Explainable question answering (XQA) aims to answer a given question and provide an explanation why the answer is selected. Existing XQA methods focus on reasoning on a single knowledge source, e.g., structured knowledge bases, unstructured corpora, etc. However, integrating information from heterogeneous knowledge sources is essential to answer complex questions. In this paper, we propose to leverage question decomposing for heterogeneous knowledge integration, by breaking down a complex question into simpler ones, and selecting the appropriate knowledge source for each sub-question. To facilitate reasoning, we propose a novel two-stage XQA framework, Reasoning over Hierarchical Question Decomposition Tree (RoHT). First, we build the Hierarchical Question Decomposition Tree (HQDT) to understand the semantics of a complex question; then, we conduct probabilistic reasoning over HQDT from root to leaves recursively, to aggregate heterogeneous knowledge at different tree levels and search for a best solution considering the decomposing and answering probabilities. The experiments on complex QA datasets KQA Pro and Musique show that our framework outperforms SOTA methods significantly, demonstrating the effectiveness of leveraging question decomposing for knowledge integration and our RoHT framework.
Current pre-trained language models (PLM) are typically trained with static data, ignoring that in real-world scenarios, streaming data of various sources may continuously grow. This requires PLMs to integrate the information from all the sources in a lifelong manner. Although this goal could be achieved by exhaustive pre-training on all the existing data, such a process is known to be computationally expensive. To this end, we propose ELLE, aiming at efficient lifelong pre-training for emerging data. Specifically, ELLE consists of (1) function preserved model expansion, which flexibly expands an existing PLM’s width and depth to improve the efficiency of knowledge acquisition; and (2) pre-trained domain prompts, which disentangle the versatile knowledge learned during pre-training and stimulate the proper knowledge for downstream tasks. We experiment ELLE with streaming data from 5 domains on BERT and GPT. The results show the superiority of ELLE over various lifelong learning baselines in both pre-training efficiency and downstream performances. The codes are publicly available at https://github.com/thunlp/ELLE.
Recent explorations of large-scale pre-trained language models (PLMs) have revealed the power of PLMs with huge amounts of parameters, setting off a wave of training ever-larger PLMs. However, it requires tremendous computational resources to train a large-scale PLM, which may be practically unaffordable. In addition, existing large-scale PLMs are mainly trained from scratch individually, ignoring that many well-trained PLMs are available. To this end, we explore the question how could existing PLMs benefit training large-scale PLMs in future. Specifically, we introduce a pre-training framework named “knowledge inheritance” (KI) and explore how could knowledge distillation serve as auxiliary supervision during pre-training to efficiently learn larger PLMs. Experimental results demonstrate the superiority of KI in training efficiency. We also conduct empirical analyses to explore the effects of teacher PLMs’ pre-training settings, including model architecture, pre-training data, etc. Finally, we show that KI could be applied to domain adaptation and knowledge transfer.