To provide a survey on the existing tasks and models in Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC), this report reviews: 1) the dataset collection and performance evaluation of some representative simple-reasoning and complex-reasoning MRC tasks; 2) the architecture designs, attention mechanisms, and performance-boosting approaches for developing neural-network-based MRC models; 3) some recently proposed transfer learning approaches to incorporating text-style knowledge contained in external corpora into the neural networks of MRC models; 4) some recently proposed knowledge base encoding approaches to incorporating graph-style knowledge contained in external knowledge bases into the neural networks of MRC models. Besides, according to what has been achieved and what are still deficient, this report also proposes some open problems for the future research.
Transfer learning aims at improving the performance of target learners on target domains by transferring the knowledge contained in different but related source domains. In this way, the dependence on a large number of target domain data can be reduced for constructing target learners. Due to the wide application prospects, transfer learning has become a popular and promising area in machine learning. Although there are already some valuable and impressive surveys on transfer learning, these surveys introduce approaches in a relatively isolated way and lack the recent advances in transfer learning. As the rapid expansion of the transfer learning area, it is both necessary and challenging to comprehensively review the relevant studies. This survey attempts to connect and systematize the existing transfer learning researches, as well as to summarize and interpret the mechanisms and the strategies in a comprehensive way, which may help readers have a better understanding of the current research status and ideas. Different from previous surveys, this survey paper reviews over forty representative transfer learning approaches from the perspectives of data and model. The applications of transfer learning are also briefly introduced. In order to show the performance of different transfer learning models, twenty representative transfer learning models are used for experiments. The models are performed on three different datasets, i.e., Amazon Reviews, Reuters-21578, and Office-31. And the experimental results demonstrate the importance of selecting appropriate transfer learning models for different applications in practice.
This paper focuses on how to take advantage of external relational knowledge to improve machine reading comprehension (MRC) with multi-task learning. Most of the traditional methods in MRC assume that the knowledge used to get the correct answer generally exists in the given documents. However, in real-world task, part of knowledge may not be mentioned and machines should be equipped with the ability to leverage external knowledge. In this paper, we integrate relational knowledge into MRC model for commonsense reasoning. Specifically, based on a pre-trained language model (LM). We design two auxiliary relation-aware tasks to predict if there exists any commonsense relation and what is the relation type between two words, in order to better model the interactions between document and candidate answer option. We conduct experiments on two multi-choice benchmark datasets: the SemEval-2018 Task 11 and the Cloze Story Test. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method, which achieves superior performance compared with the comparable baselines on both datasets.
Machine reading comprehension have been intensively studied in recent years, and neural network-based models have shown dominant performances. In this paper, we present a Sogou Machine Reading Comprehension (SMRC) toolkit that can be used to provide the fast and efficient development of modern machine comprehension models, including both published models and original prototypes. To achieve this goal, the toolkit provides dataset readers, a flexible preprocessing pipeline, necessary neural network components, and built-in models, which make the whole process of data preparation, model construction, and training easier.
Deep learning has revolutionized many machine learning tasks in recent years, ranging from image classification and video processing to speech recognition and natural language understanding. The data in these tasks are typically represented in the Euclidean space. However, there is an increasing number of applications where data are generated from non-Euclidean domains and are represented as graphs with complex relationships and interdependency between objects. The complexity of graph data has imposed significant challenges on existing machine learning algorithms. Recently, many studies on extending deep learning approaches for graph data have emerged. In this survey, we provide a comprehensive overview of graph neural networks (GNNs) in data mining and machine learning fields. We propose a new taxonomy to divide the state-of-the-art graph neural networks into different categories. With a focus on graph convolutional networks, we review alternative architectures that have recently been developed; these learning paradigms include graph attention networks, graph autoencoders, graph generative networks, and graph spatial-temporal networks. We further discuss the applications of graph neural networks across various domains and summarize the open source codes and benchmarks of the existing algorithms on different learning tasks. Finally, we propose potential research directions in this fast-growing field.
This paper describes a novel hierarchical attention network for reading comprehension style question answering, which aims to answer questions for a given narrative paragraph. In the proposed method, attention and fusion are conducted horizontally and vertically across layers at different levels of granularity between question and paragraph. Specifically, it first encode the question and paragraph with fine-grained language embeddings, to better capture the respective representations at semantic level. Then it proposes a multi-granularity fusion approach to fully fuse information from both global and attended representations. Finally, it introduces a hierarchical attention network to focuses on the answer span progressively with multi-level softalignment. Extensive experiments on the large-scale SQuAD and TriviaQA datasets validate the effectiveness of the proposed method. At the time of writing the paper (Jan. 12th 2018), our model achieves the first position on the SQuAD leaderboard for both single and ensemble models. We also achieves state-of-the-art results on TriviaQA, AddSent and AddOne-Sent datasets.
Visual question answering (VQA) demands simultaneous comprehension of both the image visual content and natural language questions. In some cases, the reasoning needs the help of common sense or general knowledge which usually appear in the form of text. Current methods jointly embed both the visual information and the textual feature into the same space. However, how to model the complex interactions between the two different modalities is not an easy task. In contrast to struggling on multimodal feature fusion, in this paper, we propose to unify all the input information by natural language so as to convert VQA into a machine reading comprehension problem. With this transformation, our method not only can tackle VQA datasets that focus on observation based questions, but can also be naturally extended to handle knowledge-based VQA which requires to explore large-scale external knowledge base. It is a step towards being able to exploit large volumes of text and natural language processing techniques to address VQA problem. Two types of models are proposed to deal with open-ended VQA and multiple-choice VQA respectively. We evaluate our models on three VQA benchmarks. The comparable performance with the state-of-the-art demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed method.
Machine reading comprehension with unanswerable questions aims to abstain from answering when no answer can be inferred. In addition to extract answers, previous works usually predict an additional "no-answer" probability to detect unanswerable cases. However, they fail to validate the answerability of the question by verifying the legitimacy of the predicted answer. To address this problem, we propose a novel read-then-verify system, which not only utilizes a neural reader to extract candidate answers and produce no-answer probabilities, but also leverages an answer verifier to decide whether the predicted answer is entailed by the input snippets. Moreover, we introduce two auxiliary losses to help the reader better handle answer extraction as well as no-answer detection, and investigate three different architectures for the answer verifier. Our experiments on the SQuAD 2.0 dataset show that our system achieves a score of 74.2 F1 on the test set, achieving state-of-the-art results at the time of submission (Aug. 28th, 2018).
Machine reading comprehension (MRC) requires reasoning about both the knowledge involved in a document and knowledge about the world. However, existing datasets are typically dominated by questions that can be well solved by context matching, which fail to test this capability. To encourage the progress on knowledge-based reasoning in MRC, we present knowledge-based MRC in this paper, and build a new dataset consisting of 40,047 question-answer pairs. The annotation of this dataset is designed so that successfully answering the questions requires understanding and the knowledge involved in a document. We implement a framework consisting of both a question answering model and a question generation model, both of which take the knowledge extracted from the document as well as relevant facts from an external knowledge base such as Freebase/ProBase/Reverb/NELL. Results show that incorporating side information from external KB improves the accuracy of the baseline question answer system. We compare it with a standard MRC model BiDAF, and also provide the difficulty of the dataset and lay out remaining challenges.
In this paper, we introduce the Reinforced Mnemonic Reader for machine reading comprehension tasks, which enhances previous attentive readers in two aspects. First, a reattention mechanism is proposed to refine current attentions by directly accessing to past attentions that are temporally memorized in a multi-round alignment architecture, so as to avoid the problems of attention redundancy and attention deficiency. Second, a new optimization approach, called dynamic-critical reinforcement learning, is introduced to extend the standard supervised method. It always encourages to predict a more acceptable answer so as to address the convergence suppression problem occurred in traditional reinforcement learning algorithms. Extensive experiments on the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) show that our model achieves state-of-the-art results. Meanwhile, our model outperforms previous systems by over 6% in terms of both Exact Match and F1 metrics on two adversarial SQuAD datasets.
In this paper, we introduce DuReader, a new large-scale, open-domain Chinese machine reading comprehension (MRC) dataset, aiming to tackle real-world MRC problems. In comparison to prior datasets, DuReader has the following characteristics: (a) the questions and the documents are all extracted from real application data, and the answers are human generated; (b) it provides rich annotations for question types, especially yes-no and opinion questions, which take a large proportion in real users' questions but have not been well studied before; (c) it provides multiple answers for each question. The first release of DuReader contains 200k questions, 1,000k documents, and 420k answers, which, to the best of our knowledge, is the largest Chinese MRC dataset so far. Experimental results show there exists big gap between the state-of-the-art baseline systems and human performance, which indicates DuReader is a challenging dataset that deserves future study. The dataset and the code of the baseline systems are publicly available now.