Tom Kwiatkowski


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Decontextualization: Making Sentences Stand-Alone
Eunsol Choi | Jennimaria Palomaki | Matthew Lamm | Tom Kwiatkowski | Dipanjan Das | Michael Collins
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 9

Abstract Models for question answering, dialogue agents, and summarization often interpret the meaning of a sentence in a rich context and use that meaning in a new context. Taking excerpts of text can be problematic, as key pieces may not be explicit in a local window. We isolate and define the problem of sentence decontextualization: taking a sentence together with its context and rewriting it to be interpretable out of context, while preserving its meaning. We describe an annotation procedure, collect data on the Wikipedia corpus, and use the data to train models to automatically decontextualize sentences. We present preliminary studies that show the value of sentence decontextualization in a user-facing task, and as preprocessing for systems that perform document understanding. We argue that decontextualization is an important subtask in many downstream applications, and that the definitions and resources provided can benefit tasks that operate on sentences that occur in a richer context.

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MOLEMAN: Mention-Only Linking of Entities with a Mention Annotation Network
Nicholas FitzGerald | Dan Bikel | Jan Botha | Daniel Gillick | Tom Kwiatkowski | Andrew McCallum
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

We present an instance-based nearest neighbor approach to entity linking. In contrast to most prior entity retrieval systems which represent each entity with a single vector, we build a contextualized mention-encoder that learns to place similar mentions of the same entity closer in vector space than mentions of different entities. This approach allows all mentions of an entity to serve as “class prototypes” as inference involves retrieving from the full set of labeled entity mentions in the training set and applying the nearest mention neighbor’s entity label. Our model is trained on a large multilingual corpus of mention pairs derived from Wikipedia hyperlinks, and performs nearest neighbor inference on an index of 700 million mentions. It is simpler to train, gives more interpretable predictions, and outperforms all other systems on two multilingual entity linking benchmarks.


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TyDi QA: A Benchmark for Information-Seeking Question Answering in Typologically Diverse Languages
Jonathan H. Clark | Eunsol Choi | Michael Collins | Dan Garrette | Tom Kwiatkowski | Vitaly Nikolaev | Jennimaria Palomaki
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 8

Confidently making progress on multilingual modeling requires challenging, trustworthy evaluations. We present TyDi QA—a question answering dataset covering 11 typologically diverse languages with 204K question-answer pairs. The languages of TyDi QA are diverse with regard to their typology—the set of linguistic features each language expresses—such that we expect models performing well on this set to generalize across a large number of the world’s languages. We present a quantitative analysis of the data quality and example-level qualitative linguistic analyses of observed language phenomena that would not be found in English-only corpora. To provide a realistic information-seeking task and avoid priming effects, questions are written by people who want to know the answer, but don’t know the answer yet, and the data is collected directly in each language without the use of translation.

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Entities as Experts: Sparse Memory Access with Entity Supervision
Thibault Févry | Livio Baldini Soares | Nicholas FitzGerald | Eunsol Choi | Tom Kwiatkowski
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

We focus on the problem of capturing declarative knowledge about entities in the learned parameters of a language model. We introduce a new model—Entities as Experts (EaE)—that can access distinct memories of the entities mentioned in a piece of text. Unlike previous efforts to integrate entity knowledge into sequence models, EaE’s entity representations are learned directly from text. We show that EaE’s learned representations capture sufficient knowledge to answer TriviaQA questions such as “Which Dr. Who villain has been played by Roger Delgado, Anthony Ainley, Eric Roberts?”, outperforming an encoder-generator Transformer model with 10x the parameters on this task. According to the Lama knowledge probes, EaE contains more factual knowledge than a similar sized Bert, as well as previous approaches that integrate external sources of entity knowledge.Because EaE associates parameters with specific entities, it only needs to access a fraction of its parameters at inference time, and we show that the correct identification and representation of entities is essential to EaE’s performance.


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BoolQ: Exploring the Surprising Difficulty of Natural Yes/No Questions
Christopher Clark | Kenton Lee | Ming-Wei Chang | Tom Kwiatkowski | Michael Collins | Kristina Toutanova
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

In this paper we study yes/no questions that are naturally occurring — meaning that they are generated in unprompted and unconstrained settings. We build a reading comprehension dataset, BoolQ, of such questions, and show that they are unexpectedly challenging. They often query for complex, non-factoid information, and require difficult entailment-like inference to solve. We also explore the effectiveness of a range of transfer learning baselines. We find that transferring from entailment data is more effective than transferring from paraphrase or extractive QA data, and that it, surprisingly, continues to be very beneficial even when starting from massive pre-trained language models such as BERT. Our best method trains BERT on MultiNLI and then re-trains it on our train set. It achieves 80.4% accuracy compared to 90% accuracy of human annotators (and 62% majority-baseline), leaving a significant gap for future work.

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Matching the Blanks: Distributional Similarity for Relation Learning
Livio Baldini Soares | Nicholas FitzGerald | Jeffrey Ling | Tom Kwiatkowski
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

General purpose relation extractors, which can model arbitrary relations, are a core aspiration in information extraction. Efforts have been made to build general purpose extractors that represent relations with their surface forms, or which jointly embed surface forms with relations from an existing knowledge graph. However, both of these approaches are limited in their ability to generalize. In this paper, we build on extensions of Harris’ distributional hypothesis to relations, as well as recent advances in learning text representations (specifically, BERT), to build task agnostic relation representations solely from entity-linked text. We show that these representations significantly outperform previous work on exemplar based relation extraction (FewRel) even without using any of that task’s training data. We also show that models initialized with our task agnostic representations, and then tuned on supervised relation extraction datasets, significantly outperform the previous methods on SemEval 2010 Task 8, KBP37, and TACRED

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Real-Time Open-Domain Question Answering with Dense-Sparse Phrase Index
Minjoon Seo | Jinhyuk Lee | Tom Kwiatkowski | Ankur Parikh | Ali Farhadi | Hannaneh Hajishirzi
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Existing open-domain question answering (QA) models are not suitable for real-time usage because they need to process several long documents on-demand for every input query, which is computationally prohibitive. In this paper, we introduce query-agnostic indexable representations of document phrases that can drastically speed up open-domain QA. In particular, our dense-sparse phrase encoding effectively captures syntactic, semantic, and lexical information of the phrases and eliminates the pipeline filtering of context documents. Leveraging strategies for optimizing training and inference time, our model can be trained and deployed even in a single 4-GPU server. Moreover, by representing phrases as pointers to their start and end tokens, our model indexes phrases in the entire English Wikipedia (up to 60 billion phrases) using under 2TB. Our experiments on SQuAD-Open show that our model is on par with or more accurate than previous models with 6000x reduced computational cost, which translates into at least 68x faster end-to-end inference benchmark on CPUs. Code and demo are available at

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Natural Questions: A Benchmark for Question Answering Research
Tom Kwiatkowski | Jennimaria Palomaki | Olivia Redfield | Michael Collins | Ankur Parikh | Chris Alberti | Danielle Epstein | Illia Polosukhin | Jacob Devlin | Kenton Lee | Kristina Toutanova | Llion Jones | Matthew Kelcey | Ming-Wei Chang | Andrew M. Dai | Jakob Uszkoreit | Quoc Le | Slav Petrov
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 7

We present the Natural Questions corpus, a question answering data set. Questions consist of real anonymized, aggregated queries issued to the Google search engine. An annotator is presented with a question along with a Wikipedia page from the top 5 search results, and annotates a long answer (typically a paragraph) and a short answer (one or more entities) if present on the page, or marks null if no long/short answer is present. The public release consists of 307,373 training examples with single annotations; 7,830 examples with 5-way annotations for development data; and a further 7,842 examples with 5-way annotated sequestered as test data. We present experiments validating quality of the data. We also describe analysis of 25-way annotations on 302 examples, giving insights into human variability on the annotation task. We introduce robust metrics for the purposes of evaluating question answering systems; demonstrate high human upper bounds on these metrics; and establish baseline results using competitive methods drawn from related literature.

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Inherent Disagreements in Human Textual Inferences
Ellie Pavlick | Tom Kwiatkowski
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 7

We analyze human’s disagreements about the validity of natural language inferences. We show that, very often, disagreements are not dismissible as annotation “noise”, but rather persist as we collect more ratings and as we vary the amount of context provided to raters. We further show that the type of uncertainty captured by current state-of-the-art models for natural language inference is not reflective of the type of uncertainty present in human disagreements. We discuss implications of our results in relation to the recognizing textual entailment (RTE)/natural language inference (NLI) task. We argue for a refined evaluation objective that requires models to explicitly capture the full distribution of plausible human judgments.


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Phrase-Indexed Question Answering: A New Challenge for Scalable Document Comprehension
Minjoon Seo | Tom Kwiatkowski | Ankur Parikh | Ali Farhadi | Hannaneh Hajishirzi
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We formalize a new modular variant of current question answering tasks by enforcing complete independence of the document encoder from the question encoder. This formulation addresses a key challenge in machine comprehension by building a standalone representation of the document discourse. It additionally leads to a significant scalability advantage since the encoding of the answer candidate phrases in the document can be pre-computed and indexed offline for efficient retrieval. We experiment with baseline models for the new task, which achieve a reasonable accuracy but significantly underperform unconstrained QA models. We invite the QA research community to engage in Phrase-Indexed Question Answering (PIQA, pika) for closing the gap. The leaderboard is at:


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Transforming Dependency Structures to Logical Forms for Semantic Parsing
Siva Reddy | Oscar Täckström | Michael Collins | Tom Kwiatkowski | Dipanjan Das | Mark Steedman | Mirella Lapata
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 4

The strongly typed syntax of grammar formalisms such as CCG, TAG, LFG and HPSG offers a synchronous framework for deriving syntactic structures and semantic logical forms. In contrast—partly due to the lack of a strong type system—dependency structures are easy to annotate and have become a widely used form of syntactic analysis for many languages. However, the lack of a type system makes a formal mechanism for deriving logical forms from dependency structures challenging. We address this by introducing a robust system based on the lambda calculus for deriving neo-Davidsonian logical forms from dependency trees. These logical forms are then used for semantic parsing of natural language to Freebase. Experiments on the Free917 and Web-Questions datasets show that our representation is superior to the original dependency trees and that it outperforms a CCG-based representation on this task. Compared to prior work, we obtain the strongest result to date on Free917 and competitive results on WebQuestions.


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Scalable Semantic Parsing with Partial Ontologies
Eunsol Choi | Tom Kwiatkowski | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)


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Morpho-syntactic Lexical Generalization for CCG Semantic Parsing
Adrienne Wang | Tom Kwiatkowski | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

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Proceedings of the ACL 2014 Workshop on Semantic Parsing
Yoav Artzi | Tom Kwiatkowski | Jonathan Berant
Proceedings of the ACL 2014 Workshop on Semantic Parsing


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Scaling Semantic Parsers with On-the-Fly Ontology Matching
Tom Kwiatkowski | Eunsol Choi | Yoav Artzi | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 2013 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing


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A Probabilistic Model of Syntactic and Semantic Acquisition from Child-Directed Utterances and their Meanings
Tom Kwiatkowski | Sharon Goldwater | Luke Zettlemoyer | Mark Steedman
Proceedings of the 13th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics


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Lexical Generalization in CCG Grammar Induction for Semantic Parsing
Tom Kwiatkowski | Luke Zettlemoyer | Sharon Goldwater | Mark Steedman
Proceedings of the 2011 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing