Detection of Imperative and Declarative Question-Answer Pairs in Email Conversations

Question-answer pairs extracted from email threads can help construct summaries of the thread, as well as inform semantic-based assistance with email. Previous work dedicated to email threads extracts only questions in interrogative form. We extend the scope of question and answer detection and pairing to encompass also questions in imperative and declarative forms, and to operate at sentence-level fidelity. Building on prior work, our methods are based on learned models over a set of features that include the content, context, and structure of email threads. For two large email corpora, we show that our methods balance precision and recall in extracting question-answer pairs, while maintaining a modest computation time.

Helen Kwong, Neil Yorke-Smith