Answering complex questions is a time-consuming activity for humans that requires reasoning and integration of information. Recent work on reading comprehension made headway in answering simple questions, but tackling complex questions is still an ongoing research challenge. Conversely, semantic parsers have been successful at handling compositionality, but only when the information resides in a target knowledge-base. In this paper, we present a novel framework for answering broad and complex questions, assuming answering simple questions is possible using a search engine and a reading comprehension model. We propose to decompose complex questions into a sequence of simple questions, and compute the final answer from the sequence of answers. To illustrate the viability of our approach, we create a new dataset of complex questions, ComplexWebQuestions, and present a model that decomposes questions and interacts with the web to compute an answer. We empirically demonstrate that question decomposition improves performance from 20.8 precision@1 to 27.5 precision@1 on this new dataset.
We introduce GQA, a new dataset for real-world visual reasoning and compositional question answering, seeking to address key shortcomings of previous VQA datasets. We have developed a strong and robust question engine that leverages scene graph structures to create 22M diverse reasoning questions, all come with functional programs that represent their semantics. We use the programs to gain tight control over the answer distribution and present a new tunable smoothing technique to mitigate question biases. Accompanying the dataset is a suite of new metrics that evaluate essential qualities such as consistency, grounding and plausibility. An extensive analysis is performed for baselines as well as state-of-the-art models, providing fine-grained results for different question types and topologies. Whereas a blind LSTM obtains mere 42.1%, and strong VQA models achieve 54.1%, human performance tops at 89.3%, offering ample opportunity for new research to explore. We strongly hope GQA will provide an enabling resource for the next generation of models with enhanced robustness, improved consistency, and deeper semantic understanding for images and language.
Question Answering (QA) systems provide easy access to the vast amount of knowledge without having to know the underlying complex structure of the knowledge. The research community has provided ad hoc solutions to the key QA tasks, including named entity recognition and disambiguation, relation extraction and query building. Furthermore, some have integrated and composed these components to implement many tasks automatically and efficiently. However, in general, the existing solutions are limited to simple and short questions and still do not address complex questions composed of several sub-questions. Exploiting the answer to complex questions is further challenged if it requires integrating knowledge from unstructured data sources, i.e., textual corpus, as well as structured data sources, i.e., knowledge graphs. In this paper, an approach (HCqa) is introduced for dealing with complex questions requiring federating knowledge from a hybrid of heterogeneous data sources (structured and unstructured). We contribute in developing (i) a decomposition mechanism which extracts sub-questions from potentially long and complex input questions, (ii) a novel comprehensive schema, first of its kind, for extracting and annotating relations, and (iii) an approach for executing and aggregating the answers of sub-questions. The evaluation of HCqa showed a superior accuracy in the fundamental tasks, such as relation extraction, as well as the federation task.
Visual question answering (VQA) demands simultaneous comprehension of both the image visual content and natural language questions. In some cases, the reasoning needs the help of common sense or general knowledge which usually appear in the form of text. Current methods jointly embed both the visual information and the textual feature into the same space. However, how to model the complex interactions between the two different modalities is not an easy task. In contrast to struggling on multimodal feature fusion, in this paper, we propose to unify all the input information by natural language so as to convert VQA into a machine reading comprehension problem. With this transformation, our method not only can tackle VQA datasets that focus on observation based questions, but can also be naturally extended to handle knowledge-based VQA which requires to explore large-scale external knowledge base. It is a step towards being able to exploit large volumes of text and natural language processing techniques to address VQA problem. Two types of models are proposed to deal with open-ended VQA and multiple-choice VQA respectively. We evaluate our models on three VQA benchmarks. The comparable performance with the state-of-the-art demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed method.
Although neural network approaches achieve remarkable success on a variety of NLP tasks, many of them struggle to answer questions that require commonsense knowledge. We believe the main reason is the lack of commonsense connections between concepts. To remedy this, we provide a simple and effective method that leverages external commonsense knowledge base such as ConceptNet. We pre-train direct and indirect relational functions between concepts, and show that these pre-trained functions could be easily added to existing neural network models. Results show that incorporating commonsense-based function improves the state-of-the-art on two question answering tasks that require commonsense reasoning. Further analysis shows that our system discovers and leverages useful evidences from an external commonsense knowledge base, which is missing in existing neural network models and help derive the correct answer.
Existing question answering (QA) datasets fail to train QA systems to perform complex reasoning and provide explanations for answers. We introduce HotpotQA, a new dataset with 113k Wikipedia-based question-answer pairs with four key features: (1) the questions require finding and reasoning over multiple supporting documents to answer; (2) the questions are diverse and not constrained to any pre-existing knowledge bases or knowledge schemas; (3) we provide sentence-level supporting facts required for reasoning, allowing QA systems to reason with strong supervision and explain the predictions; (4) we offer a new type of factoid comparison questions to test QA systems' ability to extract relevant facts and perform necessary comparison. We show that HotpotQA is challenging for the latest QA systems, and the supporting facts enable models to improve performance and make explainable predictions.
Machine reading comprehension (MRC) requires reasoning about both the knowledge involved in a document and knowledge about the world. However, existing datasets are typically dominated by questions that can be well solved by context matching, which fail to test this capability. To encourage the progress on knowledge-based reasoning in MRC, we present knowledge-based MRC in this paper, and build a new dataset consisting of 40,047 question-answer pairs. The annotation of this dataset is designed so that successfully answering the questions requires understanding and the knowledge involved in a document. We implement a framework consisting of both a question answering model and a question generation model, both of which take the knowledge extracted from the document as well as relevant facts from an external knowledge base such as Freebase/ProBase/Reverb/NELL. Results show that incorporating side information from external KB improves the accuracy of the baseline question answer system. We compare it with a standard MRC model BiDAF, and also provide the difficulty of the dataset and lay out remaining challenges.
Over the past years, there has been a resurgence of Datalog-based systems in the database community as well as in industry. In this context, it has been recognized that to handle the complex knowl\-edge-based scenarios encountered today, such as reasoning over large knowledge graphs, Datalog has to be extended with features such as existential quantification. Yet, Datalog-based reasoning in the presence of existential quantification is in general undecidable. Many efforts have been made to define decidable fragments. Warded Datalog+/- is a very promising one, as it captures PTIME complexity while allowing ontological reasoning. Yet so far, no implementation of Warded Datalog+/- was available. In this paper we present the Vadalog system, a Datalog-based system for performing complex logic reasoning tasks, such as those required in advanced knowledge graphs. The Vadalog system is Oxford's contribution to the VADA research programme, a joint effort of the universities of Oxford, Manchester and Edinburgh and around 20 industrial partners. As the main contribution of this paper, we illustrate the first implementation of Warded Datalog+/-, a high-performance Datalog+/- system utilizing an aggressive termination control strategy. We also provide a comprehensive experimental evaluation.
Relation detection plays a crucial role in Knowledge Base Question Answering (KBQA) because of the high variance of relation expression in the question. Traditional deep learning methods follow an encoding-comparing paradigm, where the question and the candidate relation are represented as vectors to compare their semantic similarity. Max- or average- pooling operation, which compresses the sequence of words into fixed-dimensional vectors, becomes the bottleneck of information. In this paper, we propose to learn attention-based word-level interactions between questions and relations to alleviate the bottleneck issue. Similar to the traditional models, the question and relation are firstly represented as sequences of vectors. Then, instead of merging the sequence into a single vector with pooling operation, soft alignments between words from the question and the relation are learned. The aligned words are subsequently compared with the convolutional neural network (CNN) and the comparison results are merged finally. Through performing the comparison on low-level representations, the attention-based word-level interaction model (ABWIM) relieves the information loss issue caused by merging the sequence into a fixed-dimensional vector before the comparison. The experimental results of relation detection on both SimpleQuestions and WebQuestions datasets show that ABWIM achieves state-of-the-art accuracy, demonstrating its effectiveness.
In order to answer natural language questions over knowledge graphs, most processing pipelines involve entity and relation linking. Traditionally, entity linking and relation linking has been performed either as dependent sequential tasks or independent parallel tasks. In this paper, we propose a framework called "EARL", which performs entity linking and relation linking as a joint single task. EARL uses a graph connection based solution to the problem. We model the linking task as an instance of the Generalised Travelling Salesman Problem (GTSP) and use GTSP approximate algorithm solutions. We later develop EARL which uses a pair-wise graph-distance based solution to the problem.The system determines the best semantic connection between all keywords of the question by referring to a knowledge graph. This is achieved by exploiting the "connection density" between entity candidates and relation candidates. The "connection density" based solution performs at par with the approximate GTSP solution.We have empirically evaluated the framework on a dataset with 5000 questions. Our system surpasses state-of-the-art scores for entity linking task by reporting an accuracy of 0.65 to 0.40 from the next best entity linker.
We introduce the first system towards the novel task of answering complex multisentence recommendation questions in the tourism domain. Our solution uses a pipeline of two modules: question understanding and answering. For question understanding, we define an SQL-like query language that captures the semantic intent of a question; it supports operators like subset, negation, preference and similarity, which are often found in recommendation questions. We train and compare traditional CRFs as well as bidirectional LSTM-based models for converting a question to its semantic representation. We extend these models to a semisupervised setting with partially labeled sequences gathered through crowdsourcing. We find that our best model performs semi-supervised training of BiDiLSTM+CRF with hand-designed features and CCM(Chang et al., 2007) constraints. Finally, in an end to end QA system, our answering component converts our question representation into queries fired on underlying knowledge sources. Our experiments on two different answer corpora demonstrate that our system can significantly outperform baselines with up to 20 pt higher accuracy and 17 pt higher recall.