Efficient k-nearest neighbor search is a fundamental task, foundational for many problems in NLP. When the similarity is measured by dot-product between dual-encoder vectors or L2-distance, there already exist many scalable and efficient search methods. But not so when similarity is measured by more accurate and expensive black-box neural similarity models, such as cross-encoders, which jointly encode the query and candidate neighbor. The cross-encoders’ high computational cost typically limits their use to reranking candidates retrieved by a cheaper model, such as dual encoder or TF-IDF. However, the accuracy of such a two-stage approach is upper-bounded by the recall of the initial candidate set, and potentially requires additional training to align the auxiliary retrieval model with the cross-encoder model. In this paper, we present an approach that avoids the use of a dual-encoder for retrieval, relying solely on the cross-encoder. Retrieval is made efficient with CUR decomposition, a matrix decomposition approach that approximates all pairwise cross-encoder distances from a small subset of rows and columns of the distance matrix. Indexing items using our approach is computationally cheaper than training an auxiliary dual-encoder model through distillation. Empirically, for k > 10, our approach provides test-time recall-vs-computational cost trade-offs superior to the current widely-used methods that re-rank items retrieved using a dual-encoder or TF-IDF.
It is often challenging to solve a complex problem from scratch, but much easier if we can access other similar problems with their solutions — a paradigm known as case-based reasoning (CBR). We propose a neuro-symbolic CBR approach (CBR-KBQA) for question answering over large knowledge bases. CBR-KBQA consists of a nonparametric memory that stores cases (question and logical forms) and a parametric model that can generate a logical form for a new question by retrieving cases that are relevant to it. On several KBQA datasets that contain complex questions, CBR-KBQA achieves competitive performance. For example, on the CWQ dataset, CBR-KBQA outperforms the current state of the art by 11% on accuracy. Furthermore, we show that CBR-KBQA is capable of using new cases without any further training: by incorporating a few human-labeled examples in the case memory, CBR-KBQA is able to successfully generate logical forms containing unseen KB entities as well as relations.
Current commonsense reasoning research focuses on developing models that use commonsense knowledge to answer multiple-choice questions. However, systems designed to answer multiple-choice questions may not be useful in applications that do not provide a small list of candidate answers to choose from. As a step towards making commonsense reasoning research more realistic, we propose to study open-ended commonsense reasoning (OpenCSR) — the task of answering a commonsense question without any pre-defined choices — using as a resource only a corpus of commonsense facts written in natural language. OpenCSR is challenging due to a large decision space, and because many questions require implicit multi-hop reasoning. As an approach to OpenCSR, we propose DrFact, an efficient Differentiable model for multi-hop Reasoning over knowledge Facts. To evaluate OpenCSR methods, we adapt several popular commonsense reasoning benchmarks, and collect multiple new answers for each test question via crowd-sourcing. Experiments show that DrFact outperforms strong baseline methods by a large margin.
A case-based reasoning (CBR) system solves a new problem by retrieving ‘cases’ that are similar to the given problem. If such a system can achieve high accuracy, it is appealing owing to its simplicity, interpretability, and scalability. In this paper, we demonstrate that such a system is achievable for reasoning in knowledge-bases (KBs). Our approach predicts attributes for an entity by gathering reasoning paths from similar entities in the KB. Our probabilistic model estimates the likelihood that a path is effective at answering a query about the given entity. The parameters of our model can be efficiently computed using simple path statistics and require no iterative optimization. Our model is non-parametric, growing dynamically as new entities and relations are added to the KB. On several benchmark datasets our approach significantly outperforms other rule learning approaches and performs comparably to state-of-the-art embedding-based approaches. Furthermore, we demonstrate the effectiveness of our model in an “open-world” setting where new entities arrive in an online fashion, significantly outperforming state-of-the-art approaches and nearly matching the best offline method.
This paper describes our submission to the shared task on “Multi-hop Inference Explanation Regeneration” in TextGraphs workshop at EMNLP 2019 (Jansen and Ustalov, 2019). Our system identifies chains of facts relevant to explain an answer to an elementary science examination question. To counter the problem of ‘spurious chains’ leading to ‘semantic drifts’, we train a ranker that uses contextualized representation of facts to score its relevance for explaining an answer to a question. Our system was ranked first w.r.t the mean average precision (MAP) metric outperforming the second best system by 14.95 points.
Multi-hop question answering (QA) requires an information retrieval (IR) system that can find multiple supporting evidence needed to answer the question, making the retrieval process very challenging. This paper introduces an IR technique that uses information of entities present in the initially retrieved evidence to learn to ‘hop’ to other relevant evidence. In a setting, with more than 5 million Wikipedia paragraphs, our approach leads to significant boost in retrieval performance. The retrieved evidence also increased the performance of an existing QA model (without any training) on the benchmark by 10.59 F1.
Text classification is one of the most widely studied tasks in natural language processing. Motivated by the principle of compositionality, large multilayer neural network models have been employed for this task in an attempt to effectively utilize the constituent expressions. Almost all of the reported work train large networks using discriminative approaches, which come with a caveat of no proper capacity control, as they tend to latch on to any signal that may not generalize. Using various recent state-of-the-art approaches for text classification, we explore whether these models actually learn to compose the meaning of the sentences or still just focus on some keywords or lexicons for classifying the document. To test our hypothesis, we carefully construct datasets where the training and test splits have no direct overlap of such lexicons, but overall language structure would be similar. We study various text classifiers and observe that there is a big performance drop on these datasets. Finally, we show that even simple models with our proposed regularization techniques, which disincentivize focusing on key lexicons, can substantially improve classification accuracy.
Open Domain Question Answering (QA) is evolving from complex pipelined systems to end-to-end deep neural networks. Specialized neural models have been developed for extracting answers from either text alone or Knowledge Bases (KBs) alone. In this paper we look at a more practical setting, namely QA over the combination of a KB and entity-linked text, which is appropriate when an incomplete KB is available with a large text corpus. Building on recent advances in graph representation learning we propose a novel model, GRAFT-Net, for extracting answers from a question-specific subgraph containing text and KB entities and relations. We construct a suite of benchmark tasks for this problem, varying the difficulty of questions, the amount of training data, and KB completeness. We show that GRAFT-Net is competitive with the state-of-the-art when tested using either KBs or text alone, and vastly outperforms existing methods in the combined setting.
Existing question answering methods infer answers either from a knowledge base or from raw text. While knowledge base (KB) methods are good at answering compositional questions, their performance is often affected by the incompleteness of the KB. Au contraire, web text contains millions of facts that are absent in the KB, however in an unstructured form. Universal schema can support reasoning on the union of both structured KBs and unstructured text by aligning them in a common embedded space. In this paper we extend universal schema to natural language question answering, employing Memory networks to attend to the large body of facts in the combination of text and KB. Our models can be trained in an end-to-end fashion on question-answer pairs. Evaluation results on Spades fill-in-the-blank question answering dataset show that exploiting universal schema for question answering is better than using either a KB or text alone. This model also outperforms the current state-of-the-art by 8.5 F1 points.