Learning Dense Representations of Phrases at Scale

Jinhyuk Lee, Mujeen Sung, Jaewoo Kang, Danqi Chen


Abstract
Open-domain question answering can be reformulated as a phrase retrieval problem, without the need for processing documents on-demand during inference (Seo et al., 2019). However, current phrase retrieval models heavily depend on sparse representations and still underperform retriever-reader approaches. In this work, we show for the first time that we can learn dense representations of phrases alone that achieve much stronger performance in open-domain QA. We present an effective method to learn phrase representations from the supervision of reading comprehension tasks, coupled with novel negative sampling methods. We also propose a query-side fine-tuning strategy, which can support transfer learning and reduce the discrepancy between training and inference. On five popular open-domain QA datasets, our model DensePhrases improves over previous phrase retrieval models by 15%-25% absolute accuracy and matches the performance of state-of-the-art retriever-reader models. Our model is easy to parallelize due to pure dense representations and processes more than 10 questions per second on CPUs. Finally, we directly use our pre-indexed dense phrase representations for two slot filling tasks, showing the promise of utilizing DensePhrases as a dense knowledge base for downstream tasks.
Anthology ID:
2021.acl-long.518
Volume:
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)
Month:
August
Year:
2021
Address:
Online
Venues:
ACL | IJCNLP
SIG:
Publisher:
Association for Computational Linguistics
Note:
Pages:
6634–6647
Language:
URL:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-long.518
DOI:
10.18653/v1/2021.acl-long.518
Bibkey:
Cite (ACL):
Jinhyuk Lee, Mujeen Sung, Jaewoo Kang, and Danqi Chen. 2021. Learning Dense Representations of Phrases at Scale. In Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers), pages 6634–6647, Online. Association for Computational Linguistics.
Cite (Informal):
Learning Dense Representations of Phrases at Scale (Lee et al., ACL 2021)
Copy Citation:
PDF:
https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-long.518.pdf
Video:
 https://aclanthology.org/2021.acl-long.518.mp4
Code
 jhyuklee/DensePhrases +  additional community code
Data
KILTNatural QuestionsSQuADT-RExWebQuestions