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Cross-Language Question Answering at the USC Information Sciences

By Abdessamad Echihabi Douglas W. Oard


Abstract. The TextMap-TMT cross-language question answering system at USC-ISI was designed to answer Spanish questions from English documents. The system is fully automatic, including question translation from Spanish to English, question type determination, rewriting to generate expected answer structures, search in the target collection and on the Web as a side collection, and answer selection from among the plausible candidates that were found. A development test collection with answer patterns for 100 questions in English and Spanish was used to assess the effect of question translation on each processing stage, and some adjustments were made to the question translation process to minimize these effects. Two runs were submitted, both of which sought to return exact answers. For the better of the two runs (which omitted an additional Web-based answer validation stage), the top-ranked answer was scored as correct in 56 of 200 cases, 53 of which were judged to be supported by the content of the target collection.

Year: 2009
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