Check out the Linguistics Colloquium this Friday for a talk given by Dr. Mihai Surdeanu, Associate Professor in the School of Information: Science, Technology, and Arts
Title: Teaching Computers to Answer Non-Factoid Questions
Date: Friday, September 19, 2014
Time & Location: 3:00 – 4:30 pm in Communication building, Room 311
In this talk, I will describe our work towards teaching computers to answer complex questions, i.e., where the answer is a longer piece of text that explains a complex phenomenon, using linguistic information that is automatically acquired from free text. I will present a robust question answer model for non-factoid questions that integrates multiple sources of information, such as lexical semantics and discourse information, driven by two representations of discourse: a shallow representation centered around discourse markers, and a deep one based on Rhetorical Structure Theory. I will describe how to evaluate the proposed system on two corpora from different genres and domains: one from Yahoo! Answers and one from the biology domain, and two types of non-factoid questions: manner and reason. I will experimentally demonstrate that the discourse structure of non-factoid answers provides information that is complementary to lexical semantic similarity between question and answer, improving performance up to 24% (relative) over a state-of-the-art model that exploits lexical semantic similarity alone. I will further demonstrate excellent domain transfer of discourse information, suggesting these discourse features have general utility to non-factoid question answering.
UA’s new supercomputer, designed in consultation with SISTA faculty Dr. Kobus Barnard and Dr. Paul Cohen, is helping to answer some of the toughest questions in scientific research today. Check out this recent Fox News article about El Gato!
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Congratulations to Matt DePorter, Manager of Advanced Project Support at SISTA! He is the recipient of the College of Science Staff Advisory Council (COSSAC) summer STAR Award!