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Community question answering (cQA) services have gained popularity over the past years. It not only allows community members to post and answer questions but also enables general users to seek information from a comprehensive set of well-answered questions. However, existing cQA forums usually provide only textual answers, which are not informative enough for many questions. In this paper, we propose a scheme that is able to enrich textual answers in cQA with appropriate media data. Our scheme consists of three components: answer medium selection, query generation for multimedia search, and multimedia data selection and presentation. This approach automatically determines which type of media information should be added for a textual answer. It then automatically collects data from the web to enrich the answer. By processing a large set of QA pairs and adding them to a pool, our approach can enable a novel multimedia question answering (MMQA) approach as users can find multimedia answers by matching their questions with those in the pool. Different from a lot of MMQA research efforts that attempt to directly answer questions with image and video data, our approach is built based on community-contributed textual answers and thus it is able to deal with more complex questions. We have conducted extensive experiments on a multi-source QA dataset. The results demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2013