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A closed-domain question answering framework using reliable resources to assist students

Abstract

This paper describes a question answering framework that can answer student questions given in natural language. We suggest a methodology that makes use of reliable resources only, provides the answer in the form of a multi-document summary for both factoid and open-ended questions, and produces an answer also from foreign resources by translating into the native language. The resources are compiled using a question database in the selected domains based on reliability and coverage metrics. A question is parsed using a dependency parser, important parts are extracted by rule-based and statistical methods, the question is converted into a representation, and a query is built. Documents relevant to the query are retrieved from the set of resources. The documents are summarized and the answers to the question together with other relevant information about the topic of the question are shown to the user. A summary answer from the foreign resources is also built by the translation of the input question and the retrieved documents. The proposed approach was applied to the Turkish language and it was tested with several experiments and a pilot study. The experiments have shown that the summaries returned include the answer for about 50–60 percent of the questions. The data bank built for factoid and open-ended questions in the two domains covered is made publicly available.

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*This work was supported by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) under the grant number 113E036. We would like to thank Çağıl Uluşahin Sönmez for her contribution in the Google Translate interface of the research.

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Natural Language Engineering
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