We propose a new task for assessing machines’ skills of understanding fictional characters in narrative stories. The task, TVShowGuess, builds on the scripts of TV series and takes the form of guessing the anonymous main characters based on the backgrounds of the scenes and the dialogues. Our human study supports that this form of task covers comprehension of multiple types of character persona, including understanding characters’ personalities, facts and memories of personal experience, which are well aligned with the psychological and literary theories about the theory of mind (ToM) of human beings on understanding fictional characters during reading. We further propose new model architectures to support the contextualized encoding of long scene texts. Experiments show that our proposed approaches significantly outperform baselines, yet still largely lag behind the (nearly perfect) human performance.Our work serves as a first step toward the goal of narrative character comprehension.
An NLP model that understands stories should be able to understand the characters in them. To support the development of neural models for this purpose, we construct a benchmark, Story2Personality. The task is to predict a movie character’s MBTI or Big 5 personality types based on the narratives of the character. Experiments show that our task is challenging for the existing text classification models, as none is able to largely outperform random guesses. We further proposed a multi-view model for personality prediction using both verbal and non-verbal descriptions, which gives improvement compared to using only verbal descriptions. The uniqueness and challenges in our dataset call for the development of narrative comprehension techniques from the perspective of understanding characters.
This paper proposes a new problem of complementary evidence identification for open-domain question answering (QA). The problem aims to efficiently find a small set of passages that covers full evidence from multiple aspects as to answer a complex question. To this end, we proposes a method that learns vector representations of passages and models the sufficiency and diversity within the selected set, in addition to the relevance between the question and passages. Our experiments demonstrate that our method considers the dependence within the supporting evidence and significantly improves the accuracy of complementary evidence selection in QA domain.
Abstract Recent advancements in open-domain question answering (ODQA), that is, finding answers from large open-domain corpus like Wikipedia, have led to human-level performance on many datasets. However, progress in QA over book stories (Book QA) lags despite its similar task formulation to ODQA. This work provides a comprehensive and quantitative analysis about the difficulty of Book QA: (1) We benchmark the research on the NarrativeQA dataset with extensive experiments with cutting-edge ODQA techniques. This quantifies the challenges Book QA poses, as well as advances the published state-of-the-art with a ∼7% absolute improvement on ROUGE-L. (2) We further analyze the detailed challenges in Book QA through human studies.1 Our findings indicate that the event-centric questions dominate this task, which exemplifies the inability of existing QA models to handle event-oriented scenarios.
A lot of progress has been made to improve question answering (QA) in recent years, but the special problem of QA over narrative book stories has not been explored in-depth. We formulate BookQA as an open-domain QA task given its similar dependency on evidence retrieval. We further investigate how state-of-the-art open-domain QA approaches can help BookQA. Besides achieving state-of-the-art on the NarrativeQA benchmark, our study also reveals the difficulty of evidence retrieval in books with a wealth of experiments and analysis - which necessitates future effort on novel solutions for evidence retrieval in BookQA.