US Patent No. 10,169,489

QUERY DISAMBIGUATION IN A QUESTION-ANSWERING ENVIRONMENT


Patent No. 10,169,489
Issue Date January 01, 2019
Title Query Disambiguation In A Question-answering Environment
Inventorship Corville O. Allen, Morrisville, NC (US)
Claire L. Kohler, Austin, TX (US)
Assignee International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY (US)

Claim of US Patent No. 10,169,489

1. A system for query disambiguation in a question-answering environment, the system comprising:a processor; and
a computer readable storage medium having program instructions embodied therewith, the program instructions executable by the processor to cause the system to:
identify, using a first natural language processing technique, a first set of word clusters in a first candidate answer of a plurality of candidate answers generated in response to a first input query for a question-answering system, the first set of word clusters including a first word cluster, each of the first set of word clusters classified according to a semantic term of a first set of semantic terms and a syntactic element of a first set of syntactic elements, wherein one or more syntactic elements of the first set of syntactic elements are a first set of parts of speech and the identification of the first set of word clusters includes tagging the first set of semantic terms and the first set of syntactic elements;
identify, using the first natural language processing technique, in the first input query, a second set of word clusters, each of the second set of word clusters classified according to a semantic term of a second set of semantic terms and a syntactic element of a second set of syntactic elements, wherein one or more syntactic elements of the second set of syntactic elements are a second set of parts of speech and the identification of the second set of word clusters includes tagging the second set of semantic terms and the second set of syntactic elements;
determine, by comparing the first and second sets of semantic terms and the first and second set of syntactic elements, respectively, that the first word cluster is classified according to a first semantic term and a first syntactic element that is not present in the second set of semantic terms and the second set of syntactic elements, respectively;
determine, using a second natural language processing technique, a set of domains from the first set of word clusters, each of the set of domains corresponding to a topic, and wherein at least one domain of the set of domains is an ontological domain;
determine a number of domains in the set of domains;
determine an amalgamated confidence value for the first candidate answer; and
wherein the program instructions cause the system to determine that the first word cluster is classified according to a syntactic element not present in the second set of syntactic elements and generate the clarification query in response to program instructions that further cause the system to determine that the amalgamated confidence value achieves a first ambiguity criterion and the number of domains achieves a second ambiguity criterion, wherein the second ambiguity criterion is based on at least a ratio of the number of domains to the number of candidate answers in the plurality of candidate answers; and
generate, using a third natural language processing technique, a user-display clarification query using the first input query and the first word cluster.