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Contribution Details

Type Conference or Workshop Paper
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Published in Proceedings No
Title Querying the Semantic Web with Ginseng: A Guided Input Natural Language Search Engine
Organization Unit
  • Abraham Bernstein
  • Esther Kaufmann
  • Christian Kaiser
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
Page Range 45 - 50
Event Title 15th Workshop on Information Technology and Systems (WITS 2005)
Abstract Text The Semantic Web presents the vision of a distributed, dynamically growing knowledge base founded on formal logic. Common users, however, seem to have problems even with the simplest Boolean expression. As queries from web search engines show, the great majority of users simply do not use Boolean expressions. So how can we help users to query a web of logic that they do not seem to under-stand? We address this problem by presenting Ginseng, a quasi natural language guided query interface to the Semantic Web. Ginseng relies on a simple question grammar which gets dynamically extended by the structure of an ontology to guide users in formulating queries in a language seemingly akin to English. Based on the grammar Ginseng then translates the queries into a Semantic Web query language (RDQL), which allows their execution. Our evaluation with 20 users shows that Ginseng is extremely simple to use without any training (as opposed to any logic-based querying approach) resulting in very good query per-formance (precision = 92.8%, recall = 98.4%). We, furthermore, found that even with its simple gram-mar/approach Ginseng could process over 40% of questions from a query corpus without modification.
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