A Wrong Answer or a Wrong Question? An Intricate Relationship between Question Reformulation and Answer Selection in Conversational Question Answering

Svitlana Vakulenko, Shayne Longpre, Zhucheng Tu, Raviteja Anantha


Abstract
The dependency between an adequate question formulation and correct answer selection is a very intriguing but still underexplored area. In this paper, we show that question rewriting (QR) of the conversational context allows to shed more light on this phenomenon and also use it to evaluate robustness of different answer selection approaches. We introduce a simple framework that enables an automated analysis of the conversational question answering (QA) performance using question rewrites, and present the results of this analysis on the TREC CAsT and QuAC (CANARD) datasets. Our experiments uncover sensitivity to question formulation of the popular state-of-the-art question answering approaches. Our results demonstrate that the reading comprehension model is insensitive to question formulation, while the passage ranking changes dramatically with a little variation in the input question. The benefit of QR is that it allows us to pinpoint and group such cases automatically. We show how to use this methodology to verify whether QA models are really learning the task or just finding shortcuts in the dataset, and better understand the frequent types of error they make.
Anthology ID:
2020.scai-1.2
Volume:
Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Search-Oriented Conversational AI (SCAI)
Month:
November
Year:
2020
Address:
Online
Venue:
scai
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
7–16
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.scai-1.2
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2020.scai-1.2
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Svitlana Vakulenko, Shayne Longpre, Zhucheng Tu, and Raviteja Anantha. 2020. A Wrong Answer or a Wrong Question? An Intricate Relationship between Question Reformulation and Answer Selection in Conversational Question Answering. In Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Search-Oriented Conversational AI (SCAI), pages 7–16, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
A Wrong Answer or a Wrong Question? An Intricate Relationship between Question Reformulation and Answer Selection in Conversational Question Answering (Vakulenko et al., scai 2020)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2020.scai-1.2.pdf
Video:
 https://slideslive.com/38940062
Code
 svakulenk0/QRQA
Data
CANARDMS MARCOQuAC