Computers and the Humanities

, Volume 38, Issue 4, pp 397–415 | Cite as

Experimenting with a Question Answering System for the Arabic Language

  • Bassam Hammo
  • Saleem Abuleil
  • Steven Lytinen
  • Martha Evens


The World Wide Web (WWW) today is so vast that it has become more and more difficult to find answers to questions using standard search engines. Current search engines can return ranked lists of documents, but they do not deliver direct answers to the user. The goal of Open Domain Question Answering (QA) systems is to take a natural language question, understand the meaning of the question, and present a short answer as a response based on a repository of information. In this paper we present QARAB, a QA system that combines techniques from Information Retrieval and Natural Language Processing. This combination enables domain independence. The system takes natural language questions expressed in the Arabic language and attempts to provide short answers in Arabic. To do so, it attempts to discover what the user wants by analyzing the question and a variety of candidate answers from a linguistic point of view.


Arabic proper nouns Question-Answering semantic tagging shallow parsing 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bassam Hammo
    • 1
  • Saleem Abuleil
    • 2
  • Steven Lytinen
    • 3
  • Martha Evens
    • 4
  1. 1.King Abdullah II School of Information TechnologyUniversity of JordanAmmanJordan
  2. 2.Department of Information SystemsChicago State UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.CTIDepaul UniversityChicagoUSA
  4. 4.Computer ScienceIllinois Institute of TechnologyChicagoUSA

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