Information Retrieval from Never-Ending Stories

Lisa F. Rau

The System for Conceptual Information Summarization, Organization, and Retrieval (SCISOR) is a research system that consists of a set of programs to parse short newspaper texts in the domain of corporate takeovers and finance. The conceptual information extracted from these stories may then be accessed through a natural language interface. Events in the world of corporate takeovers unfold slowly over time. As a result of this, the input to SCISOR consists of multiple short articles, most of which add a new piece of information to an ongoing story. This motivates a natural language, knowledge-based approach to information retrieval, as traditional methods of document retrieval are inappropriate for retrieving multiple short articles describing events that take place over time. A natural language, knowledge-based approach facilitates obtaining both concise answers to straightforward questions and summaries or updates of the events that take place. The predictable events that take place in the domain make expectation-driven, partial parsing feasible.

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