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LINGUIST List 21.831

Thu Feb 18 2010

Calls: Computational Ling/Malta

Editor for this issue: Kate Wu <katelinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Udo Kruschwitz, LREC 2010 Workshop on Web Logs and Question Answering

Message 1: LREC 2010 Workshop on Web Logs and Question Answering
Date: 16-Feb-2010
From: Udo Kruschwitz <udoessex.ac.uk>
Subject: LREC 2010 Workshop on Web Logs and Question Answering
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Full Title: LREC 2010 Workshop on Web Logs and Question Answering
Short Title: WLQA2010

Date: 22-May-2010 - 22-May-2010
Location: Valletta, Malta
Contact Person: Richard Sutcliffe
Meeting Email: Richard.Sutcliffeul.ie
Web Site: http://www.csis.ul.ie/wlqa2010/

Linguistic Field(s): Computational Linguistics

Call Deadline: 28-Feb-2010

Meeting Description:

LREC 2010 Workshop on Web Logs and Question Answering (WLQA2010)
Malta, Saturday 22nd May 2010
Submission deadline: 28th February 2010 (Extended)

Historically, question-answering (QA) was a combination of NLP and IR. Much web
log analysis is a form of IR in which the same problem of retrieval is being
approached from a different direction, namely the queries themselves. Thus we
are proposing here a new combination, namely QA and log analysis. These fields
are complementary and share the goal of building better systems for users.

3rd Call for Papers

Submission Deadline Extended to 28th February

Motivation & Scope
An Information Retrieval system takes a user query and returns a ranked list of
documents. On the other hand, a Question Answering system provides an exact
answer [1]. There has been quite a long period of research in factoid QA driven
by annual tracks at CLEF [2], TREC [3] and NTCIR [4]. The result of this work
has been that it is possible to construct systems which can answer simple
factoid queries with high accuracy. This has led to the belief that QA is a
"solved problem" where no more research is required. However, the questions are
not usually from real users, they are devised by the assessors at CLEF, TREC
etc. Secondly, they are restricted to certain well-known simple types which are
only a small subset of the real questions which people wish to ask. Thirdly,
questions are considered in isolation (or in some tracks a fixed group) and not
in a dialogue context whereas in our interactions with people all questions are
answered in context and with the possibility for clarification. Thus, there is a
need to inject new ideas into QA research.

Recently there has been much interest in Web query logs and in particular
methods for analysing these in order to extract information which can be used to
improve IR systems [5,6]. Logs are typically extremely large and contain
naturally occurring and noisy data. Automatic techniques (using for example
statistical approaches or machine learning algorithms) are therefore necessary
since manual approaches are not generally feasible.

The purpose of the workshop, therefore, is to investigate how some of the
methods developed for analysing web logs within an implicit IR context can be
applied to QA. For example:

- Can the meaning of IR queries in logs be deduced automatically in order to
extract the corresponding questions from them?
- Can NLP techniques developed within QA, e.g. Named Entity recognition be
applied to the analysis of query logs?
- Can logs be used to deduce useful new forms of question (i.e. not simple
factoids) which could be looked at next by QA researchers?
- Can questions grouped into sessions be comprehended in such a way as to
deduce the underlying implicit natural language dialogue consisting of a coherent
sequence of questions where each follows logically from both the previous ones
and the system's responses to them?
- Are there logs from real (or experimental) QA systems like lexxe.com which can
be obtained and what can be learned from them from the perspective of designing
evaluation tasks? What about logs from sites like answers.com (where queries are
answered by human respondents)?
- Are QA query logs different from IR query logs? Do users behave differently in
QA systems? Can QA-style questions be identified within an IR log?
- Can click-through data - where the aim of a question can be inferred from the
returned documents which are inspected - be used for the development of QA
systems for example for the deduction of important query types and their links
to IR queries?
- Are there logs of transcribed speech made from telephone QA systems which can
be obtained and what analysis could be carried out on those, using for example
techniques developed at related tracks at CLEF such as Cross-Language Speech
Retrieval (CL-SR) and Question Answering on Script Transcription (QAST)?

1. Prager, J. (2006). Open-Domain Question Answering (2006). Foundations and
Trends in Information Retrieval, 1 (2), 1-141.
2. CLEF (2009). http://www.clef-campaign.org. Accessed 2009.
3. TREC (2009). http://trec.nist.gov/. Accessed 2009.
4. NTCIR (2009). http://research.nii.ac.jp/ntcir/. Accessed 2009.
5. Jansen, J., Taksa, I., & Spink, A. (eds.) (2008). Handbook of Web Log
Analysis. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
6. QLA Workshop (2009). http://ir.shef.ac.uk/cloughie/qlaw2009.

Authors are invited to submit original research papers addressing questions on
the lines listed above. Papers must be related to QA and must involve the use of
a query log (but not necessarily of a QA system). Submissions will be reviewed
by members of the programme committee and judged on technical quality, clarity
and relevance to the workshop.

Papers should be no longer than 8 pages, set in accordance with LREC guidelines
and using the LaTeX or Word templates which are available here:
http://www.lrec-conf.org/lrec2010/?Author-s-Kit-and-Templates .

Papers should be submitted in pdf via the WLQA2010 START system:
https://www.softconf.com/lrec2010/WLQA2010/ . When using START, authors will be
asked to provide essential information about resources (in a broad sense, i.e.
also technologies, standards, evaluation kits, etc.) that have been used for the
work described in the paper or are a new result of your research. For further
information on this new iniative, please refer to

Proceedings will be produced at the workshop and it is intended that selected
papers will be published in a journal special issue after LREC has taken place.

Important Dates
First Call for Papers: December 2009
Second Call for Papers: January 2010
Third Call for Papers: February 2010
Submission deadline: 28th February 2010 - Extended
Notification of acceptance: 12th March 2010
Final versions of papers: 19th March 2010
Workshop: At LREC, Saturday 22nd May 2010

Richard Sutcliffe
University of Limerick
Richard.Sutcliffe at ul dot ie

Udo Kruschwitz
University of Essex
udo at essex dot ac dot uk

Thomas Mandl
University of Hildesheim
mandl at uni-hildesheim dot de

Programme Committee
Bettina Berendt
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Gosse Bouma
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands

Paul Clough
University of Sheffield, UK

Giorgio Di Nunzio
University of Padoa, Italy

Jim Jansen
Pennsylvania State University, USA

Johannes Leveling
Dublin City University, Ireland

Fabrizio Silvestri

Tomek Strzalkowski
SUNY Albany, USA

José Luis Vicedo
University of Alicante, Spain

Kieran White
University of Limerick, Ireland
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