Weihong Du


pdf bib
Knowing-how & Knowing-that: A New Task for Machine Comprehension of User Manuals
Hongru Liang | Jia Liu | Weihong Du | Dingnan Jin | Wenqiang Lei | Zujie Wen | Jiancheng Lv
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

The machine reading comprehension (MRC) of user manuals has huge potential in customer service. However, current methods have trouble answering complex questions. Therefore, we introduce the knowing-how & knowing-that task that requires the model to answer factoid-style, procedure-style, and inconsistent questions about user manuals. We resolve this task by jointly representing the sTeps and fActs in a gRAh (TARA), which supports a unified inference of various questions. Towards a systematical benchmarking study, we design a heuristic method to automatically parse user manuals into TARAs and build an annotated dataset to test the model’s ability in answering real-world questions. Empirical results demonstrate that representing user manuals as TARAs is a desired solution for the MRC of user manuals. An in-depth investigation of TARA further sheds light on the issues and broader impacts of future representations of user manuals. We hope our work can move the MRC of user manuals to a more complex and realistic stage.