Faculty of Information Technology Holds Lecture

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.