[Corpora-List] CfP: Special Issue of JNLE on Interactive QA

Nick Webb nwebb at albany.edu
Tue Oct 31 17:51:00 CET 2006


Journal Of Natural Language Engineering: Special Issue on Interactive
Question Answering


Nick Webb (SUNY Albany, USA)
Bonnie Webber (University of Edinburgh, UK)


1st March 2007 Deadline for submissions
1st July 2007 Notification
1st October 2007 Final copy due

Following the successful workshop on Interactive Question Answering
(IQA), held at HLT-NAACL in June 2006, we are pleased to announce a
special issue of the Journal of Natural Language Engineering on
IQA. This special issue is open to all submissions relevant to this
topic, and is not restricted to papers presented at the IQA workshop.


In moving beyond simple factoid Question Answering (QA), it has become
clear that insufficient attention has been paid to the user's role in
the process, other than as a source of one-shot factual questions or a
sequence of related questions. Users both want to and can do a lot
more, such as ask a wider range of question types and respond to the
system's answer in more ways than with another factual question. Real
users can leverage greater mixed-initiative interactive question and
answer capabilities, with coherent targeted answers presented in
context for easy inspection. Repeat users may want to assume that the
system remembers information from their previous interactions -- i.e.,
in the form of a user model.

Such developments move the paradigm of QA away from single question,
single answer modalities, toward Interactive QA, where the system
retains memory of the QA process, and where users develop their
understanding of a situation through a fully interactive QA
dialogue. Dialogue systems already allow users to interact with
simple, structured data such as train or flight timetables, usually
though a dialogue component based on some variation of finite-state
models. Such models make intensive use of the structure of the domain
to constrain the range of possible interactions -- a constraint that
it will be difficult to fulfil in the large or even in open domain
scenarios that are often the target for QA systems.

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

(2) Answer structure and presentation
- Supporting interaction about answers
- Enabling the user to understand the range of choices, or the
complexity of the data

(3) Models of dialogue
- Using domain knowledge to conduct and constrain interactions
- Characterising generic, generally-applicable types of QA
- Engaging in sub-dialogues for clarification, error-correction,
negotiation, etc.

(4) 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 are nevertheless sufficient to conduct interactions over
different data

(5) Evaluation
- User centred evaluation
- Subjective component to measure: Interaction effectiveness; Results
quality; Cognitive load of IQA vs. alternative search methods


We are expecting full papers to describe original, previously
unpublished research.

Papers should be formatted according to the NLE journal instructions,
and should not exceed 20 pages. The preferred formatting system is LaTeX,
which can be used for direct typesetting, and a style file is available
through anonymous ftp from the following address:


In case of difficulty there is a helpline available on e-mail:

texline at cup.cam.ac.uk.

Send your submission (a PostScript or PDF file) to Nick Webb
(nwebb at albany.edu).


Roberto Basili (Universita di Roma, "Tor Vergata", Italy)
Johan Bos (Universita di Roma, "La Sapienza", Italy)
Jennifer Chu-Carroll (IBM, USA)
Anette Frank (DFKI, Germany)
Sanda Harabagiu (LCC, USA)
Ryuichiro Higashinaka (NTT, Japan)
Udo Kruschwitz (University of Essex, UK)
Oliver Lemon (University of Edinburgh, UK)
Steven Maiorano (AQUAINT Technical Steering Committee, USA)
Joe Polifroni (University of Sheffield, UK)
Sharon Small (SUNY, Albany, USA)
Tomek Strzalkowski (SUNY, Albany, USA)
Yorick Wilks (University of Sheffield, UK)


Natural Language Engineering is an international journal designed to
meet the needs of professionals and researchers working in all areas of
computerised language processing, whether from the perspective of
theoretical or descriptive linguistics, lexicology, computer science
or engineering. Its principal aim is to bridge the gap between
traditional computational linguistics research and the implementation
of practical applications with potential real-world use. As well as
publishing research articles on a broad range of topics from text
analysis, machine translation and speech generation and synthesis to
integrated systems and multi modal interfaces the journal also
publishes book reviews. Its aim is to provide the essential link
between industry and the academic community.

Natural Language Engineering encourages papers reporting research with
a clear potential for practical application. Theoretical papers that
consider techniques in sufficient detail to provide for practical
implementation are also welcomed, as are shorter reports of on-going
research, conference reports, comparative discussions of NLE products,
and policy-oriented papers examining e.g. funding programs or market
opportunities. All contributions are peer reviewed.


Professor John I. Tait
University of Sunderland, UK

Dr. Branimir K. Boguraev
IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, New York, USA

Professor Ruslan Mitkov
University of Wolverhampton, UK

Professor Martha Palmer
University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

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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