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WLQA 2010 : LREC 2010 Workshop on Web Logs and Question Answering


When May 22, 2010 - May 22, 2010
Where Valletta, Malta
Submission Deadline Feb 12, 2010
Notification Due Mar 12, 2010
Final Version Due Mar 19, 2010
Categories    NLP   information retrieval

Call For Papers


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 which
can be obtained and what can be learned from them from the perspective of
designing evaluation tasks? What about logs from sites like
(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

* 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). Accessed 2009.
3. TREC (2009). Accessed 2009.
4. NTCIR (2009). Accessed 2009.
5. Jansen, J., Taksa, I., & Spink, A. (eds.) (2008). Handbook of Web Log
Analysis. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
6. QLA Workshop (2009).


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 workshop.

Papers should be no longer than 8 pages, set in accordance with LREC
guidelines and using the LaTeX or Word templates which are available here:

Papers should be submitted in pdf via the WLQA2010 START system: . 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

1st 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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