Arabic community question answering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We analyze resources and models for Arabic community Question Answering (cQA). In particular, we focus on CQA-MD, our cQA corpus for Arabic in the domain of medical forums. We describe the corpus and the main challenges it poses due to its mix of informal and formal language, and of different Arabic dialects, as well as due to its medical nature. We further present a shared task on cQA at SemEval, the International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation, based on this corpus. We discuss the features and the machine learning approaches used by the teams who participated in the task, with focus on the models that exploit syntactic information using convolutional tree kernels and neural word embeddings. We further analyze and extend the outcome of the SemEval challenge by training a meta-classifier combining the output of several systems. This allows us to compare different features and different learning algorithms in an indirect way. Finally, we analyze the most frequent errors common to all approaches, categorizing them into prototypical cases, and zooming into the way syntactic information in tree kernel approaches can help solve some of the most difficult cases. We believe that our analysis and the lessons learned from the process of corpus creation as well as from the shared task analysis will be helpful for future research on Arabic cQA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-41
Number of pages37
JournalNatural Language Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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