Topics of interest

FQAS is the premier conference focusing on the key issue in the information society of providing easy, flexible, intuitive access to information for everybody.  In targeting this issue, the conference draws on several research areas, such as information retrieval, knowledge representation, soft computing, databases, multimedia, and human-computer interaction.  The conference provides a unique opportunity for researchers, developers and practitioners to explore new ideas and approaches in a multidisciplinary forum.   The previous FQAS events were held in 1994, 1996, and 1998, all in Roskilde, Denmark.


As a metaphor for flexible query answering we may consider a human intermediary that has expertise in the topic of the query, and is experienced in identifying the userís information needs and answering the needs from the available information resources.  Using knowledge on relevant context, available information resources, etc., enables the expert to respond rather precisely to the needs, though the query, per se, may be imprecise, incomplete, etc.   Thus, a key issue for flexible query answering system is to obtain, maintain, represent, and utilize such knowledge.  This comprises domain knowledge and metaknowledge, its representation and organization in ontologies, terminologies, etc., its creation through dictionaries, lexicons, learning, knowledge discovery, data mining, etc., and its utilization for context recognition, disambiguation, needs identification, etc.  Natural language and speech access, multimedia information, and the Internet give rise to new problems and solutions in FQAS.  Other important issues in FQAS include information access modes (such as querying and navigation, and answer presentation), human-computer interaction (including modalities and usability factors), and evaluation of FQAS.

Topics areas include the following, as listed with keywords for subtopics:

Knowledge Representation
Formalisms (description logics and algebra, etc.).
Terminological knowledge.
Ontologies: representation, engineering, fusion and merging.
Philosophical issues.
Reasoning, Problem Solving
Inductive, deductive, and abductive reasoning. Approximate reasoning.
Aggregation methods. Matching.
Generic tasks.  Classificatory problem solving.
Knowledge Extraction
Text categorization and classification.
Data and text mining. Discovery of association rules, semantic and causal relationships.
Data warehousing.
Semantic Models in FQAS
Semantics of similarity, association, matching, relevance, context, etc.
Data models in FQAS
Models of data, information, knowledge, and their meta.
Query Answering Models
Query expansion. Adaptive QA.
Context and disambiguation,
Ontology-based querying.
Evolutionary and genetic algorithms.
Speech, Natural Language QA
Speech recognition. NL queries. NL information bases. NL answers. Cross language querying and retrieval.
Information Base Access Techniques
Text and multimedia indexing. Enveloping for database access. Data structures.
Search algorithms.
Answer generation
Summary information.
Meta information.
Level of information.
Human-Computer Interaction
Information visualization, paradigms and models.  Man-machine interaction. User-system dialogues for needs identification.
Interaction modes.
Navigation in information spaces.
Information Access Agents
Adaptive and specialized information agents. Information retrieval and filtering agents. Robot and crawlers.
Search and metasearch engines.
Intra/extra net systems.
Privacy & security.
Multimedia Information
Content-based querying and retrieval.
Spatio-temporal information. Image processing. Multimedia data analysis.
Pattern recognition and matching in multimedia information access.
Application Domains
E-commerce, finance and banks, real estate, cars, classified, tourism, libraries, research, medicine, transportation, enterprises, government, defense, entertainment.
Digital libraries.
Geographical Information Systems.
Quality Measures in FQAS
Quality of information objects and answers.
Precision and recall.
User and needs satisfaction.
Quality assurance & evaluation methodology.
Visions for FQAS
FQAS in the globally connected world. Intelligent homes, cars, and work environments.
Trends in market, product, and research.
Interfaces, and human-computer interaction.
FQAS in year 2000 + x.