An empirical analysis of existing systems and datasets toward general simple question answering
Namgi Han | Goran Topic | Hiroshi Noji | Hiroya Takamura | Yusuke Miyao
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics
In this paper, we evaluate the progress of our field toward solving simple factoid questions over a knowledge base, a practically important problem in natural language interface to database. As in other natural language understanding tasks, a common practice for this task is to train and evaluate a model on a single dataset, and recent studies suggest that SimpleQuestions, the most popular and largest dataset, is nearly solved under this setting. However, this common setting does not evaluate the robustness of the systems outside of the distribution of the used training data. We rigorously evaluate such robustness of existing systems using different datasets. Our analysis, including shifting of training and test datasets and training on a union of the datasets, suggests that our progress in solving SimpleQuestions dataset does not indicate the success of more general simple question answering. We discuss a possible future direction toward this goal.
Many researchers have tried to predict the accuracies of extrinsic evaluation by using intrinsic evaluation to evaluate word embedding. The relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic evaluation, however, has only been studied with simple correlation analysis, which has difficulty capturing complex cause-effect relationships and integrating external factors such as the hyperparameters of word embedding. To tackle this problem, we employ partial least squares path modeling (PLS-PM), a method of structural equation modeling developed for causal analysis. We propose a causal diagram consisting of the evaluation results on the BATS, VecEval, and SentEval datasets, with a causal hypothesis that linguistic knowledge encoded in word embedding contributes to solving downstream tasks. Our PLS-PM models are estimated with 600 word embeddings, and we prove the existence of causal relations between linguistic knowledge evaluated on BATS and the accuracies of downstream tasks evaluated on VecEval and SentEval in our PLS-PM models. Moreover, we show that the PLS-PM models are useful for analyzing the effect of hyperparameters, including the training algorithm, corpus, dimension, and context window, and for validating the effectiveness of intrinsic evaluation.