Our goal, in the context of open-domain textual question-answering (QA), is to explain answers by showing the line of reasoning from what is known to the answer, rather than simply showing a fragment of textual evidence (a “rationale”). If this could be done, new opportunities for understanding and debugging the system’s reasoning become possible. Our approach is to generate explanations in the form of entailment trees, namely a tree of multipremise entailment steps from facts that are known, through intermediate conclusions, to the hypothesis of interest (namely the question + answer). To train a model with this skill, we created ENTAILMENTBANK, the first dataset to contain multistep entailment trees. Given a hypothesis (question + answer), we define three increasingly difficult explanation tasks: generate a valid entailment tree given (a) all relevant sentences (b) all relevant and some irrelevant sentences, or (c) a corpus. We show that a strong language model can partially solve these tasks, in particular when the relevant sentences are included in the input (e.g., 35% of trees for (a) are perfect), and with indications of generalization to other domains. This work is significant as it provides a new type of dataset (multistep entailments) and baselines, offering a new avenue for the community to generate richer, more systematic explanations.
Named entity recognition identifies common classes of entities in text, but these entity labels are generally sparse, limiting utility to downstream tasks. In this work we present ScienceExamCER, a densely-labeled semantic classification corpus of 133k mentions in the science exam domain where nearly all (96%) of content words have been annotated with one or more fine-grained semantic class labels including taxonomic groups, meronym groups, verb/action groups, properties and values, and synonyms. Semantic class labels are drawn from a manually-constructed fine-grained typology of 601 classes generated through a data-driven analysis of 4,239 science exam questions. We show an off-the-shelf BERT-based named entity recognition model modified for multi-label classification achieves an accuracy of 0.85 F1 on this task, suggesting strong utility for downstream tasks in science domain question answering requiring densely-labeled semantic classification.