Question Answering from Procedural Semantics to Model Discovery

Question Answering from Procedural Semantics to Model Discovery

John Kontos (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece) and Ioanna Malagardi (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-941-0.ch030
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Question Answering (QA) is one of the branches of Artificial Intelligence (AI) that involves the processing of human language by computer. QA systems accept questions in natural language and generate answers often in natural language. The answers are derived from databases, text collections, and knowledge bases. The main aim of QA systems is to generate a short answer to a question rather than a list of possibly relevant documents. As it becomes more and more difficult to find answers on the World Wide Web (WWW) using standard search engines, the technology of QA systems will become increasingly important. A series of systems that can answer questions from various data or knowledge sources are briefly described. These systems provide a friendly interface to the user of information systems that is particularly important for users who are not computer experts. The line of development of ideas starts with procedural semantics and leads to interfaces that support researchers for the discovery of parameter values of causal models of systems under scientific study. QA systems historically developed roughly during the 1960-1970 decade (Simmons, 1970). A few of the QA systems that were implemented during this decade are: • The BASEBALL system (Green et al., 1961) • The FACT RETRIEVAL System (Cooper, 1964) • The DELFI systems (Kontos & Kossidas, 1971; Kontos & Papakontantinou, 1970)

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