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Faculty of Information Technology Holds Lecture

September 5, 2012
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On 22 August 2012, the Faculty of Information Technology at BZU held a lecture titled: “Natural Language Questions for the Web of Data,” delivered by Mr. Mohamed Yahya.



Yahya is a doctoral student at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics at Saarland University in Germany. His research focuses on improving the usability of semantic knowledge bases by extending traditional querying paradigms and coming up with new ones to facilitate access to the wealth of information in such knowledge bases.




The lecture dealt with the Linked Data Initiative, which is comprised of structured databases in the Semantic-Web data model RDF. Exploring this heterogeneous data by structured query languages is tedious and error-prone even for skilled users. To ease the task, the lecturer presented a methodology for translating natural language questions into structured SPARQL queries over linked-data sources. His method was based on an integer linear program to solve several disambiguation tasks jointly: the segmentation of questions into phrases; the mapping of phrases to semantic entities, classes, and relations; and the construction of SPARQL triple patterns. The solution harnesses the rich type system provided by knowledge bases in the web of linked data, to constrain our semantic-coherence objective function. The lecturer presented experiments on both the question translation and the resulting query answering.

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