Appel: ACL-2001 Workshop on Open-Domain Question Answering

alexis nasr alexis.nasr at
Tue Feb 20 15:47:05 UTC 2001

ACL'2001 Conference
Toulouse, France
July 7, 2001

Open-domain question answering (QA) represents a new challenge to both
commercial applications and academic research.  When users have specific
questions, such as "What countries did Clinton visit in 1999?" or "How much
does a ThinkPad cost?",  they would like to see one (or a few) succint
answer(s). This workshop will focus on technical issues that directly apply
to this challenge, in particular, theoretical and pragmatic issues involved
in the creation, evaluation and implementation of  QA techniques.  We
concentrate on QA  that is automatic and either domain independent or
working within a large open domain, such as news or technical support.

To accommodate this need for automatically finding answers to open-domain
questions, several different fields of research come together - information
retrieval, natural-language processing  and knowledge representation.  This
workshop will provide a forum for discussions of QA as the combination and
integration of  techniques from these three fields. We invite papers that
deal with QA topics or components in one or more of these fields, such as
answer identification using passage retrieval techniques, linguisitc
analysis of questions to determine their focus, parse-based matching of
questions and answers, text generation as used for formulating answers,
deriving answers from knowledge bases, defining confidence measures for
answers, etc. Other QA issues of interest are evaluation methods, user
interface issues and user studies, integration of QA within larger systems,
and commercial applications of QA.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
             -   parsing of natural language used in analyzing questions
and answers
             -   semantic analysis and categorization of questions and
             -   lexical resources and knowledge bases as used in QA
             -   knowledge acquisition and information extraction used in
             -   empirical methods for QA
             -   methods for answer selection, synthesis and generation
             -   definitions of answer correctness and answer justification
             -   commercial applications for QA
             -   integration of QA in dialog systems and search systems

All papers should specifically focus on question answering.

Yael Ravin, T .J.  Watson Research Center,  IBM, USA
John Prager, T .J.  Watson Research Center,  IBM, USA
Sanda Harabagiu, Southern Methodits University, USA

Jamie Callan, CMU
Jaime Carbonell, CMU
Donna Harman, NIST
Graeme Hirst, Toronto
Jerry Hobbs, SRI
Christian Jacquemin, LIMSI
Liz Liddy, Syracuse
Marc Light, MITRE
Dekang Lin, Alberta
Steve Maiorano, AAT
Dan Moldovan, SMU
Dragomir Radev, Michigan
Tomek Strzalkowski, SUNY Albany
Ellen Voorhees, NIST

Workshop paper submissions            April 8, 2001
Notification of acceptance                 April 30, 2001
Deadline for camera-ready papers     May 13, 2001

Workshop date                                   July 7, 2001

Submissions must be in English, no more than 8 pages long, and in the
two-column format prescribed by ACL'2001. Please see for the detailed guidelines.
Submissions should be sent electronically in either Word, pdf, or
postscript format (only) no later than April 8, 2001 to:

Yael Ravin
ravin at

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