INQUER: A WordNet-based Question-Answering Application
Catarina Ribeiro, Ricardo Santos, Joao Correia, Rui Pedro Chaves, Palmira Marrafa
Universidade de Lisboa, CLUL, CLG - Computation of Lexical and Grammatical Knowledge Research Group, Av. Prof. Gama Pinto, 2, 1649-003 Lisboa, Portugal
The growing use of computer technologies as well as the amount of available information has posed new challenges to humanmachine interaction. Applying natural language processing techniques to information systems has brought advantages to this emerging field. Question-answering (QA) systems have been developed in order to ease the information access process. However, most of todayís QA systems retrieve a collection of documents whose contents may fulfill the answer to userís queries. Such systems usually consider unstructured information sources, namely Web or textual documents. Adopting a different approach, INQUER, the QA system described in this paper, makes use of a structured knowledge base: WordNet.PT (Portuguese WordNet). This system provides direct natural language answers to userís questions by applying inference and information extraction mechanisms that interact with WordNet.PT (Portuguese WordNet). Although INQUER deals specifically with Portuguese, the theoretical approach that underlies this application is language independent.
Natural Language Question-Answering, WordNet, Semantic Inference.