Valda Seminar: Tomer Wolfson

17 October 2018, 10:30-11:30
ENS, S16

Explaining Queries over Web Tables to Non-Experts

Designing a reliable natural language (NL) interface for querying tables has been a longtime goal of researchers in both the data management and natural language processing (NLP) communities. Such an interface receives as input an NL question, translates it into a formal query, executes the query and returns the results. Errors in the translation process are not uncommon, and users typically struggle to understand whether their query has been mapped correctly. We address this problem by explaining the obtained formal queries to non-expert users. Two methods for query explanations are presented: the first translates queries into NL, while the second method provides a graphic representation of the query cell-based provenance (in its execution on a given table). Our solution augments a state-of-the-art NL interface over web tables, enhancing it in both its training and deployment phase. Experiments, including a user study conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk, show our solution to improve both the correctness and reliability of an NL interface.

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