Term Disambiguation in Natural Language Query for XML

  • Yunyao Li
  • Huahai Yang
  • H. V. Jagadish
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4027)


Converting a natural language query sentence into a formal database query is a major challenge. We have constructed NaLIX, a natural language interface for querying XML data. Through our experience with NaLIX, we find that failures in natural language query understanding can often be dealt with as ambiguities in term meanings. These failures are typically the result of either the user’s poor knowledge of the database schema or the system’s lack of linguistic coverage. With automatic term expansion techniques and appropriate interactive feedback, we are able to resolve these ambiguities. In this paper, we describe our approach and present results demonstrating its effectiveness.


Noun Phrase Error Message Parse Tree Feedback Message Generic Natural Language 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yunyao Li
    • 1
  • Huahai Yang
    • 2
  • H. V. Jagadish
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.University at Albany, SUNYAlbanyUSA

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