Multimodal follow-up questions to multimodal answers in a QA system

B.W. van Schooten, Hendrikus J.A. op den Akker

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic


    We are developing a dialogue manager (DM) for a multimodal interactive Question Answering (QA) system. Our QA system presents answers using text and pictures, and the user may pose follow-up questions using text or speech, while indicating screen elements with the mouse. We developed a corpus of multimodal follow-up questions for this system. This paper describes a detailed analysis of this corpus, and its impact on the implementation of our system. We found that users pose two major types of follow-up question: regular questions, which may be reformulated in such a way as to be answerable to a QA system, and questions asking about a specific picture. We found that indicating screen elements with the mouse is done often, even in cases where it may be considered redundant, and that these mouse gestures appear to have a close correspondence to regular anaphors in the utterance. We also found that users use a limited number of ways to indicate screen elements with the mouse. We argue that our QA system will need to annotate its pictures with information about the visual elements that the picture is made up of. This enables appropriate anaphor resolution and answering identity questions about these elements. We present our first results of follow-up question handling and deictic reference resolution, using annotations we made for the pictures of the corpus.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationTenth international symposium on social communication
    Place of PublicationSantiago de Cuba
    PublisherCentro de Lingüística Aplicada
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Print)959-7174-08-1
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2007
    EventTenth international symposium on social communication, Cuba: Tenth international symposium on social communication - Santiago de Cuba
    Duration: 26 Jan 2007 → …

    Publication series

    PublisherCentro de Linguistica Aplicada


    ConferenceTenth international symposium on social communication, Cuba
    CitySantiago de Cuba
    Period26/01/07 → …


    • HMI-SLT: Speech and Language Technology
    • IR-63429
    • METIS-245698
    • EWI-6907

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