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Category:   E-CFP
Subject:   Special Issue of JNLE on Interactive QA
From:   Nick Webb
Email:   nwebb_(on)_albany.edu
Date received:   31 Oct 2006
Deadline:   01 Mar 2007

CALL FOR PAPERS Journal Of Natural Language Engineering: Special Issue on Interactive Question Answering GUEST EDITORS: Nick Webb (SUNY Albany, USA) Bonnie Webber (University of Edinburgh, UK) IMPORTANT DATES: 1st March 2007 Deadline for submissions 1st July 2007 Notification 1st October 2007 Final copy due Following the successful workshop on Interactive Question Answering (IQA), held at HLT-NAACL in June 2006, we are pleased to announce a special issue of the Journal of Natural Language Engineering on IQA. This special issue is open to all submissions relevant to this topic, and is not restricted to papers presented at the IQA workshop. MOTIVATION In moving beyond simple factoid Question Answering (QA), it has become clear that insufficient attention has been paid to the user's role in the process, other than as a source of one-shot factual questions or a sequence of related questions. Users both want to and can do a lot more, such as ask a wider range of question types and respond to the system's answer in more ways than with another factual question. Real users can leverage greater mixed-initiative interactive question and answer capabilities, with coherent targeted answers presented in context for easy inspection. Repeat users may want to assume that the system remembers information from their previous interactions -- i.e., in the form of a user model. Such developments move the paradigm of QA away from single question, single answer modalities, toward Interactive QA, where the system retains memory of the QA process, and where users develop their understanding of a situation through a fully interactive QA dialogue. Dialogue systems already allow users to interact with simple, structured data such as train or flight timetables, usually though a dialogue component based on some variation of finite-state models. Such models make intensive use of the structure of the domain to constrain the range of possible interactions -- a constraint that it will be difficult to fulfil in the large or even in open domain scenarios that are often the target for QA systems. To move forward, one needs the combined capabilities of dialogue systems and open-domain QA systems. We therefore solicit papers relevant to achieving this goal, which may touch on one or more of the following key issues: KEY ISSUES (1) Integration - Using dialogue models in open-domain QA (for question expansion, answer candidate ranking, etc.) - Integrating closed and open domain QA into dialogue systems (2) Answer structure and presentation - Supporting interaction about answers - Enabling the user to understand the range of choices, or the complexity of the data (3) Models of dialogue - Using domain knowledge to conduct and constrain interactions appropriately - Characterising generic, generally-applicable types of QA interactions - Engaging in sub-dialogues for clarification, error-correction, negotiation, etc. (4) Models of the domain - A priori models which give a deeper, more consistent representation of the data - Models built on the fly, which may be shallower or more coarse grain, but are nevertheless sufficient to conduct interactions over different data (5) Evaluation - User centred evaluation - Subjective component to measure: Interaction effectiveness; Results quality; Cognitive load of IQA vs. alternative search methods SUBMISSIONS We are expecting full papers to describe original, previously unpublished research. Papers should be formatted according to the NLE journal instructions, and should not exceed 20 pages. The preferred formatting system is LaTeX, which can be used for direct typesetting, and a style file is available through anonymous ftp from the following address: ftp.cup.cam.ac.uk/pub/texarchive/journals/latex/nle-sty/. In case of difficulty there is a helpline available on e-mail: texline_(on)_cup.cam.ac.uk. Send your submission (a PostScript or PDF file) to Nick Webb (nwebb_(on)_albany.edu). GUEST EDITORIAL BOARD Roberto Basili (Universita di Roma, "Tor Vergata", Italy) Johan Bos (Universita di Roma, "La Sapienza", Italy) Jennifer Chu-Carroll (IBM, USA) Anette Frank (DFKI, Germany) Sanda Harabagiu (LCC, USA) Ryuichiro Higashinaka (NTT, Japan) Udo Kruschwitz (University of Essex, UK) Oliver Lemon (University of Edinburgh, UK) Steven Maiorano (AQUAINT Technical Steering Committee, USA) Joe Polifroni (University of Sheffield, UK) Sharon Small (SUNY, Albany, USA) Tomek Strzalkowski (SUNY, Albany, USA) Yorick Wilks (University of Sheffield, UK) ABOUT THE JOURNAL Natural Language Engineering is an international journal designed to meet the needs of professionals and researchers working in all areas of computerised language processing, whether from the perspective of theoretical or descriptive linguistics, lexicology, computer science or engineering. Its principal aim is to bridge the gap between traditional computational linguistics research and the implementation of practical applications with potential real-world use. As well as publishing research articles on a broad range of topics from text analysis, machine translation and speech generation and synthesis to integrated systems and multi modal interfaces the journal also publishes book reviews. Its aim is to provide the essential link between industry and the academic community. Natural Language Engineering encourages papers reporting research with a clear potential for practical application. Theoretical papers that consider techniques in sufficient detail to provide for practical implementation are also welcomed, as are shorter reports of on-going research, conference reports, comparative discussions of NLE products, and policy-oriented papers examining e.g. funding programs or market opportunities. All contributions are peer reviewed. Editors: Professor John I. Tait University of Sunderland, UK Dr. Branimir K. Boguraev IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, New York, USA Professor Ruslan Mitkov University of Wolverhampton, UK Professor Martha Palmer University of Colorado at Boulder, USA

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