Sebastian Thiem


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WorldTree V2: A Corpus of Science-Domain Structured Explanations and Inference Patterns supporting Multi-Hop Inference
Zhengnan Xie | Sebastian Thiem | Jaycie Martin | Elizabeth Wainwright | Steven Marmorstein | Peter Jansen
Proceedings of the Twelfth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Explainable question answering for complex questions often requires combining large numbers of facts to answer a question while providing a human-readable explanation for the answer, a process known as multi-hop inference. Standardized science questions require combining an average of 6 facts, and as many as 16 facts, in order to answer and explain, but most existing datasets for multi-hop reasoning focus on combining only two facts, significantly limiting the ability of multi-hop inference algorithms to learn to generate large inferences. In this work we present the second iteration of the WorldTree project, a corpus of 5,114 standardized science exam questions paired with large detailed multi-fact explanations that combine core scientific knowledge and world knowledge. Each explanation is represented as a lexically-connected “explanation graph” that combines an average of 6 facts drawn from a semi-structured knowledge base of 9,216 facts across 66 tables. We use this explanation corpus to author a set of 344 high-level science domain inference patterns similar to semantic frames supporting multi-hop inference. Together, these resources provide training data and instrumentation for developing many-fact multi-hop inference models for question answering.


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Extracting Common Inference Patterns from Semi-Structured Explanations
Sebastian Thiem | Peter Jansen
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Commonsense Inference in Natural Language Processing

Complex questions often require combining multiple facts to correctly answer, particularly when generating detailed explanations for why those answers are correct. Combining multiple facts to answer questions is often modeled as a “multi-hop” graph traversal problem, where a given solver must find a series of interconnected facts in a knowledge graph that, taken together, answer the question and explain the reasoning behind that answer. Multi-hop inference currently suffers from semantic drift, or the tendency for chains of reasoning to “drift”’ to unrelated topics, and this semantic drift greatly limits the number of facts that can be combined in both free text or knowledge base inference. In this work we present our effort to mitigate semantic drift by extracting large high-confidence multi-hop inference patterns, generated by abstracting large-scale explanatory structure from a corpus of detailed explanations. We represent these inference patterns as sets of generalized constraints over sentences represented as rows in a knowledge base of semi-structured tables. We present a prototype tool for identifying common inference patterns from corpora of semi-structured explanations, and use it to successfully extract 67 inference patterns from a “matter” subset of standardized elementary science exam questions that span scientific and world knowledge.