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Computational Linguistics

Hwee Tou Ng, Editor
March 2015, Vol. 41, No. 1, Pages 1-20
(doi: 10.1162/COLI_a_00206)
© 2015 Association for Computational Linguistics
Towards Topic-to-Question Generation
Article PDF (266.36 KB)

This paper is concerned with automatic generation of all possible questions from a topic of interest. Specifically, we consider that each topic is associated with a body of texts containing useful information about the topic. Then, questions are generated by exploiting the named entity information and the predicate argument structures of the sentences present in the body of texts. The importance of the generated questions is measured using Latent Dirichlet Allocation by identifying the subtopics (which are closely related to the original topic) in the given body of texts and applying the Extended String Subsequence Kernel to calculate their similarity with the questions. We also propose the use of syntactic tree kernels for the automatic judgment of the syntactic correctness of the questions. The questions are ranked by considering both their importance (in the context of the given body of texts) and syntactic correctness. To the best of our knowledge, no previous study has accomplished this task in our setting. A series of experiments demonstrate that the proposed topic-to-question generation approach can significantly outperform the state-of-the-art results.