A Tree Kernel Approach to Question and Answer Classification in Question Answering Systems

A critical step in Question Answering design is the definition of the models for question focus identification and answer extraction. In case of factoid questions, we can use a question classifier (trained according to a target taxonomy) and a named entity recognizer. Unfortunately, this latter cannot be applied to generate answers related to non-factoid questions. In this paper, we tackle such problem by designing classifiers of non-factoid answers. As the feature design for this learning task is very complex, we take advantage of tree kernels to generate large feature set from the syntactic parse trees of passages relevant to the target question. Such kernels encode syntactic and lexical information in Support Vector Machines which can decide if a sentence focuses on a target taxonomy subject. The experiments with SVMs on the TREC 10 dataset show that our approach is an interesting future research
Published in 2006