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Providing Help as a Service Using a Natural Language Question Answer System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000238417D
Publication Date: 2014-Aug-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 146K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A natural language question answer system can be used to provide help as a generic service (“Help as a Service”) for all kinds of software products, software applications, hardware devices and appliances.

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Providing Help as a Service Using a Natural Language Question Answer System
A natural language question answer system can be used to provide help as a generic service ("Help as a Service") for all kinds of software products, software applications, hardware devices and appliances.

Software products or applications are shipped with user help in the form of user manuals, online help or infocenters, or context sensitive help (such as pressing F1 key within a software product or pressing a designated button on a hardware device).

Hardware devices or appliances are shipped with user manuals, and depending on the device, may also have limited in-built help screens for specific help topics.

Each software product, software application, hardware device or appliance has its own set of "help files", infocenters, etc which are either installed along with the product or available online through a browser-based uniform resource locator (URL).

Most help topics / help pages / help files / help applications are searchable, but the search is keyword-based.

None of the known solutions offer "user help" as a generic service such that users can ask natural language questions and get back help in the form of natural language responses for a broad variety of software products, applications, hardware devices or appliances.

Disclosed is a solution with the following key solution aspects:

Product Specific Help Corpus : Each product will have its own specific "help corpus" which will contain all help topics associated with the specific product name and version.

Help Corpus Cloud: A collection of multiple help corpora ("product specific help corpus") which may

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be co-located (within a single repository or location) or may be distributed (virtual location) over a cloud. Each Help Corpus Cloud contains a Help Corpus Catalog (described below) to maintain a list and relevant details of all the Help Corpora available and accessible to the Help Corpus Cloud.

Help Corpus Catalog: A catalog or repository associated with a Help Corpus Cloud containing a list and relevant details of all the Help Corpora available and accessible to the given Help Corpus Cloud.

Help Corpus Selector: A component which enables the natural language question answer system to

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query the Help Corpus Catalog (associated with a Help Corpus Cloud) and select the specific "Help Corpus" to be used for a particular user session or help query, based on the incoming "Product Help Corpus Access Token".

Help Corpus Access Token : An access token which will ensure that a user is authorized to access the Product Specific Help Corpus for a particular product. It may contain a security token, product details, licensing details, user details, device details (for the device used to access the help) and any other data or metadata that is relevant to the implementation.

Natural Language Product Help Interface : A help interface which can be invoked from within each

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product or device so that a user can as...