In the last year, new models and methods for pretraining and transfer learning have driven striking performance improvements across a range of language understanding tasks. The GLUE benchmark, introduced one year ago, offers a single-number metric that summarizes progress on a diverse set of such tasks, but performance on the benchmark has recently come close to the level of non-expert humans, suggesting limited headroom for further research. This paper recaps lessons learned from the GLUE benchmark and presents SuperGLUE, a new benchmark styled after GLUE with a new set of more difficult language understanding tasks, improved resources, and a new public leaderboard. SuperGLUE will be available soon at super.gluebenchmark.com.
We present a new dataset and model for textual entailment, derived from treating multiple-choice question-answering as an entailment problem. SciTail is the first entailment set that is created solely from natural sentences that already exist independently ``in the wild'' rather than sentences authored specifically for the entailment task. Different from existing entailment datasets, we create hypotheses from science questions and the corresponding answer candidates, and premises from relevant web sentences retrieved from a large corpus. These sentences are often linguistically challenging. This, combined with the high lexical similarity of premise and hypothesis for both entailed and non-entailed pairs, makes this new entailment task particularly difficult. The resulting challenge is evidenced by state-of-the-art textual entailment systems achieving mediocre performance on SciTail, especially in comparison to a simple majority class baseline. As a step forward, we demonstrate that one can improve accuracy on SciTail by 5% using a new neural model that exploits linguistic structure.
Natural Language Inference (NLI) is fundamental to many Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications including semantic search and question answering. The NLI problem has gained significant attention thanks to the release of large scale, challenging datasets. Present approaches to the problem largely focus on learning-based methods that use only textual information in order to classify whether a given premise entails, contradicts, or is neutral with respect to a given hypothesis. Surprisingly, the use of methods based on structured knowledge -- a central topic in artificial intelligence -- has not received much attention vis-a-vis the NLI problem. While there are many open knowledge bases that contain various types of reasoning information, their use for NLI has not been well explored. To address this, we present a combination of techniques that harness knowledge graphs to improve performance on the NLI problem in the science questions domain. We present the results of applying our techniques on text, graph, and text-to-graph based models, and discuss implications for the use of external knowledge in solving the NLI problem. Our model achieves the new state-of-the-art performance on the NLI problem over the SciTail science questions dataset.
Open-domain question answering (QA) is an important problem in AI and NLP that is emerging as a bellwether for progress on the generalizability of AI methods and techniques. Much of the progress in open-domain QA systems has been realized through advances in information retrieval methods and corpus construction. In this paper, we focus on the recently introduced ARC Challenge dataset, which contains 2,590 multiple choice questions authored for grade-school science exams. These questions are selected to be the most challenging for current QA systems, and current state of the art performance is only slightly better than random chance. We present a system that rewrites a given question into queries that are used to retrieve supporting text from a large corpus of science-related text. Our rewriter is able to incorporate background knowledge from ConceptNet and -- in tandem with a generic textual entailment system trained on SciTail that identifies support in the retrieved results -- outperforms several strong baselines on the end-to-end QA task despite only being trained to identify essential terms in the original source question. We use a generalizable decision methodology over the retrieved evidence and answer candidates to select the best answer. By combining query rewriting, background knowledge, and textual entailment our system is able to outperform several strong baselines on the ARC dataset.
Most textual entailment models focus on lexical gaps between the premise text and the hypothesis, but rarely on knowledge gaps. We focus on filling these knowledge gaps in the Science Entailment task, by leveraging an external structured knowledge base (KB) of science facts. Our new architecture combines standard neural entailment models with a knowledge lookup module. To facilitate this lookup, we propose a fact-level decomposition of the hypothesis, and verifying the resulting sub-facts against both the textual premise and the structured KB. Our model, NSnet, learns to aggregate predictions from these heterogeneous data formats. On the SciTail dataset, NSnet outperforms a simpler combination of the two predictions by 3% and the base entailment model by 5%.