State of the Art and Open Challenges in Natural Language Interfaces to Data
Recent advances in natural language understanding and processing resulted in renewed interest in natural language based interfaces to data, which provide an easy mechanism for non-technical users to access and query the data. While early systems only allowed simple selection queries over a single table, some recent work supports complex BI queries, with many joins and aggregation, and even nested queries. There are various approaches in the literature for interpreting user's natural language query. Rule-based systems try to identify the entities in the query, and understand the intended relationships between those entities. Recent years have seen the emergence and popularity of neural network based approaches which try to interpret the query holistically, by learning the patterns. In this tutorial, we will review these natural language interface solutions in terms of their interpretation approach, as well as the complexity of the queries they can generate. We will also discuss open research challenges.