The Open Advancement of Question Answering (OAQA) initiative was spear-headed by IBM and Carnegie Mellon University to provide a foundation for effective collaboration among researchers to accelerate the science of automatic question answering. The initiative aims to develop common metrics, architectures, experimental methodologies, tools and driving challenge problems to facilitate the collaborative advancement of the state-of-the-art.
The attendees at the first OAQA workshop, held in February 2008, developed a white paper that was published as an IBM Research Report outlining the motivation and directions of the initiative.
IBM will invite universities working on automatic question answering to collaborate on the Jeopardy! Challenge, and more broadly to help demonstrate how a range of independently developed algorithms can be integrated and generalized according to the OAQA approach to drive greater advances in the broader scientific agenda.
One of OAQA's primary expectations is that QA systems are built according to a common and general architecture that would facilitate Rapid Domain Adaptation. That is, the ability to rapidly customize and adapt the QA system to deliver higher levels of performance on new domains, new data, new languages, and different question types and styles. A common architecture that can be easily extended, customized, and tested by the broader scientific and business community is an important goal for ensuring that QA technology can progress more rapidly to have deeper impact on society and business.