International Journal on Semantic Web and Information Systems

Predicting lexical answer types in open domain QA

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Automatic open-domain Question Answering has been a long standing research challenge in the AI community. IBM Research undertook this challenge with the design of the DeepQA architecture and the implementation of Watson. This paper addresses a specific subtask of Deep QA, consisting of predicting the Lexical Answer Type (LAT) of a question. Our approach is completely unsupervised and is based on PRISMATIC, a large-scale lexical knowledge base automatically extracted from a Web corpus. Experiments on the Jeopardy! data shows that it is possible to correctly predict the LAT in a substantial number of questions. This approach can be used for general purpose knowledge acquisition tasks such as frame induction from text. Copyright © 2012, IGI Global.