A question answering system for project management applications

Jinxing Cheng, Bimal Kumar, Kincho H Law
2002 Advanced Engineering Informatics  
The usage of computer applications in the construction industry has steadily increased over the years, as has the complexity of many software applications. It is difficult for project personnel to become familiar with these ever-increasingly complex tools. Furthermore, the causes of many practical problems, such as project delays or escalating costs, are often not obvious from the outputs of these tools. A question answering system can potentially provide a means to directly extracting answers
more » ... rom these computer outputs. This paper examines various issues involved in building such a question answering system. In particular, emerging industry standards, such as ifcXML, are adopted as the knowledge representation format, and thus alleviate the manual effort to build a knowledge base. We explore the mechanisms of utilizing information in the knowledge base for question understanding. A prototype question answering system has been built and tested to illustrate the potential usefulness of such a system for project management applications. end date, duration, successors, and predecessors of an activity. The system will ignore the tense of the question. In addition, WordNet is used to identify synonyms. For example, in the following question, the system will give the same answer if we use the word "start" instead of "begin."
doi:10.1016/s1474-0346(03)00014-4 fatcat:ci7hr6o7rnagpdoxsojp3vbis4