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Questions are usually part of a larger information-seeking activity, and we will not have adequate question-answering systems until the information seeking activity itself is modeled. Analysts typically have a large issue they want to elucidate, and the questions asked are in the service of that need; from the answers taken together, the analyst develops a position on the issue of interest. The position bears only an inferential relation with the answers to the questions. For the question-answering system to participate fully in the information-seeking activity, it must be able to aid and track this inference process. As part of ARDA's AQUAINT program, SRI International and USC Information Sciences Institute are collaboratively pursing research aimed at developing the technology and the corresponding information-seeking system that will enable computers to be full partners in an information-seeking dialog.

Project Description (PDF)



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