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Why-Question Answering using Intra- and Inter-Sentential Causal Relations

Jong-Hoon Oh, Kentaro Torisawa, Chikara Hashimoto, Motoki Sano, Stijn De Saeger and Kiyonori Ohtake

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL 2013)
Sofia, Bulgaria, August 4-9, 2013


In this paper, we explore the utility of intra- and inter-sentential causal relations between terms or clauses as evidence for answering why-questions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that uses both intra- and inter-sentential causal relations for why-QA. We also propose a method for assessing the appropriateness of causal relations as answers to a given question using the semantic orientation of excitation proposed by Hashimoto et al. (2012). By applying these ideas to Japanese why-QA, we improved precision by 4.4% against all the questions in our test set over the current state-of-the-art system for Japanese why-QA. In addition, unlike the state-of-the-art system, our system could achieve very high precision (83.2%) for 25% of all the questions in the test set by restricting its output to the confident answers only.

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