Causal inference using observational text data is becoming increasingly popular in many research areas. This paper presents the Bayesian Topic Regression (BTR) model that uses both text and numerical information to model an outcome variable. It allows estimation of both discrete and continuous treatment effects. Furthermore, it allows for the inclusion of additional numerical confounding factors next to text data. To this end, we combine a supervised Bayesian topic model with a Bayesian regression framework and perform supervised representation learning for the text features jointly with the regression parameter training, respecting the Frisch-Waugh-Lovell theorem. Our paper makes two main contributions. First, we provide a regression framework that allows causal inference in settings when both text and numerical confounders are of relevance. We show with synthetic and semi-synthetic datasets that our joint approach recovers ground truth with lower bias than any benchmark model, when text and numerical features are correlated. Second, experiments on two real-world datasets demonstrate that a joint and supervised learning strategy also yields superior prediction results compared to strategies that estimate regression weights for text and non-text features separately, being even competitive with more complex deep neural networks.
Over 97 million inhabitants speak Vietnamese as the native language in the world. However, there are few research studies on machine reading comprehension (MRC) in Vietnamese, the task of understanding a document or text, and answering questions related to it. Due to the lack of benchmark datasets for Vietnamese, we present the Vietnamese Question Answering Dataset (UIT-ViQuAD), a new dataset for the low-resource language as Vietnamese to evaluate MRC models. This dataset comprises over 23,000 human-generated question-answer pairs based on 5,109 passages of 174 Vietnamese articles from Wikipedia. In particular, we propose a new process of dataset creation for Vietnamese MRC. Our in-depth analyses illustrate that our dataset requires abilities beyond simple reasoning like word matching and demands complicate reasoning such as single-sentence and multiple-sentence inferences. Besides, we conduct experiments on state-of-the-art MRC methods in English and Chinese as the first experimental models on UIT-ViQuAD, which will be compared to further models. We also estimate human performances on the dataset and compare it to the experimental results of several powerful machine models. As a result, the substantial differences between humans and the best model performances on the dataset indicate that improvements can be explored on UIT-ViQuAD through future research. Our dataset is freely available to encourage the research community to overcome challenges in Vietnamese MRC.