Pre-trained sequence-to-sequence language models have led to widespread success in many natural language generation tasks. However, there has been relatively less work on analyzing their ability to generate structured outputs such as graphs. Unlike natural language, graphs have distinct structural and semantic properties in the context of a downstream NLP task, e.g., generating a graph that is connected and acyclic can be attributed to its structural constraints, while the semantics of a graph can refer to how meaningfully an edge represents the relation between two node concepts. In this work, we study pre-trained language models that generate explanation graphs in an end-to-end manner and analyze their ability to learn the structural constraints and semantics of such graphs. We first show that with limited supervision, pre-trained language models often generate graphs that either violate these constraints or are semantically incoherent. Since curating large amount of human-annotated graphs is expensive and tedious, we propose simple yet effective ways of graph perturbations via node and edge edit operations that lead to structurally and semantically positive and negative graphs. Next, we leverage these graphs in different contrastive learning models with Max-Margin and InfoNCE losses. Our methods lead to significant improvements in both structural and semantic accuracy of explanation graphs and also generalize to other similar graph generation tasks. Lastly, we show that human errors are the best negatives for contrastive learning and also that automatically generating more such human-like negative graphs can lead to further improvements.

Recent commonsense-reasoning tasks are typically discriminative in nature, where a model answers a multiple-choice question for a certain context. Discriminative tasks are limiting because they fail to adequately evaluate the model’s ability to reason and explain predictions with underlying commonsense knowledge. They also allow such models to use reasoning shortcuts and not be “right for the right reasons”. In this work, we present ExplaGraphs, a new generative and structured commonsense-reasoning task (and an associated dataset) of explanation graph generation for stance prediction. Specifically, given a belief and an argument, a model has to predict if the argument supports or counters the belief and also generate a commonsense-augmented graph that serves as non-trivial, complete, and unambiguous explanation for the predicted stance. We collect explanation graphs through a novel Create-Verify-And-Refine graph collection framework that improves the graph quality (up to 90%) via multiple rounds of verification and refinement. A significant 79% of our graphs contain external commonsense nodes with diverse structures and reasoning depths. Next, we propose a multi-level evaluation framework, consisting of automatic metrics and human evaluation, that check for the structural and semantic correctness of the generated graphs and their degree of match with ground-truth graphs. Finally, we present several structured, commonsense-augmented, and text generation models as strong starting points for this explanation graph generation task, and observe that there is a large gap with human performance, thereby encouraging future work for this new challenging task.

We focus on a type of linguistic formal reasoning where the goal is to reason over explicit knowledge in the form of natural language facts and rules (Clark et al., 2020). A recent work, named PRover (Saha et al., 2020), performs such reasoning by answering a question and also generating a proof graph that explains the answer. However, compositional reasoning is not always unique and there may be multiple ways of reaching the correct answer. Thus, in our work, we address a new and challenging problem of generating multiple proof graphs for reasoning over natural language rule-bases. Each proof provides a different rationale for the answer, thereby improving the interpretability of such reasoning systems. In order to jointly learn from all proof graphs and exploit the correlations between multiple proofs for a question, we pose this task as a set generation problem over structured output spaces where each proof is represented as a directed graph. We propose two variants of a proof-set generation model, multiPRover. Our first model, Multilabel-multiPRover, generates a set of proofs via multi-label classification and implicit conditioning between the proofs; while the second model, Iterative-multiPRover, generates proofs iteratively by explicitly conditioning on the previously generated proofs. Experiments on multiple synthetic, zero-shot, and human-paraphrased datasets reveal that both multiPRover models significantly outperform PRover on datasets containing multiple gold proofs. Iterative-multiPRover obtains state-of-the-art proof F1 in zero-shot scenarios where all examples have single correct proofs. It also generalizes better to questions requiring higher depths of reasoning where multiple proofs are more frequent.

Word embeddings have been widely adopted across several NLP applications. Most existing word embedding methods utilize sequential context of a word to learn its embedding. While there have been some attempts at utilizing syntactic context of a word, such methods result in an explosion of the vocabulary size. In this paper, we overcome this problem by proposing SynGCN, a flexible Graph Convolution based method for learning word embeddings. SynGCN utilizes the dependency context of a word without increasing the vocabulary size. Word embeddings learned by SynGCN outperform existing methods on various intrinsic and extrinsic tasks and provide an advantage when used with ELMo. We also propose SemGCN, an effective framework for incorporating diverse semantic knowledge for further enhancing learned word representations. We make the source code of both models available to encourage reproducible research.