Publication

Searching for Definitional Answers on the Web Using Surface Patterns

Alejandro Figueroa, Günter Neumann, John Atkinson

In: IEEE Computer 42 4 Pages 68-76 IEEE 4/2009.

Abstract

Most definitional question answering systems integrate statistical methods along with external resources to retrieve relevant sentences for further processing. However, apart from some interesting approaches for query/answers rephrasing, methods do not take advantage of the different surface forms for a query. This paper proposes a novel approach to search for definitional answers from the web which employs query rewriting techniques in order to increase the probability of extracting the nuggets from various web snippets by matching surface patterns. Assessing the quality of these obtained snippets is carried out by using sense disambiguation and definition ranker components which jointly with clustering methods allow the candidate snippets to be ranked. This approach substantially boosts the extraction of nuggets directly from Web snippets and hence avoids the costly fetching and processing huge amounts of documents. Different experiments on the Web and using other competitive approaches show the promise of the approach to searching for definition questions from the Web.

German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz