Recent advances in NLP and information retrieval have given rise to a diverse set of question answering tasks that are of different formats (e.g., extractive, abstractive), require different model architectures (e.g., generative, discriminative), and setups (e.g., with or without retrieval). Despite having a large number of powerful, specialized QA pipelines (which we refer to as Skills) that consider a single domain, model or setup, there exists no framework where users can easily explore and compare such pipelines and can extend them according to their needs. To address this issue, we present UKP-SQuARE, an extensible online QA platform for researchers which allows users to query and analyze a large collection of modern Skills via a user-friendly web interface and integrated behavioural tests. In addition, QA researchers can develop, manage, and share their custom Skills using our microservices that support a wide range of models (Transformers, Adapters, ONNX), datastores and retrieval techniques (e.g., sparse and dense). UKP-SQuARE is available on https://square.ukp-lab.de
Question Answering (QA) systems are increasingly deployed in applications where they support real-world decisions. However, state-of-the-art models rely on deep neural networks, which are difficult to interpret by humans. Inherently interpretable models or post hoc explainability methods can help users to comprehend how a model arrives at its prediction and, if successful, increase their trust in the system. Furthermore, researchers can leverage these insights to develop new methods that are more accurate and less biased. In this paper, we introduce SQuARE v2, the new version of SQuARE, to provide an explainability infrastructure for comparing models based on methods such as saliency maps and graph-based explanations. While saliency maps are useful to inspect the importance of each input token for the model’s prediction, graph-based explanations from external Knowledge Graphs enable the users to verify the reasoning behind the model prediction. In addition, we provide multiple adversarial attacks to compare the robustness of QA models. With these explainability methods and adversarial attacks, we aim to ease the research on trustworthy QA models. SQuARE is available on https://square.ukp-lab.de.
Pairing a lexical retriever with a neural re-ranking model has set state-of-the-art performance on large-scale information retrieval datasets. This pipeline covers scenarios like question answering or navigational queries, however, for information-seeking scenarios, users often provide information on whether a document is relevant to their query in form of clicks or explicit feedback. Therefore, in this work, we explore how relevance feedback can be directly integrated into neural re-ranking models by adopting few-shot and parameter-efficient learning techniques. Specifically, we introduce a kNN approach that re-ranks documents based on their similarity with the query and the documents the user considers relevant. Further, we explore Cross-Encoder models that we pre-train using meta-learning and subsequently fine-tune for each query, training only on the feedback documents. To evaluate our different integration strategies, we transform four existing information retrieval datasets into the relevance feedback scenario. Extensive experiments demonstrate that integrating relevance feedback directly in neural re-ranking models improves their performance, and fusing lexical ranking with our best performing neural re-ranker outperforms all other methods by 5.2% nDCG@20.
We propose a grounded dialogue state encoder which addresses a foundational issue on how to integrate visual grounding with dialogue system components. As a test-bed, we focus on the GuessWhat?! game, a two-player game where the goal is to identify an object in a complex visual scene by asking a sequence of yes/no questions. Our visually-grounded encoder leverages synergies between guessing and asking questions, as it is trained jointly using multi-task learning. We further enrich our model via a cooperative learning regime. We show that the introduction of both the joint architecture and cooperative learning lead to accuracy improvements over the baseline system. We compare our approach to an alternative system which extends the baseline with reinforcement learning. Our in-depth analysis shows that the linguistic skills of the two models differ dramatically, despite approaching comparable performance levels. This points at the importance of analyzing the linguistic output of competing systems beyond numeric comparison solely based on task success.
We present a detailed comparison of two types of sequence to sequence models trained to conduct a compositional task. The models are architecturally identical at inference time, but differ in the way that they are trained: our baseline model is trained with a task-success signal only, while the other model receives additional supervision on its attention mechanism (Attentive Guidance), which has shown to be an effective method for encouraging more compositional solutions. We first confirm that the models with attentive guidance indeed infer more compositional solutions than the baseline, by training them on the lookup table task presented by Liska et al. (2019). We then do an in-depth analysis of the structural differences between the two model types, focusing in particular on the organisation of the parameter space and the hidden layer activations and find noticeable differences in both these aspects. Guided networks focus more on the components of the input rather than the sequence as a whole and develop small functional groups of neurons with specific purposes that use their gates more selectively. Results from parameter heat maps, component swapping and graph analysis also indicate that guided networks exhibit a more modular structure with a small number of specialized, strongly connected neurons.
This paper introduces the PhotoBook dataset, a large-scale collection of visually-grounded, task-oriented dialogues in English designed to investigate shared dialogue history accumulating during conversation. Taking inspiration from seminal work on dialogue analysis, we propose a data-collection task formulated as a collaborative game prompting two online participants to refer to images utilising both their visual context as well as previously established referring expressions. We provide a detailed description of the task setup and a thorough analysis of the 2,500 dialogues collected. To further illustrate the novel features of the dataset, we propose a baseline model for reference resolution which uses a simple method to take into account shared information accumulated in a reference chain. Our results show that this information is particularly important to resolve later descriptions and underline the need to develop more sophisticated models of common ground in dialogue interaction.
Our goal is to explore how the abilities brought in by a dialogue manager can be included in end-to-end visually grounded conversational agents. We make initial steps towards this general goal by augmenting a task-oriented visual dialogue model with a decision-making component that decides whether to ask a follow-up question to identify a target referent in an image, or to stop the conversation to make a guess. Our analyses show that adding a decision making component produces dialogues that are less repetitive and that include fewer unnecessary questions, thus potentially leading to more efficient and less unnatural interactions.