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Question Answering from Structured Knowledge Sources

Anette Frank; Hans-Ulrich Krieger; Feiyu Xu; Hans Uszkoreit; Berthold Crysmann; Brigitte Jörg; Ulrich Schäfer
In: Journal of Applied Logic, Vol. electronic publication, Pages 20-48, Elsevier Science, 12/2005.


We present an implemented approach for domain-restricted question answering from structured knowledge sources, based on robust semantic analysis in a hybrid NLP system architecture. We perform question interpretation and answer extraction in an architecture that builds on a lexical-conceptual structure for question interpretation, which is interfaced with domain-specific concepts and properties in a structured knowledge base. Question interpretation involves a limited amount of domain-specific inferences, and accounts for higher-level quantificational questions. Question interpretation and answer extraction are modular components that interact in clearly defined ways. We derive so-called proto queries from the linguistic representations, which provide partial constraints for answer extraction from the underlying knowledge sources. The search queries we construct from proto queries effectively compute minimal spanning trees from the underlying knowledge sources. Our approach naturally extends to multilingual question answering, and has been developed as a prototype system for two application domains: the domain of Nobel prize winners, and the domain of Language Technology, on the basis of the large ontology underlying the information portal LT World.


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