[Elsnet-list] CfP: LREC 2010 Workshop on Web Logs and Question Answering (WLQA2010)

Kruschwitz U udo at essex.ac.uk
Wed Jan 13 16:03:25 CET 2010


LREC 2010 Workshop on Web Logs and Question Answering (WLQA2010)

Malta, Saturday 22nd May 2010


Submission deadline: 12th February 2010

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)?

Historically, 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.

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 

Papers should be no longer than 8 pages, set in accordance with our 
guidelies which will appear at the LREC website 
http://www.lrec-conf.org/lrec2010 and at the website of the workshop: 

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
Submission deadline: 12th February 2010
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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