Research Programmes

Research at the Institute for Logic, Language and Computation is organized into three core programmes. Logic & Language includes much of the research on formal semantics and pragmatics and philosophy of language. Language & Computation houses the ILLC's research in computational linguistics, computational musicology and information retrieval. Logic & Computation is home to our research into epistemic and mathematical logic, social choice, and foundations of mathematics.

Below are short descriptions of these programs. Additionally, we have chosen two key research themes, as key research areas which span across the three programs: Logic & Game Theory and Cognitive Modelling.



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Logic and Language

Logic and Language (LoLa) is a broad research programme in logic and the philosophy of language, at the boundaries with linguistics, analytic ontology, epistemic logic, and cognitive science. We investigate human reasoning, the interpretation of language and its ontological spin-offs, and view interpretation as a dynamic, cognitive process that is embedded in both social practices and the external environment. Our view on how logic and language connect has its philosophical roots in the writings of Aristotle, Leibniz, Frege, Wittgenstein, Montague, and Grice.

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Language and Computation

The Language & Computation group is focused on fundamental research into human information processing, especially in computational linguistics/natural language processing, music cognition and digital humanities. The group has a long history in those fields; since 1990, we have made many pioneering contributions to research on statistical parsing, dialogue modelling, information retrieval, machine translation, rhythm perception, the evolution of language and music, and deep learning.

Today, Language & Computation is a thriving research group, with 17 senior staff members and about 20 PhD students and postdocs. Members of the group have received VICI (2x), VIDI (5x), and VENI (2x) awards from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), and an ERC Starting Grant from the European Union. The group participates in the Language in Interaction Gravitation programme financed by NWO, in Amsterdam Brain & Cognitive Science, and receives funding from a range of other organizations and companies (including SAP, Yandex, Google, Facebook and Amazon).

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Logic and Computation

The Logic and Computation group (LoCo) investigates a wide range of foundational issues in mathematics and computer science, in the tradition of Brouwer, Heyting, and Beth. Our research includes classical areas of mathematical logic and the foundations of mathematics, such as model theory, algebraic logic, and set theory. In theoretical computer science, we investigate fundamental problems in algorithmics and computational complexity, but also venture into new fields such as quantum computing and coalgebra. At the interface with other disciplines, including formal epistemology, artificial intelligence, and economic theory, we study the dynamics of interaction in groups of agents and problems of social choice.

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