Integrating heterogeneous sources for predicting question temporal anchors across Yahoo! Answers

Alejandro Figueroa, Carlos Gómez-Pantoja, Günter Neumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Modern Community Question Answering (CQA) web forums provide the possibility to browse their archives using question-like search queries as in Information Retrieval (IR) systems. Although these traditional IR methods have become very successful at fetching semantically related questions, they typically leave unconsidered their temporal relations. That is to say, a group of questions may be asked more often during specific recurring time lines despite being semantically unrelated. In fact, predicting temporal aspects would not only assist these platforms in widening the semantic diversity of their search results, but also in re-stating questions that need to refresh their answers and in producing more dynamic, especially temporally-anchored, displays. In this paper, we devised a new set of time-frame specific categories for CQA questions, which is obtained by fusing two distinct earlier taxonomies (i.e., [29] and [50]). These new categories are then utilized in a large crowd-sourcing based human annotation effort. Accordingly, we present a systematical analysis of its results in terms of complexity and degree of difficulty as it relates to the different question topics1 Incidentally, through a large number of experiments, we investigate the effectiveness of a wider variety of linguistic features compared to what has been done in previous works. We additionally mix evidence/features distilled directly and indirectly from questions by capitalizing on their related web search results. We finally investigate the impact and effectiveness of multi-view learning to boost a large variety of multi-class supervised learners by optimizing a latent layer build on top of two views: one composed of features harvested from questions, and the other from CQA meta data and evidence extracted from web resources (i.e., snippets and Internet archives).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-125
Number of pages14
JournalInformation Fusion
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Intelligent information retrieval
  • Multi-view learning
  • Natural language processing
  • Question classification
  • Transfer learning
  • Web mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture


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