AND THE FINAL ANSWER FROM WEATHER WAS 'YES.'

DESCRIPTIONS

 THE FOLLOWING IS THE DESCRIPTION OF THE FILE AS IT IS STORED IN THE
 DATACOMPUTER.
 CREATE WEATHER FILE LIST
   STATION STRUCT
         BSN        STR(6),             I=D
         CITY       STR(22),            I=D
         REGION     STR(22),            I=D
         WORLD      STR(22)
         OBS        LIST (31)
          OBSERVATION        STRUCT
           DATE     STR(3)
           TEMPERATURE       STRUCT
                         MIN  STR(4)
                         MAX  STR(4)
           END TEMPERATURE   STRUCT
           PRECIP   STR(4)
           WINDS    STRUCT
                         SPEED         STR(4)
                         GUSTS         STR(4)
                         DIRECTION     STR(4)
           END WINDS STRUCT
           VISIBILITY        STR(4)
           CLOUDS   STR(4)
           GENERAL  STR(4)
           PRESSURE
           END OBSERVATION STRUCT
         END STATION STRUCT
 END WEATHER FILE

Murray [Page 6] RFC 420 CCA ICCC Weather Demo January 1973

 THE FOLLOWING PORT DESCRIPTIONS ARE USED BY WEATHER TO RETRIVE DATA
 FROM THE DATACOMPUTER.
 CREATE CHECK PORT LIST
                 PLACE STRUCT
                 LP1 STR (1)
                 CITY STR (22)
                 RP1 STR (1)
                 BSN STR (6)
                 LP2 STR (1)
                 REGION STR (22)
                 RP2 STR (1)
                 END PLACE STRUCT
 END CREATE CHECK
 CREATE ANSWER PORT LIST
                 ANS STRUCT
                 LP1 STR (1)
                 CITY STR (22)
                 RP1 STR (1)
                 DATE STR (3)
                 LP2 STR (1)
                 DATA STR (4)
                 DATA1 STR (4)
                 DATA2 STR (4)
                 RP2 STR (1)
                 END ANS STRUCT
 END CREATE ANSWER

Murray [Page 7] RFC 420 CCA ICCC Weather Demo January 1973

SAMPLE RECORD

 THE FOLLOWING DATA IS SAMPLE RECORD - THE FIRST ONE IN THE FILE.  IN
 THE DATACOMPUTER IT IS STORED WITHOUT THE CARRIAGE RETURNS NEEDED TO
 MAKE IT PRINT NEATLY.
 010100ANDOYA                     NORWAY                       EUROPE
 275
 276 278 279    0    2    0   12    9    758883023
 277 279 283    4   23   52   11    8    788882982
 278
 279 274 281    0   23   42   12    9    788882976
 280 268 270    4   14    0    9   19    627772983
 281 276 283    0   28   69    7    9    688882986
 282 269 273    4   10    0    9   22    727772975
 283 278 284    0   13   37    9    7    766882972
 284            0   28    0    5    1    80006   0
 285 276 280    0    9    0    3   12    666682936
 286 273 275    0   15    0    3    7    877782960
 287 278 282    0   13   28   11   14    626662981
 288 269 271   28   30    0    6    7    888882908
 289 275 281    0   21   45    7    9    688882976
 290 268 269    0   20    0    8   22    622782960
 291 283 283    0   11    0    7   47    100013002
 292 274 274    0   11    0    1   47    500012996
 293
 294 272 272    0    5    0    7   47    400012949
 295
 296
 297 273 273    0    0    0    1    6    80007   0
 298 273 273    0    0    0    1    2    80007   0
 299 275 275    0    6    0    7   31    30000   0
 300
 301
 302
 303
 304
 305
      [This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry]
  [into the online RFC archives by Helene Morin, Via Genie, 12/99]

Murray [Page 8]

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