HITIQA: A Data Driven Approach to Interactive Question Answering: A Preliminary Report

Sharon Small, Nobuyuki Shimizu, Tomek Strzalkowski, and Liu Ting

HITIQA is an interactive question answering technology designed to allow intelligence ana-lysts and other users of information systems to pose questions in natural language and obtain relevant, factual answers, or the assistance they require in order to perform their tasks. Further-more, our objective in HITIQA is to allow the user to submit exploratory, analytical, non-factual questions, such as "What has been Rus-sia’s reaction to U.S. bombing of Kosovo?" HITIQA uses interactive natural language dia-logue to score passages of the retrieved docu-ments in relation to the query. The information obtained from this dialogue will aid the system in clarifying the user’s query, retrieving addi-tional relevant documents and generating suc-cinct answers to analytical questions. This paper will present a preliminary series of results and the results of a pilot evaluation by NIST.

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