Technical Report // Sonderforschungsbereich 475, Komplexitätsreduktion in Multivariaten Datenstrukturen, Universität Dortmund 2008,04
Where Information Retrieval (IR) and Text Categorization delivers a set of (ranked) documents according to a query, users of large document collections would rather like to receive answers. Question-answering from text has already been the goal of the Message Understanding Conferences. Since then, the task of text understanding has been reduced to several more tractable tasks, most prominently Named Entity Recognition (NER) and Relation Extraction. Now, pieces can be put together to form enhanced services added on an IR system. In this paper, we present a framework which combines standard IR with machine learning and (pre-)processing for NER in order to extract events from a large document collection. Some questions can already be answered by particular events. Other questions require an analysis of a set of events. Hence, the extracted events become input to another machine learning process which delivers the final output to the user's question. Our case study is the public collection of minutes of plenary sessions of the German parliament and of petitions to the German parliament.