Web Question Answering: Is More Always Better?

Proceedings of SIGIR 2002 |

This paper describes a question answering system that is designed to capitalize on the tremendous amount of data that is now available online. Most question answering systems use a wide variety of linguistic resources. We focus instead on the redundancy available in large corpora as an important resource. We use this redundancy to simplify the query rewrites that we need to use, and to support answer mining from returned snippets. Our system performs quite well given the simplicity of the techniques being utilized. Experimental results show that question answering accuracy can be greatly improved by analyzing more and more matching passages. Simple passage ranking and n-gram extraction techniques work well in our system making it efficient to use with many backend retrieval engines.