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Highlights of the 1st Meetup on Question Answering Systems – Leipzig, November 21st

November 24, 2014 - 10:09 am by AliKhalili - No comments »

On November 21st, AKSW group was hosting the 1st meetup on “Question Answering” (QA) systems. In this meeting, researchers from AKSW/University of Leipzig, CITEC/University of Bielefeld, Fraunhofer IAIS/University of BonDERI/National University of Ireland and the University of Passau presented the recent results of their work on QA systems. The following themes were discussed during the meeting:

  • Ontology-driven QA on the Semantic Web. Christina Unger presented Pythia system for ontology-based QA. Slides are available here.
  • Distributed Semantic Models for achieving scalability & consistency on QA. André Freitas presented TREO and EasyESA which employ vector-based approach for semantic approximation.
  • Template-based QA. Jens Lehmann presented TBSL for Template-based Question Answering over RDF Data.
  • Keyword-based QA. Saeedeh Shekarpour presented SINA approach for semantic interpretation of user queries for QA on interlinked data.
  • Hybrid QA over Linked Data. Ricardo Usbeck presented HAWK for hybrid question answering using Linked Data and full-text indizes.
  • Semantic Parsing with Combinatory Categorial Grammars (CCG). Sherzod Hakimov. Slides are available here.
  • QA on statistical Linked Data. Konrad Höffner presented LinkedSpending and RDF Data Cube vocabulary to apply QA on statistical Linked Data.
  • WDAqua (Web Data and Question Answering) project. Christoph Lange presented the WDAqua project which is part of the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Innovative Training Networks. WDAqua focuses on answering different aspects of the question, “how can we answer complex questions with web data?”
  • OKBQA (Open Knowledge Base & Question-Answering). Axel-C. Ngonga Ngomo presented OKBQA which aims to bring cutting edge experts in knowledge base construction and application in order to create an extensive architecture for QA systems which has no restriction on programming languages.
  • Open QA. Edgard Marx presented open source question answering framework that unifies QA approaches from several domain experts.

The meetup decided to meet biannually to fuse efforts. All agreed upon investigating existing architecture for question answering systems to be able to offer a promising, collaborative architecture for future endeavours. Join us next time! For more information contact Ricardo Usbeck.

Ali and Ricardo on behalf of the QA meetup

Announcing GERBIL: General Entity Annotator Benchmark Framework

November 20, 2014 - 10:08 am by Ricardo Usbeck - No comments »

Dear all,

We are happy to announce GERBIL – a General Entity Annotation Benchmark Framework, a demo can be found at! With GERBIL, we aim to establish a highly available, easy quotable and liable focal point for Named Entity Recognition and Named Entity Disambiguation (Entity Linking) evaluations:

  • GERBIL provides persistent URLs for experimental settings. By these means, GERBIL also addresses the problem of archiving experimental results.
  • The results of GERBIL are published in a human-readable as well as a machine-readable format. By these means, we also tackle the problem of reproducibility.
  • GERBIL provides 11 different datasets and 9 different entity annotators. Please talk to us if you want to add yours.

To ensure that the GERBIL framework is useful to both end users and tool developers, its architecture and interface were designed with the following principles in mind:

  • Easy integration of annotators: We provide a web-based interface that allows annotators to be evaluated via their NIF-based REST interface. We provide a small NIF library for an easy implementation of the interface.
  • Easy integration of datasets: We also provide means to gather datasets for evaluation directly from data services such as DataHub.
  • Extensibility: GERBIL is provided as an open-source platform that can be extended by members of the community both to new tasks and different purposes.
  • Diagnostics: The interface of the tool was designed to provide developers with means to easily detect aspects in which their tool(s) need(s) to be improved.
  • Portability of results: We generate human- and machine-readable results to ensure maximum usefulness and portability of the results generated by our framework.

We are looking for your feedback!

Best regards,

Ricardo Usbeck for The GERBIL Team

@BioASQ challenge gaining momentum

November 17, 2014 - 3:29 pm by Ricardo Usbeck - No comments »
BioASQ is a series of challenges aiming to bring us closer to the vision of machines that can answer questions of biomedical professionals and researchers. The second BioASQ challenge started in February 2013. It comprised two different tasks: Large-scale biomedical semantic indexing (Task 2a), and biomedical semantic question answering (Task 2b).

In total 216 users and 142 systems registered to the automated evaluation system of BioASQ in order to participate in the challenge; 28 teams (with 95 systems) finally submitted their suggested solutions and answers. The final results were presented at the BioASQ workshop in the Cross Language Evaluation Forum (CLEF), which took place between September 23 and 26 in Sheffield, U.K.

The Awards Went To The Following Teams

Task 2a (Large-scale biomedical semantic indexing):

  • Fudan University (China)
  • NCBI (USA)
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) and atypon.com (USA)

Task 2b (Biomedical semantic question answering):

  • Fudan University (China)
  • NCBI (USA)
  • University of Alberta (Canada)
  • Seoul National University (South Korea)
  • Toyota Technological Institute (Japan)
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) and atypon.com (USA)

Best Overall Contribution:

  • NCBI (USA)
The second BioASQ competition, challenge continued the impressive achievements of the first one, pushing the research frontiers in biomedical indexing and question answering. The systems that participated in both tasks of the challenge achieved a notable increase in accuracy over the first year. Among the highlights is the fact that the best systems in task 2a outperformed again the very strong baseline MTI system provided by NLM. This is despite the fact that the MTI system itself has been improved by incorporating ideas proposed by last year’s winning systems. The end of the second challenge marks also the end of the financial support for BioASQ, by the European Commission. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the EC for supporting our vision. The main project results (incl. frameworks, datasets and publications) can be found at the project showcase page at http://bioasq.org/project/showcase.
Nevertheless, the BioASQ challenge will continue with its third round BioASQ3, which will start in February 2015. Stay tuned!

About BioASQ

The BioASQ team combines researchers with complementary expertise from 6 organisations in 3 countries: the Greek National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos” (coordinator), participating with its Institutes of ‘Informatics & Telecommunications’ and ‘Biosciences & Applications’, the German IT company Transinsight GmbH, the French University Joseph Fourier, the German research Group for Agile Knowledge Engineering and Semantic Web at the University of Leipzig, the French University Pierre et Marie Curie‐Paris 6 and the Department of Informatics of the Athens University of Economics and Business in Greece (visit the BioASQ project partners page). Moreover, biomedical experts from several countries assist in the creation of the evaluation data and a number of key players in the industry and academia from around the world participate in the advisory board of the project.
BioASQ started in October 2012 and was funded for two years by the European Commission as a support action (FP7/2007-2013: Intelligent Information Management, Targeted Competition Framework; grant agreement n° 318652). More information can be found at: http://www.bioasq.org.
Project Coordinator: George Paliouras (paliourg@iit.demokritos.gr).

AKSW successful at #ISWC2014

October 28, 2014 - 5:03 pm by Ricardo Usbeck - No comments »

Dear followers, 9 members of AKSW have been participating at the 13th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) at Riva del Garda, Italy. Next to listening to interesting talks, giving presentations or discussing with fellow Semantic Web researchers, AKSW won 4 significant prizes:

We do work on way more projects, which you can find at http://aksw.org/projects/. Cheers, Ricardo on behalf of the AKSW group
Best Paper Award

AKSW internal group meeting @ Dessau

October 23, 2014 - 1:07 am by EdgardMarx - No comments »

Recently AKSW members were at the city of Dessau for an internal group meeting.

The meeting took place between 8th and 10th of October, in the modern university of architecture of Bauhaus were we also stayed hosted. Bauhaus is located in the city of Dessau, about one hour from Leipzig. Bauhaus operated from 1919 to 1933 and was famous for the approach to design that combined crafts and the fine arts. At that time the German term Bauhaus – literally “house of construction” – was understood as meaning “School of Building”. It seemed to be a perfect getaway and an awesome location for AKSWers meet and “build” together the future steps of the group.

Wednesday was spent mostly in smaller group discussions on various ongoing projects. Over the next two days the AKSW PhD students presented their achievements, current status and future plans of their PhD projects. During the meeting, we have the pleasure to receive various of AKSWers leaders and project managers as prof. Dr. Sören Auer, Dr. Jens Lehmann, prof. Dr. Thomas Riechert and Dr. Michael Martin. The heads of the AKSW gave their inputs and suggestions to the students in order to help them to improve, continue and or complete their PhDs. In addition, the current projects were also discussed so as to find possible synergies between them and to discuss further improvements and ideas.

However, we do find some time to enjoy the beautiful city of Dessau and learn a little bit more about the history of this wonderful city.

Overall, it was a productive and recreational trip not only to keep a track of each students progress but also to help them to improve their work. We are all thankful to prof. Dr. Thomas Riechert who was the main responsible for organizing this amazing meeting.