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Discourse-based answering of why-questions

Suzan Verberne, Lou Boves, Peter-Arno Coppen, Nelleke Oostdijk


Department of Linguistics,
Radboud University Nijmegen
s.verberne|l.boves|p.a.coppen|n.oostdijk@let.ru.nl

This paper presents the work that we have carried out in investigating the purpose of discourse structure for why-question answering (why-QA). We developed a system for answering why-questions that employs the discourse relations in a pre-annotated document collection (the RST Treebank). With this method, we obtain a recall of 53.3% with a mean reciprocal rank (MRR) of 0.662. We argue that the maximum recall that can be obtained from the use of RST relations as proposed in the present paper is 58.0%. If we discard the questions that require world knowledge, maximum recall is 73.9%. We conclude that discourse structure can play an important role in complex question answering, but that more forms of linguistic processing are needed for increasing recall.


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Suzan Verberne, Lou Boves, Peter-Arno Coppen, Nelleke Oostdijk
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TAL Volume 47 2006 . 2. Discours et document : traitements automatiques

Date de dernière mise à jour : 25 October 2007, auteur : Rédacteurs en chef.