Browse Prior Art Database

Use of Ontology in Question-Answering

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013791D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 1 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a system and method for using an ontology in a Question-Answering system. A perpetual problem in Information Retrieval (IR) is that the vocabulary used by the user is often different than that used by the authors of the texts being searched. A particular vari- ation of this problem is particularly frequent in Question-Answering (QA): the user is seeking one or more members of a category, and uses the category name in a question, yet the texts contain just the member names. For example, the question might be "What animals are found in Africa" and the texts may talk about African lions and giraffes, but not mention the word animal. Since QA systems in particular, and IR systems in general, work by finding the greatest number of matches between texts and queries, this mis-match is a problem.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 56% of the total text.

Page 1 of 1

Use of Ontology in Question-Answering

    Disclosed is a system and method for using an ontology in a Question-Answering system. A perpetual problem in Information Retrieval (IR) is that the vocabulary used by the user is often different than that used by the authors of the texts being searched. A particular vari- ation of this problem is particularly frequent in Question-Answering (QA): the user is seeking one or more members of a category, and uses the category name in a question, yet the texts contain just the member names. For example, the question might be "What animals are found in Africa" and the texts may talk about African lions and giraffes, but not mention the word animal. Since QA systems in particular, and IR systems in general, work by finding the greatest number of matches between texts and queries, this mis-match is a problem.

    The invention here is to use the technique of Predictive Annotation (PA) in conjunction with an ontology. An ontology can be represented in many ways, including trees, semantic networks or just plain lists of terms. The functionality is simply to establish a set of relation- ships of the form class-subclass or class-member. Predictive Annotation is the process of aug- menting the text prior to indexing with labels indicating the class of object the text represents, and modifying queries to include these labels instead of the question words. Thus PA would cause, for example, "14,692 feet", in the text"...ascent of the Matterhorn...