[Corpora-List] CFP: HLT-NAACL06 Workshop on Interactive QA

Nick Webb nwebb at albany.edu
Mon Jan 9 16:21:03 CET 2006

[apologies for multiple postings]

Call for papers for the

Workshop on Interactive Question Answering


8th & 9th June 2006 - New York City, USA
to be held as part of the HLT-NAACL conference in New York City


Full Paper Submission: March 3rd, 2006
Acceptance Notification: March 31st, 2006
Camera-Ready Papers due: April 21st, 2006
Workshop: June 8th & 9th, 2006


In moving from factoid Question Answering (QA) to answering complex
questions, it has become apparent that insufficient attention has been
paid to the user's role in the process, other than as a source of one-
factual questions or a sequence of related questions. Rather, users
both want to
and can do a lot more: With respect to answers, users can usually
disambiguate between a range of possible factoid answers and/or
navigate information clusters in an answer space; With respect to
the QA process, users want to ask more types of questions and respond
to the system's answer in more ways than another factual question.
In short, real users demand real-time interactive question and answer
capabilities, with coherent targeted answers presented in context for
easy inspection. Repeat users will require user models that treat
information already provided as background to novel information that
is now available.

Such developments move the paradigm of QA away from single question,
single answer modalities, toward interactive QA, where the system may
retain memory of the QA process, and where users develop their
understanding of a situation through an interactive QA dialogue.
systems already allow users to interact with simple, structured data
as train or flight timetables, using a dialogue component based on
variations of finite-state models. Such models make intensive use of the
structure of the domain to constrain the range of possible

To move forward, one needs the combined capabilities of dialogue
systems and open-domain QA systems. We therefore solicit papers
relevant to achieving this goal, which may touch on one or more of the
following key issues:


(1) Models of the domain
- a priori models which give a deeper, more consistent representation of
the data
- models built on the fly, which may be shallower, or more coarse grain,
but which may be sufficient to conduct interactions over a wide
range of data

(2) Models of dialogue
- Using domain knowledge to conduct and constrain interactions
- Generic, generally-applicable types of QA interactions
- clarification sub-dialogues, error-correcting dialogues and

(3) Integration
- Using dialogue models in open-domain QA (for question
expansion, answer candidate ranking, etc.)
- Integrating closed and open domain QA to support dialogue

(3) Answer presentation
- enable the user to understand the range of choices, or the
of the data

(4) Evaluation
- user centred evaluation
- subjective component to measure:
- effectiveness of interaction
- quality of results
- percent of cognitive load compared to alternative search mechanisms


The goal of this two day workshop is to explore the area of dialogue
as applied to
the QA scenario, to extend current technology beyond factoid QA. We
like the workshop to produce some tangible output, at the very least a
blueprint for the potential development of the field. Each of the
speakers will add something to the discussion about the future direction
of interactive QA (or past developments), relating to the four research
goals listed above. During these presentations, and the presentations of
the participants, notes will be taken about research priorities,
systems, methodologies and principles. At the end of the workshop, there
will be a discussion section to produce a roadmap for the future
development of interactive QA systems. This roadmap will be
circulated to
participants after the event. Such a roadmap has many potential uses -
including galvanising research funding bodies to support efforts in the
suggested areas.


The invited keynote speakers to this workshop are intended to set the
scene for the range of papers which follow. Keynote speakers will

Bill Woods (SUN Microsystems)
Heather McCallum-Bayliss (ARDA)
Jim Hieronymous (NASA)
Tomek Strzalkowski (SUNY, Albany)


This workshop aims to bring together practitioners from a variety of
disciplines - Information Retrieval, QA and Dialogue Systems - to
highlight the challenges and range of potential solutions to the now
reborn, still young, but growing interactive QA community. To do so
at an
early stage of interactive system development can help researchers to
understand the full range of techniques, approaches and toolkits
from different research communities.


Authors are required to provide a Portable Document Format (PDF) version
of their papers. The submission must be electronic. The proceedings will
be printed on US-Letter paper. Manuscripts must be in two-column
format of
ACL proceedings (11pt Times-Roman font). Exceptions to the two-column
format include the title, authors' names and complete addresses, which
must be centred at the top of the first page, and any full-width figures
or tables.

For the workshop, the maximum length of a manuscript is eight (8)
pages for full papers printed single-sided. Authors are strongly
encouraged to use the LaTeX style files or MSWord equivalents available
from http://nlp.cs.nyu.edu/hlt-naacl06/styles/.

Tom make a submission, please use the START server, located at:



- Roberto Basili (University of Rome, Tor Vergata)
- John Donelan (AQUAINT Technical Steering Committee)
- Sanda Harabagiu (LCC)
- Ryuichiro Higashinaka (NTT)
- Udo Kruschwitz (University of Essex)
- Oliver Lemon (University of Edinburgh)
- Steven Maiorano (AQUAINT Technical Steering Committee)
- Joe Polifroni (University of Sheffield)
- Sharon Small (SUNY, Albany)
- David Traum (ICT)
- Nick Webb (SUNY, Albany)
- Bonnie Webber (University of Edinburgh)


Nick Webb: Senior Research Scientist
Institute of Informatics, Logics and Security Studies
University at Albany: State University of New York
tel: +1 (518) 4423082 www: http://www.nick-webb.net
fax: +1 (518) 4422606 email: nwebb at albany.edu

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