Answer Selection and Confidence Estimation

Jinxi Xu, Ana Licuanan, Jonathan May, Scott Miller, and Ralph Weischedel

We describe BBN’s Question Answering work at TREC 2002. We focus on two issues: answer selection and confidence estimation. We found that some simple constraints on the candidate answers can improve a pure IRbased technique for answer selection. We also found that a few simple features derived from the question-answer pairs can be used for effective confidence estimation. Our results also confirmed earlier findings that the World-Wide Web is a very useful resource for answering TREC-style factoid questions.

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