Learning to Ask the Right Questions to Help a Learner Learn


Gervasio, M., Yeh, E., & Myers, K. (2011, February). Learning to ask the right questions to help a learner learn. In Proceedings of the 16th international conference on Intelligent user interfaces (pp. 135-144).


Intelligent systems require substantial bodies of problem-solving knowledge. Machine learning techniques hold much appeal for acquiring such knowledge but typically require extensive amounts of user-supplied training data. Alternatively, informed question asking can supplement machine learning by directly eliciting critical knowledge from a user. Question asking can reduce the amount of training data required, and hence the burden on the user; furthermore, focused question asking holds significant promise for faster and more accurate acquisition of knowledge. In previous work, we developed static strategies for question asking that provide background knowledge for a base learner, enabling the learner to make useful generalizations even with few training examples. Here, we extend that work with a learning approach for automatically acquiring question-asking strategies that better accommodate the interdependent nature of questions. We present experiments validating the approach and showing its usefulness for acquiring efficient, context-dependent question-asking strategies.

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