A probabilistic approach for mapping free-text queries to complex web forms

by Kien Tjin-Kam-Jet, Dolf Trieschnigg, and Djoerd Hiemstra

Web applications with complex interfaces consisting of multiple input fields should understand free-text queries. We propose a probabilistic approach to map parts of a free-text query to the fields of a complex web form. Our method uses token models rather than only static dictionaries to create this mapping, offering greater flexibility and requiring less domain knowledge than existing systems. We evaluate different implementations of our mapping model and show that our system effectively maps free-text queries without using a dictionary. If a dictionary is available, the performance increases and is significantly better than a rule-based baseline.

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