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WDAqua Report Summary

Project ID: 642795
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - WDAqua (Answering Questions using Web Data)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Sharing, connecting, analysing, and understanding data on the Web can provide better services to citizens, communities, and the industry. One way to achieve this is through data-driven question answering, by delivering precise and comprehensive answers to natural language questions, primarily by making better use of the knowledge encoded in the Web of Data. The aim of the WDAqua project is to advance the state of the art in this field by interleaving training, research, and innovation.

WDAqua provides a training programme for young data scientists. The WDAqua young scientists are working on challenges related to the whole question answering pipeline:
1. Understand a spoken question
2. Analyse question
3. Find data to answer the question
4. Present the answer

Eventually, WDAqua will provide an open source framework and ecosystem for question answering components, accessible for scientists, practitioners, and citizens.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In the first half of the WDAqua project period, several training activities, including two summer schools, two Research & Development weeks, and several technical workshops have been completed. The network has produced in total 19 peer-reviewed publications - in journals, conferences, and workshops - and has published several demos and prototypes at various scientific events. The WDAqua PhD students have gained cross-sectoral experience and have produced several research results based on strong collaborations. The first version of an open source framework for question answering and several question answering components are publicly available for developers of question answering systems and components (all partners work together on this). Finally, the WDAqua question answering system is accessible online and is continuously being updated.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

WDAqua aims to go beyond the state-of-the-art in the field of question answering using the Web of Data. WDAqua, through its training, research, and innovation activities, is gaining impact with respect to the following points:

- Training and capacity building in order to enhance the skills and potential of individuals and to provide new career perspectives
- Contribution to structuring doctoral/early-stage research training at the European level and to strengthening European innovation capacity
- Development of cutting-edge technology on QA over the Web of Data, making therefore data available to scientists and European citizens through interlingual text and speech interfaces
- Enabling industrial users to build on the research results produced by the project.

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