We develop an innovative approach to delivering relevant information using a combination of socio-semantic search and filtering approaches. The goal is to facilitate timely and relevant information access through the medium of conversations by mixing past community specific conversational knowledge and web information access to recommend and connect users and information together. Conversational Information Access is a socio-semantic search and recommendation activity with the goal to interactively engage people in conversations by receiving agent supported recommendations. It is useful because people engage in online social discussions unlike solitary search; the agent brings in relevant information as well as identifies relevant users; participants provide feedback during the conversation that the agent uses to improve its recommendations.
Archive for the ‘Language’ Category
The main contributions of this thesis revolve around development of an integrated conversational recommendation system, combining data and information models with community network and interactions to leverage multi-modal information access. We have developed a real time conversational information access community agent that leverages community knowledge by pushing relevant recommendations to users of the community. The recommendations are delivered in the form of web resources, past conversation and people to connect to. The information agent (cobot, for community/ collaborative bot) monitors the community conversations, and is ‘aware’ of users’ preferences by implicitly capturing their short term and long term knowledge models from conversations. The agent leverages from health and medical domain knowledge to extract concepts, associations and relationships between concepts; formulates queries for semantic search and provides socio-semantic recommendations in the conversation after applying various relevance filters to the candidate results. The agent also takes into account users’ verbal intentions in conversations while making recommendation decision.
One of the goals of this thesis is to develop an innovative approach to delivering relevant information using a combination of social networking, information aggregation, semantic search and recommendation techniques. The idea is to facilitate timely and relevant social information access by mixing past community specific conversational knowledge and web information access to recommend and connect users with relevant information. Language and interaction creates usable memories, useful for making decisions about what actions to take and what information to retain.
Cobot leverages these interactions to maintain users’ episodic and long term semantic models. The agent analyzes these memory structures to match and recommend users in conversations by matching with the contextual information need. The social feedback on the recommendations is registered in the system for the algorithms to promote community preferred, contextually relevant resources. The nodes of the semantic memory are frequent concepts extracted from user’s interactions. The concepts are connected with associations that develop when concepts co-occur frequently. Over a period of time when the user participates in more interactions, new concepts are added to the semantic memory. Different conversational facets are matched with episodic memories and a spreading activation search on the semantic net is performed for generating the top candidate user recommendations for the conversation.
The tying themes in this thesis revolve around informational and social aspects of a unified information access architecture that integrates semantic extraction and indexing with user modeling and recommendations.
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Socio-Semantic Conversational Information Access
by Saurav SahayPhD dissertation, College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, November 2011.
With an explosion in the proliferation of user-generated content in communities, information overload is increasing and quality of readily available online content is deteriorating. There is an increasing need for intelligent systems that make use of implicit user-generated knowledge in communities for community engagement. We describe our approach based on modeling user utterances in communities to proactively target the community for exchange of questions and answers. We envision a system that automatically encourages user engagement and participation by routing relevant conversations to users based on individual and community activity levels.
In this paper, we analyze health forum conversations from WebMD, a popular health portal consumer site, and classify them in different acts of speech using Verbal Response Modes (VRM) theory. We describe our approach for modeling an intelligent community recommender to engage participants based on observations from our analysis.
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Intentional analysis of medical conversations for community engagement
by Saurav Sahay, Hua Ai, Ashwin RamFLAIRS-11 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence
We introduce a Conversational Interaction framework as an innovative and natural approach to facilitate easier information access by combining web search and recommendations. This framework includes an intelligent information agent (Cobot) in the conversation to provide contextually relevant social and web search recommendations. Cobot supports the information discovery process by integrating web information retrieval along with proactive connections to relevant users who can participate in real-time conversations. We describe the conversational framework and report on some preliminary experiments in the system.
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Conversational Framework for Web Search and Recommendations
by Saurav Sahay, Ashwin RamICCBR-10 Workshop on Reasoning from Experiences on the Web (WebCBR-10), Alessandria, Italy, 2010.
Knowledge and user-generated content is proliferating on the web in scientific publications, information portals and online social media. This knowledge explosion has continued to outpace technological innovation in efficient information access technologies. In this paper, we describe methods and technologies for “Conversational Search” as an innovative solution to facilitate easier information access and reduce the information overload for users.
Conversational Search is an interactive and collaborative information finding interaction. The participants in this interaction engage in social conversations aided with an intelligent information agent (Cobot) that provides contextually relevant search recommendations. The collaborative and conversational search activity helps users make faster and more informed search and discovery. It also helps the agent learn about conversations with interactions and social feedback to make better recommendations. Conversational search leverages the social discovery process by integrating web information retrieval along with the social interactions.
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Collaborative Information Access: A Conversational Search Approach
by Saurav Sahay, Anu Venkatesh, Ashwin RamICCBR-09 Workshop on Reasoning from Experiences on the Web (WebCBR-09), Seattle, July 2009
We present an application of a clustering technique to a large original dataset of SCI publications which is capable at disentangling the different research lines followed by a scientist, their duration over time and the intensity of effort devoted to each of them. Information is obtained by means of software-assisted content analysis, based on the co-occurrence of words in the full abstract and title of a set of SCI publications authored by 650 American star-physicists across 17 years. We estimated that scientists in our dataset over the time span contributed on average to 16 different research lines lasting on average 3.5 years and published nearly 5 publications in each single line of research. The technique is potentially useful for scholars studying science and the research community, as well as for research agencies, to evaluate if the scientist is new to the topic and for librarians, to collect timely biographic information.
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Using Content Analysis to Investigate The Research Paths Chosen by Scientists over Time
by Chiara Franzoni, Chris Simpkins, Baoli Li, Ashwin RamScientometrics journal 83(1):321-335, April 2010. (Earlier version in 1th International Conference on Scientometrics and Infometrics (ISSI-07), Madrid, Spain, June 2007.)
As consumers become producers and, now, participants in online social communities, there are new opportunities and challenges in the increasing amounts of textual information and interactions on the web, within enterprises, in government, and in new types of social media and virtual worlds.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) researchers have traditionally regarded language as the object of study. In this talk, I argue that NLP is as much a study of people as of language per se. Doing NLP well requires us to model and reason about Content (domain knowledge), Context (goals and tasks), and Community (social context). I discuss why modeling the three C’s is difficult, and illustrate some approaches to these problems using examples from my recent academic and commercial projects.Invited talk at PARC (Palo Alto Research Labs), Palo Alto, CA, January 2009
Effective encoding of information is one of the keys to qualitative problem solving. Our aim is to explore Knowledge Representation techniques that capture meaningful word associations occurring in documents. We have developed iReMedI, a TCBR-based problem solving system as a prototype to demonstrate our idea. For representation we have used a combination of NLP and graph based techniques which we call as Shallow Syntactic Triples, Dependency Parses and Semantic Word Chains. To test their effectiveness we have developed retrieval techniques based on PageRank, Shortest Distance and Spreading Activation methods. The various algorithms discussed in the paper and the comparative analysis of their results provides us with useful insight for creating an effective problem solving and reasoning system.
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iReMedI – Intelligent Retrieval from Medical Information
by Saurav Sahay, Bharat Ravisekar, Anu Venkatesh, Sundaresan Venkatasubramanian, Priyanka Prabhu, Ashwin Ram9th European Conference on Case-Based Reasoning (ECCBR-08), Trier, Germany
In this paper we investigate how to automatically determine the subjectivity orientation of questions posted by real users in community question answering (CQA) portals. Subjective questions seek answers containing private states, such as personal opinion and experience. In contrast, objective questions request objective, verifiable information, often with support from reliable sources. Knowing the question orientation would be helpful not only for evaluating answers provided by users, but also for guiding the CQA engine to process questions more intelligently. Our experiments on Yahoo! Answers data show that our method exhibits promising performance.
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Subjectivity Analysis for Questions in QA Communities
by Baoli Li, Yandong Liu, Ashwin Ram, Ernie Garcia, Eugene Agichtein31st Annual International ACM SIGIR Conference (ACM-SIGIR-08), Singapore, July 2008
To realize the vision of a Semantic Web for Life Sciences, discovering relations between resources is essential. It is very difficult to automatically extract relations from Web pages expressed in natural language formats. On the other hand, because of the explosive growth of information, it is difficult to manually extract the relations. In this paper we present techniques to automatically discover relations between biomedical resources from the Web. For this purpose we retrieve relevant information from Web Search engines and Pubmed database using various lexico-syntactic patterns as queries over SOAP web services. The patterns are initially handcrafted but can be progressively learnt. The extracted relations can be used to construct and augment ontologies and knowledge bases. Experiments are presented for general biomedical relation discovery and domain specific search to show the usefulness of our technique.
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