AAAI Publications, Twenty-Ninth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence

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What Is the Longest River in the USA? Semantic Parsing for Aggregation Questions
Kun Xu, Sheng Zhang, Yansong Feng, Songfang Huang, Dongyan Zhao

Last modified: 2015-03-04


Answering natural language questions against structured knowledge bases (KB) has been attracting increasing attention in both IR and NLP communities. The task involves two main challenges: recognizing the questions' meanings, which are then grounded to a given KB. Targeting simple factoid questions, many existing open domain semantic parsers jointly solve these two subtasks, but are usually expensive in complexity and resources.In this paper, we propose a simple pipeline framework to efficiently answer more complicated questions, especially those implying aggregation operations, e.g., argmax, argmin.We first develop a transition-based parsing model to recognize the KB-independent meaning representation of the user's intention inherent in the question. Secondly, we apply a probabilistic model to map the meaning representation, including those aggregation functions, to a structured query.The experimental results showed that our method can better understand aggregation questions, outperforming the state-of-the-art methods on the Free917 dataset while still maintaining promising performance on a more challenging dataset, WebQuestions, without extra training.

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