Gianni Barlacchi


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From Rewriting to Remembering: Common Ground for Conversational QA Models
Marco Del Tredici | Xiaoyu Shen | Gianni Barlacchi | Bill Byrne | Adrià de Gispert
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on NLP for Conversational AI

In conversational QA, models have to leverage information in previous turns to answer upcoming questions. Current approaches, such as Question Rewriting, struggle to extract relevant information as the conversation unwinds. We introduce the Common Ground (CG), an approach to accumulate conversational information as it emerges and select the relevant information at every turn. We show that CG offers a more efficient and human-like way to exploit conversational information compared to existing approaches, leading to improvements on Open Domain Conversational QA.

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Product Answer Generation from Heterogeneous Sources: A New Benchmark and Best Practices
Xiaoyu Shen | Gianni Barlacchi | Marco Del Tredici | Weiwei Cheng | Bill Byrne | Adrià Gispert
Proceedings of The Fifth Workshop on e-Commerce and NLP (ECNLP 5)

It is of great value to answer product questions based on heterogeneous information sources available on web product pages, e.g., semi-structured attributes, text descriptions, user-provided contents, etc. However, these sources have different structures and writing styles, which poses challenges for (1) evidence ranking, (2) source selection, and (3) answer generation. In this paper, we build a benchmark with annotations for both evidence selection and answer generation covering 6 information sources. Based on this benchmark, we conduct a comprehensive study and present a set of best practices. We show that all sources are important and contribute to answering questions. Handling all sources within one single model can produce comparable confidence scores across sources and combining multiple sources for training always helps, even for sources with totally different structures. We further propose a novel data augmentation method to iteratively create training samples for answer generation, which achieves close-to-human performance with only a few thousandannotations. Finally, we perform an in-depth error analysis of model predictions and highlight the challenges for future research.

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semiPQA: A Study on Product Question Answering over Semi-structured Data
Xiaoyu Shen | Gianni Barlacchi | Marco Del Tredici | Weiwei Cheng | Adrià Gispert
Proceedings of The Fifth Workshop on e-Commerce and NLP (ECNLP 5)

Product question answering (PQA) aims to automatically address customer questions to improve their online shopping experience. Current research mainly focuses on finding answers from either unstructured text, like product descriptions and user reviews, or structured knowledge bases with pre-defined schemas. Apart from the above two sources, a lot of product information is represented in a semi-structured way, e.g., key-value pairs, lists, tables, json and xml files, etc. These semi-structured data can be a valuable answer source since they are better organized than free text, while being easier to construct than structured knowledge bases. However, little attention has been paid to them. To fill in this blank, here we study how to effectively incorporate semi-structured answer sources for PQA and focus on presenting answers in a natural, fluent sentence. To this end, we present semiPQA: a dataset to benchmark PQA over semi-structured data. It contains 11,243 written questions about json-formatted data covering 320 unique attribute types. Each data point is paired with manually-annotated text that describes its contents, so that we can train a neural answer presenter to present the data in a natural way. We provide baseline results and a deep analysis on the successes and challenges of leveraging semi-structured data for PQA. In general, state-of-the-art neural models can perform remarkably well when dealing with seen attribute types. For unseen attribute types, however, a noticeable drop is observed for both answer presentation and attribute ranking.


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LiMoSINe Pipeline: Multilingual UIMA-based NLP Platform
Olga Uryupina | Barbara Plank | Gianni Barlacchi | Francisco J. Valverde Albacete | Manos Tsagkias | Antonio Uva | Alessandro Moschitti
Proceedings of ACL-2016 System Demonstrations


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Distributional Neural Networks for Automatic Resolution of Crossword Puzzles
Aliaksei Severyn | Massimo Nicosia | Gianni Barlacchi | Alessandro Moschitti
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

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SACRY: Syntax-based Automatic Crossword puzzle Resolution sYstem
Alessandro Moschitti | Massimo Nicosia | Gianni Barlacchi
Proceedings of ACL-IJCNLP 2015 System Demonstrations


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Learning to Rank Answer Candidates for Automatic Resolution of Crossword Puzzles
Gianni Barlacchi | Massimo Nicosia | Alessandro Moschitti
Proceedings of the Eighteenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning