Each year the International Semantic Web Conference accepts a set of Semantic Web Challenges to establish competitions that will advance the state of the art solutions in any given problem domain. The SeMantic AnsweR Type prediction task (SMART) was part of ISWC 2020 challenges. Question type and answer type prediction can play a key role in knowledge base question answering systems providing insights that are helpful to generate correct queries or rank the answer candidates. More concretely, given a question in natural language, the task of SMART challenge is, to predict the answer type using a target ontology (e.g., DBpedia or Wikidata).

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Collecting supporting evidence from large corpora of text (e.g., Wikipedia) is of great challenge for open-domain Question Answering (QA). Especially, for multi-hop open-domain QA, scattered evidence pieces are required to be gathered together to support the answer extraction. In this paper, we propose a new retrieval target, hop, to collect the hidden reasoning evidence from Wikipedia for complex question answering. Specifically, the hop in this paper is defined as the combination of a hyperlink and the corresponding outbound link document. The hyperlink is encoded as the mention embedding which models the structured knowledge of how the outbound link entity is mentioned in the textual context, and the corresponding outbound link document is encoded as the document embedding representing the unstructured knowledge within it. Accordingly, we build HopRetriever which retrieves hops over Wikipedia to answer complex questions. Experiments on the HotpotQA dataset demonstrate that HopRetriever outperforms previously published evidence retrieval methods by large margins. Moreover, our approach also yields quantifiable interpretations of the evidence collection process.

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In relation extraction for knowledge-based question answering, searching from one entity to another entity via a single relation is called "one hop". In related work, an exhaustive search from all one-hop relations, two-hop relations, and so on to the max-hop relations in the knowledge graph is necessary but expensive. Therefore, the number of hops is generally restricted to two or three. In this paper, we propose UHop, an unrestricted-hop framework which relaxes this restriction by use of a transition-based search framework to replace the relation-chain-based search one. We conduct experiments on conventional 1- and 2-hop questions as well as lengthy questions, including datasets such as WebQSP, PathQuestion, and Grid World. Results show that the proposed framework enables the ability to halt, works well with state-of-the-art models, achieves competitive performance without exhaustive searches, and opens the performance gap for long relation paths.

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Many question answering systems over knowledge graphs rely on entity and relation linking components in order to connect the natural language input to the underlying knowledge graph. Traditionally, entity linking and relation linking have been performed either as dependent sequential tasks or as independent parallel tasks. In this paper, we propose a framework called EARL, which performs entity linking and relation linking as a joint task. EARL implements two different solution strategies for which we provide a comparative analysis in this paper: The first strategy is a formalisation of the joint entity and relation linking tasks as an instance of the Generalised Travelling Salesman Problem (GTSP). In order to be computationally feasible, we employ approximate GTSP solvers. The second strategy uses machine learning in order to exploit the connection density between nodes in the knowledge graph. It relies on three base features and re-ranking steps in order to predict entities and relations. We compare the strategies and evaluate them on a dataset with 5000 questions. Both strategies significantly outperform the current state-of-the-art approaches for entity and relation linking.

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In this paper, we analyze several neural network designs (and their variations) for sentence pair modeling and compare their performance extensively across eight datasets, including paraphrase identification, semantic textual similarity, natural language inference, and question answering tasks. Although most of these models have claimed state-of-the-art performance, the original papers often reported on only one or two selected datasets. We provide a systematic study and show that (i) encoding contextual information by LSTM and inter-sentence interactions are critical, (ii) Tree-LSTM does not help as much as previously claimed but surprisingly improves performance on Twitter datasets, (iii) the Enhanced Sequential Inference Model is the best so far for larger datasets, while the Pairwise Word Interaction Model achieves the best performance when less data is available. We release our implementations as an open-source toolkit.

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Recently, Visual Question Answering (VQA) has emerged as one of the most significant tasks in multimodal learning as it requires understanding both visual and textual modalities. Existing methods mainly rely on extracting image and question features to learn their joint feature embedding via multimodal fusion or attention mechanism. Some recent studies utilize external VQA-independent models to detect candidate entities or attributes in images, which serve as semantic knowledge complementary to the VQA task. However, these candidate entities or attributes might be unrelated to the VQA task and have limited semantic capacities. To better utilize semantic knowledge in images, we propose a novel framework to learn visual relation facts for VQA. Specifically, we build up a Relation-VQA (R-VQA) dataset based on the Visual Genome dataset via a semantic similarity module, in which each data consists of an image, a corresponding question, a correct answer and a supporting relation fact. A well-defined relation detector is then adopted to predict visual question-related relation facts. We further propose a multi-step attention model composed of visual attention and semantic attention sequentially to extract related visual knowledge and semantic knowledge. We conduct comprehensive experiments on the two benchmark datasets, demonstrating that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance and verifying the benefit of considering visual relation facts.

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Recent success of deep learning models for the task of extractive Question Answering (QA) is hinged on the availability of large annotated corpora. However, large domain specific annotated corpora are limited and expensive to construct. In this work, we envision a system where the end user specifies a set of base documents and only a few labelled examples. Our system exploits the document structure to create cloze-style questions from these base documents; pre-trains a powerful neural network on the cloze style questions; and further fine-tunes the model on the labeled examples. We evaluate our proposed system across three diverse datasets from different domains, and find it to be highly effective with very little labeled data. We attain more than 50% F1 score on SQuAD and TriviaQA with less than a thousand labelled examples. We are also releasing a set of 3.2M cloze-style questions for practitioners to use while building QA systems.

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Many vision and language tasks require commonsense reasoning beyond data-driven image and natural language processing. Here we adopt Visual Question Answering (VQA) as an example task, where a system is expected to answer a question in natural language about an image. Current state-of-the-art systems attempted to solve the task using deep neural architectures and achieved promising performance. However, the resulting systems are generally opaque and they struggle in understanding questions for which extra knowledge is required. In this paper, we present an explicit reasoning layer on top of a set of penultimate neural network based systems. The reasoning layer enables reasoning and answering questions where additional knowledge is required, and at the same time provides an interpretable interface to the end users. Specifically, the reasoning layer adopts a Probabilistic Soft Logic (PSL) based engine to reason over a basket of inputs: visual relations, the semantic parse of the question, and background ontological knowledge from word2vec and ConceptNet. Experimental analysis of the answers and the key evidential predicates generated on the VQA dataset validate our approach.

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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.

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Multi-relation Question Answering is a challenging task, due to the requirement of elaborated analysis on questions and reasoning over multiple fact triples in knowledge base. In this paper, we present a novel model called Interpretable Reasoning Network that employs an interpretable, hop-by-hop reasoning process for question answering. The model dynamically decides which part of an input question should be analyzed at each hop; predicts a relation that corresponds to the current parsed results; utilizes the predicted relation to update the question representation and the state of the reasoning process; and then drives the next-hop reasoning. Experiments show that our model yields state-of-the-art results on two datasets. More interestingly, the model can offer traceable and observable intermediate predictions for reasoning analysis and failure diagnosis.

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A large number of machine translation approaches have been developed recently with the aim of migrating content easily across languages. However, the literature suggests that many obstacles must be dealt with to achieve better automatic translations. A central issue that machine translation systems must handle is ambiguity. A promising way of overcoming this problem is using semantic web technologies. This article presents the results of a systematic review of approaches that rely on semantic web technologies within machine translation approaches for translating texts. Overall, our survey suggests that while semantic web technologies can enhance the quality of machine translation outputs for various problems, the combination of both is still in its infancy.

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