Using ontology in query answering systems: Scenarios, requirements and challenges

In R. Bernardi & M. Moortgat (eds.), Questions and Answers: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives, Proceedings of the 2nd CoLogNET-Elsnet Symposium, December 2003. Amsterdam: pp. 5-15 (2003)
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Equipped with the ultimate query answering system, computers would finally be in a position to address all our information needs in a natural way. In this paper, we describe how Language and Computing nv (L&C), a developer of ontology-based natural language understanding systems for the healthcare domain, is working towards the ultimate Question Answering (QA) System for healthcare workers. L&C’s company strategy in this area is to design in a step-by-step fashion the essential components of such a system, each component being designed to solve some one part of the total problem and at the same time reflect well-defined needs on the prat of our customers. We compare our strategy with the research roadmap proposed by the Question Answering Committee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), paying special attention to the role of ontology.
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