The goal of this thesis was to design and implement a dialog facility to assist novice users of the MS-DOS operating system. A small natural language interface facility called PE-DOS (Plain English DOS) was built, which serves as a front end for a subset of simple MS-DOS commands. PE-DOS accepts English-like terminology and translates it into the appropriate MS-DOS command using a system of recursive transition networks (RTNs). The translated command then is presented to the user along with an English paraphrase of the user's input sentence in an effort to provide confirmation for the intended command in both English and MS-DOS command language. PE-DOS was tested by presenting it to two classes of users. One group was made up of sophisticated users of other operating systems who had not used MS-DOS. The second group consisted of unsophisticated users of applications that run under MS-DOS who had not used any operating system commands. The feedback from these user indicates that PE-DOS is probably most useful as an educational device to teach new users a set of basic MS-DOS commands, rather than as a viable command interface.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
MS-DOS (Computer file)--Computer-assisted instruction; Interactive computer systems; Natural language processing (Computer science)
Department, Program, or Center
Computer Science (GCCIS)
Indovina, Donna Blodgett, "A Natural language interface to MS-DOS" (1989). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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