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Automatic Coupling of Answer Extraction and Information Retrieval

Xuchen Yao, Benjamin Van Durme and Peter Clark

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics - Short Papers (ACL Short Papers 2013)
Sofia, Bulgaria, August 4-9, 2013


Information Retrieval (IR) and Answer Extraction are often designed as isolated or loosely connected components in Question Answering (QA), with repeated over-engineering on IR, and not necessarily performance gain for QA. We propose to tightly integrate them by coupling automatically learned features for answer extraction to a shallow-structured IR model. Our method is very quick to implement, and significantly improves IR for QA (measured in Mean Average Precision and Mean Reciprocal Rank) by ~10%-20% against an uncoupled retrieval baseline in both document and passage retrieval, which further leads to a downstream 20% improvement in QA F1.

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