Interpreting natural language queries using the UMLS. Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Natural Language Processing
  • Unified Medical Language System
  • User-Computer Interface


  • This paper describes AQUA (A QUery Analyzer), the natural language front end of a prototype information retrieval system. AQUA translates a user's natural language query into a representation in the Conceptual Graph formalism. The graph is then used by subsequent components to search various resources such as databases of the medical literature. The focus of the parsing method is on semantics rather than syntax, with semantic restrictions being provided by the UMLS Semantic Net. The intent of the approach is to provide a method that can be emulated easily in applications that require simple natural language interfaces.

publication date

  • December 1993



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC2248521

PubMed ID

  • 8130481

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 294

end page

  • 8