Natural Language Front-End for a Database

Natural Language Front-End for a Database

Boris Galitsky (Birkbeck College University of London, UK)
Copyright: © 2005 |Pages: 5
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-560-3.ch068
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Whatever knowledge a database contains, one of the essential questions in its design and usability is how its users will interact with it. If these users are human agents, the most ordinary way to query a database would be in the natural language (Gazdar, 1999; Popescu, Etzioni, & Kautz, 2003; Sabourin, 1994). Natural language question answering (NL Q/A), wherein questions are posed in a plain language, may be considered the most universal but not always the best (i.e., fastest) way to provide the information access to a database. One should be aware that approaches to data access, such as visualization, menus and multiple choice, FAQ lists, and so forth, have been successfully employed long before the NL Q/A systems came into play. In the following, I discuss situations in which a particular information access approach is optimal.

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