The Question Parser Eduction Grammar

The Fact Bank Question Parser is an IDOL Eduction grammar designed for question answering, which the Answer Server internal Eduction module uses to parse questions. This special grammar file defines many different forms that questions can take, and extracts the entities, properties, and qualifiers in the questions.

In general, an entity is the topic of the question, or a topic in your Fact Store data. Entities have properties, which define pieces of information that you might want to find, or which you might want to use to find a particular entity. A qualifier is a piece of information that modifies the property.

For example, in the question What is the population of the USA in 1850, you might define:

Many questions can be interpreted in more than one way, depending on how you set up your data.

The Fact Bank grammar can find the entities, properties, and qualifiers in a variety of different question formations.

When the Question Parser processes a question, the grammar might find several valid interpretations. In this case, the Question Parser returns all the options to Answer Server, which attempts to find the associated entities, properties, and qualifiers in your coding files, and then in your data.

The values that match in your Fact Store at this stage depend on how you have set up and stored your data.

NOTE:

For time and entity type answers, Answer Server merges duplicate answers when multiple interpretations return the same value.

The examples in the sections below demonstrate many of the different forms of questions in English that the Question Parser can detect. The questions are examples, and the list is not exhaustive. In addition, some of the forms are not mutually exclusive (that is, Question Parser might detect both forms). In these cases, the correct form depends on your data.

Processors

The Q&A grammar also detects a number of processors, which affect the question in a similar way to qualifiers, but which might require further calculation on the data. The following processors are supported (processors listed on the same line are equivalent):

Example Questions

The following section lists several example questions in forms that the Question Parser can parse, and which Answer Server can use to retrieve the relevant facts from the Fact Store.

In the questions, entities are specified in italics, properties are specified in bold, and qualifiers are underlined.

Questions to Find a Property Value

The following questions show forms where the Question Parser detects an entity and property name, and any associated qualifiers. For these questions, Answer Server attempts to find the property value in the Fact Store.

Questions to Find Processed Property Value

The following questions show forms where the Question Parser detects an entity and property name, and a processor that qualifies the value that the question requests. For these questions, Answer Server attempts to find the property value in the Fact Store.

Processors are marked in monospace font.

Questions to Find the Name of an Entity

The following questions show forms where the Question Parser detects a property and one or more property values. For these questions, Answer Server attempts to find the name of an entity in the Fact Store.

Property values are marked in bold italic.

Questions to Find the Value of a Qualifier

The following questions show forms where the Question Parser detects an entity, a property, and a property value. For these questions, Answer Server attempts to find the value of a qualifier that matches these values.


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