LING 573 - Natural Language Processing Systems and Applications
Spring 2014

Days Time (P.M.) Classroom
Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30-2:50 SAV 130

Instructor Teaching Assistant
Name: Gina-Anne Levow Glenn Slayden
Email: levow at uw dot edu gslayden at uw dot edu
Office: Guggenheim 418D Guggenheim TA space
Office Hour: Fridays 12:30-1:30pm,
or by appointment
Thursdays 3:00-4:00pm


Team Survey

Course Evals -->

Course description

This course examines building coherent systems to handle practical applications. Particular topics vary. This term we will be focusing on question-answering.

Course Resources


There is no required textbook for this course. However, you may find the following reference texts useful.

A number of published research articles will also provide background for the course. The articles are linked from the syllabus below, and the full citations are found in the reading list.



Course Mechanics

Additional detailed information on grading, collaboration, incompletes, etc.

Tentative schedule, subject to change without notice.
Date Topics Readings Assignment
Slides Adobe Connect
Week 1: April 1, 3 Intro to TREC/TAC, Retrieval
Q/A & Watson
Task; Software
J & M 23-23.2
[Hirschman and Gaizauskas, 2001]
Deliverable #1 out: 4/2
Due April 8, 11:59 pm
April 1
April 3
April 8, 10 System Strategies [Harabagiu et al., 2005]
[Lin, 2007]
Deliverable #2 out Shallow systems
Deep Systems & IR
April 8
April 10
Week 3: April 15, 17 Search and Passage Retrieval
J&M, Ch. 23.1 (4/15)
Documentation for lemur/indri,
esp. see QuickStart

[Xu and Croft, 1996] (4/17)
[Tellex et al, 2003] (4/17)
Expansion & Reranking
April 15
April 17
Week 4: April 22 Question Processing Li and Roth, 2005
[Hacioglu and Ward, 2003]
  Question Classification April 22
Week 4: April 24 No class: NW-NLP 2014 @ Microsoft   Deliverable #3 out    
Week 5: April 29, May 1 Deliverable #2 presentations     Packard, Trimble, Bolla
Bothale, Chan, Wei
Aldrich, Benak, Hogoboom
Antoniak, He, Lockwood, Park
Carter, Elshanawy, Kramer
Gordon, Kahn, Jaja
Curtis, Kilmer, McHugh
Bielby, Hsu
Bhalla, Hart, Kamali
April 29
May 1
Week 6: May 6,8 Question Processing;
Question classification
Query formulation
Query Expansion
[Krishnan et al, 2005] (5/6)
[Huang, Thint, Qin, 2008] (5/6)
[Kwok, Etzioni, and Weld, 2001] (5/8)
[Fang, 2008] (5/8)
Bilotti et al, 2004
Riezler et al, 2007
  Question Classification
Question Reformulation
May 6
May 8
Week 7: May 13, 15 Answer Extraction [Echihabi et al, 2005]
[Mishne and De Rijk, 2005]
[Razmara et al, 2007]
Yao et al, 2013
  Answer extraction
Extraction w/CRF
May 13
May 15
Week 8: May 20, 22 Deliverable 3 project presentations   Deliverable #4 out Bolla, Packard, Trimble
Antoniak, He, Lockwood, Park
Aldrich, Benak, Hogoboom
Bhalla, Hart, Kamali
Bothale, Chan, Wei
Curtis, Kilmer, McHugh
Carter, Elshenawy, Kramer
Bielby, Hsu
Gordon, Jaja, Kahn
May 20
May 22
Week 9: May 27, 29 Answer extraction, ranking
Beyond Factoid QA
[Shen and Lapata, 2007]
Distant supervision

Machine Reading
May 27
May 29
Week 10: June 3, 5 Final presentations       June 3
June 5