Answering complex questions that require multi-step multi-type reasoning over raw text is challenging, especially when conducting numerical reasoning. Neural Module Networks (NMNs), follow the programmer-interpreter framework and design trainable modules to learn different reasoning skills. However, NMNs only have limited reasoning abilities, and lack numerical reasoning capability. We upgrade NMNs by: (a) bridging the gap between its interpreter and the complex questions; (b) introducing addition and subtraction modules that perform numerical reasoning over numbers. On a subset of DROP, experimental results show that our proposed methods enhance NMNs’ numerical reasoning skills by 17.7% improvement of F1 score and significantly outperform previous state-of-the-art models.
Improving Numerical Reasoning Skills in the Modular Approach for Complex Question Answering on Text
Xiao-Yu Guo | Yuan-Fang Li | Gholamreza Haffari
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021
Numerical reasoning skills are essential for complex question answering (CQA) over text. It requires opertaions including counting, comparison, addition and subtraction. A successful approach to CQA on text, Neural Module Networks (NMNs), follows the programmer-interpreter paradigm and leverages specialised modules to perform compositional reasoning. However, the NMNs framework does not consider the relationship between numbers and entities in both questions and paragraphs. We propose effective techniques to improve NMNs’ numerical reasoning capabilities by making the interpreter question-aware and capturing the relationship between entities and numbers. On the same subset of the DROP dataset for CQA on text, experimental results show that our additions outperform the original NMNs by 3.0 points for the overall F1 score.