Birds have four legs?! NumerSense: Probing Numerical Commonsense Knowledge of Pre-Trained Language Models

Bill Yuchen Lin, Seyeon Lee, Rahul Khanna, Xiang Ren


Abstract
Recent works show that pre-trained language models (PTLMs), such as BERT, possess certain commonsense and factual knowledge. They suggest that it is promising to use PTLMs as “neural knowledge bases” via predicting masked words. Surprisingly, we find that this may not work for numerical commonsense knowledge (e.g., a bird usually has two legs). In this paper, we investigate whether and to what extent we can induce numerical commonsense knowledge from PTLMs as well as the robustness of this process. In this paper, we investigate whether and to what extent we can induce numerical commonsense knowledge from PTLMs as well as the robustness of this process. To study this, we introduce a novel probing task with a diagnostic dataset, NumerSense, containing 13.6k masked-word-prediction probes (10.5k for fine-tuning and 3.1k for testing). Our analysis reveals that: (1) BERT and its stronger variant RoBERTa perform poorly on the diagnostic dataset prior to any fine-tuning; (2) fine-tuning with distant supervision brings some improvement; (3) the best supervised model still performs poorly as compared to human performance (54.06% vs. 96.3% in accuracy).
Anthology ID:
2020.emnlp-main.557
Volume:
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)
Month:
November
Year:
2020
Address:
Online
Venue:
EMNLP
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
6862–6868
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.emnlp-main.557
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2020.emnlp-main.557
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Bill Yuchen Lin, Seyeon Lee, Rahul Khanna, and Xiang Ren. 2020. Birds have four legs?! NumerSense: Probing Numerical Commonsense Knowledge of Pre-Trained Language Models. In Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP), pages 6862–6868, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Birds have four legs?! NumerSense: Probing Numerical Commonsense Knowledge of Pre-Trained Language Models (Lin et al., EMNLP 2020)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.emnlp-main.557.pdf
Video:
 https://slideslive.com/38939307
Data
NumerSenseConceptNetDROPGenericsKBNatural Questions