Challenging problems such as open-domain question answering, fact checking, slot filling and entity linking require access to large, external knowledge sources. While some models do well on individual tasks, developing general models is difficult as each task might require computationally expensive indexing of custom knowledge sources, in addition to dedicated infrastructure. To catalyze research on models that condition on specific information in large textual resources, we present a benchmark for knowledge-intensive language tasks (KILT). All tasks in KILT are grounded in the same snapshot of Wikipedia, reducing engineering turnaround through the re-use of components, as well as accelerating research into task-agnostic memory architectures. We test both task-specific and general baselines, evaluating downstream performance in addition to the ability of the models to provide provenance. We find that a shared dense vector index coupled with a seq2seq model is a strong baseline, outperforming more tailor-made approaches for fact checking, open-domain question answering and dialogue, and yielding competitive results on entity linking and slot filling, by generating disambiguated text. KILT data and code are available at https://github.com/facebookresearch/KILT.
Retrieving relevant contexts from a large corpus is a crucial step for tasks such as open-domain question answering and fact checking. Although neural retrieval outperforms traditional methods like tf-idf and BM25, its performance degrades considerably when applied to out-of-domain data. Driven by the question of whether a neural retrieval model can be _universal_ and perform robustly on a wide variety of problems, we propose a multi-task trained model. Our approach not only outperforms previous methods in the few-shot setting, but also rivals specialised neural retrievers, even when in-domain training data is abundant. With the help of our retriever, we improve existing models for downstream tasks and closely match or improve the state of the art on multiple benchmarks.
Structured information is an important knowledge source for automatic verification of factual claims. Nevertheless, the majority of existing research into this task has focused on textual data, and the few recent inquiries into structured data have been for the closed-domain setting where appropriate evidence for each claim is assumed to have already been retrieved. In this paper, we investigate verification over structured data in the open-domain setting, introducing a joint reranking-and-verification model which fuses evidence documents in the verification component. Our open-domain model achieves performance comparable to the closed-domain state-of-the-art on the TabFact dataset, and demonstrates performance gains from the inclusion of multiple tables as well as a significant improvement over a heuristic retrieval baseline.
Open-domain question answering relies on efficient passage retrieval to select candidate contexts, where traditional sparse vector space models, such as TF-IDF or BM25, are the de facto method. In this work, we show that retrieval can be practically implemented using dense representations alone, where embeddings are learned from a small number of questions and passages by a simple dual-encoder framework. When evaluated on a wide range of open-domain QA datasets, our dense retriever outperforms a strong Lucene-BM25 system greatly by 9%-19% absolute in terms of top-20 passage retrieval accuracy, and helps our end-to-end QA system establish new state-of-the-art on multiple open-domain QA benchmarks.
Contemporary machine translation systems achieve greater coverage by applying subword models such as BPE and character-level CNNs, but these methods are highly sensitive to orthographical variations such as spelling mistakes. We show how training on a mild amount of random synthetic noise can dramatically improve robustness to these variations, without diminishing performance on clean text. We focus on translation performance on natural typos, and show that robustness to such noise can be achieved using a balanced diet of simple synthetic noises at training time, without access to the natural noise data or distribution.