Matching Items (8)

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Alexa Discussion Board Skill

Description

A common challenge faced by students is that they often have questions about course material that they cannot ask during lecture time. There are many ways for students to have

A common challenge faced by students is that they often have questions about course material that they cannot ask during lecture time. There are many ways for students to have these questions answered, such as office hours and online discussion boards. However, office hours may be at inconvenient times or locations, and online discussion boards are difficult to navigate and may be inactive. The purpose of this project was to create an Alexa skill that allows users to ask their Alexa-equipped device a question concerning their course material and to receive an answer retrieved from discussion board data. User questions are mapped to discussion board posts by use of the cosine similarity algorithm. In this algorithm, posts from the discussion board and the user’s question are converted into mathematical vectors, with each term in the vector corresponding to a word. The values of these terms are computed based on the word’s frequency within the vector’s corresponding document, the frequency of that word within all the documents, and the length of the document. After the question and candidate posts are converted into vectors, the algorithm determines the post most similar to the user’s question by computing the angle between the vectors. With the most similar discussion board post determined, the user receives the replies to the post, if any, as their answer. Users are able to indicate to their Alexa device whether they were satisfied by the answer, and if they were unsatisfied then they are given the opportunity to either rephrase their question or to have the question sent to a database of unanswered questions. The professor can view and answer the questions in this database on a website hosted by use of Amazon’s Simple Storage Service. The Alexa skill does well at answering questions that have already been asked in the discussion board. However, the skill depends heavily on the user’s word choice. Two questions that are semantically identical but different in phrasing are often given different answers. This is because the cosine algorithm measures similarity on the basis of word overlap, not semantic meaning, and thus the application never truly “understands” what type of answer the user desires. Improving the performance of this Alexa skill will require a more advanced question answering algorithm, but the limitations of Amazon Web Services as a development platform make implementing such an algorithm difficult. Nevertheless, this project has created the basis of a question answering Alexa skill by demonstrating a feasible way that the resources offered by Amazon can be utilized in order to build such an application.

Contributors

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

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Template-Based Question Answering over Linked Data using Recursive Neural Networks

Description

The Semantic Web contains large amounts of related information in the form of knowledge graphs such as DBpedia. These knowledge graphs are typically enormous and are not easily accessible for

The Semantic Web contains large amounts of related information in the form of knowledge graphs such as DBpedia. These knowledge graphs are typically enormous and are not easily accessible for users as they need specialized knowledge in query languages (such as SPARQL) as well as deep familiarity of the ontologies used by these knowledge graphs. So, to make these knowledge graphs more accessible (even for non- experts) several question answering (QA) systems have been developed over the last decade. Due to the complexity of the task, several approaches have been undertaken that include techniques from natural language processing (NLP), information retrieval (IR), machine learning (ML) and the Semantic Web (SW). At a higher level, most question answering systems approach the question answering task as a conversion from the natural language question to its corresponding SPARQL query. These systems then utilize the query to retrieve the desired entities or literals. One approach to solve this problem, that is used by most systems today, is to apply deep syntactic and semantic analysis on the input question to derive the SPARQL query. This has resulted in the evolution of natural language processing pipelines that have common characteristics such as answer type detection, segmentation, phrase matching, part-of-speech-tagging, named entity recognition, named entity disambiguation, syntactic or dependency parsing, semantic role labeling, etc.

This has lead to NLP pipeline architectures that integrate components that solve a specific aspect of the problem and pass on the results to subsequent components for further processing eg: DBpedia Spotlight for named entity recognition, RelMatch for relational mapping, etc. A major drawback in this approach is error propagation that is a common problem in NLP. This can occur due to mistakes early on in the pipeline that can adversely affect successive steps further down the pipeline. Another approach is to use query templates either manually generated or extracted from existing benchmark datasets such as Question Answering over Linked Data (QALD) to generate the SPARQL queries that is basically a set of predefined queries with various slots that need to be filled. This approach potentially shifts the question answering problem into a classification task where the system needs to match the input question to the appropriate template (class label).

This thesis proposes a neural network approach to automatically learn and classify natural language questions into its corresponding template using recursive neural networks. An obvious advantage of using neural networks is the elimination for the need of laborious feature engineering that can be cumbersome and error prone. The input question would be encoded into a vector representation. The model will be trained and evaluated on the LC-QuAD Dataset (Large-scale Complex Question Answering Dataset). The dataset was created explicitly for machine learning based QA approaches for learning complex SPARQL queries. The dataset consists of 5000 questions along with their corresponding SPARQL queries over the DBpedia dataset spanning 5042 entities and 615 predicates. These queries were annotated based on 38 unique templates that the model will attempt to classify. The resulting model will be evaluated against both the LC-QuAD dataset and the Question Answering Over Linked Data (QALD-7) dataset.

The recursive neural network achieves template classification accuracy of 0.828 on the LC-QuAD dataset and an accuracy of 0.618 on the QALD-7 dataset. When the top-2 most likely templates were considered the model achieves an accuracy of 0.945 on the LC-QuAD dataset and 0.786 on the QALD-7 dataset.

After slot filling, the overall system achieves a macro F-score 0.419 on the LC- QuAD dataset and a macro F-score of 0.417 on the QALD-7 dataset.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Knowledge Representation, Reasoning and Learning for Non-Extractive Reading Comprehension

Description

While in recent years deep learning (DL) based approaches have been the popular approach in developing end-to-end question answering (QA) systems, such systems lack several desired properties, such as the

While in recent years deep learning (DL) based approaches have been the popular approach in developing end-to-end question answering (QA) systems, such systems lack several desired properties, such as the ability to do sophisticated reasoning with knowledge, the ability to learn using less resources and interpretability. In this thesis, I explore solutions that aim to address these drawbacks.

Towards this goal, I work with a specific family of reading comprehension tasks, normally referred to as the Non-Extractive Reading Comprehension (NRC), where the given passage does not contain enough information and to correctly answer sophisticated reasoning and ``additional knowledge" is required. I have organized the NRC tasks into three categories. Here I present my solutions to the first two categories and some preliminary results on the third category.

Category 1 NRC tasks refer to the scenarios where the required ``additional knowledge" is missing but there exists a decent natural language parser. For these tasks, I learn the missing ``additional knowledge" with the help of the parser and a novel inductive logic programming. The learned knowledge is then used to answer new questions. Experiments on three NRC tasks show that this approach along with providing an interpretable solution achieves better or comparable accuracy to that of the state-of-the-art DL based approaches.

The category 2 NRC tasks refer to the alternate scenario where the ``additional knowledge" is available but no natural language parser works well for the sentences of the target domain. To deal with these tasks, I present a novel hybrid reasoning approach which combines symbolic and natural language inference (neural reasoning) and ultimately allows symbolic modules to reason over raw text without requiring any translation. Experiments on two NRC tasks shows its effectiveness.

The category 3 neither provide the ``missing knowledge" and nor a good parser. This thesis does not provide an interpretable solution for this category but some preliminary results and analysis of a pure DL based approach. Nonetheless, the thesis shows beyond the world of pure DL based approaches, there are tools that can offer interpretable solutions for challenging tasks without using much resource and possibly with better accuracy.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Answering deep queries specified in natural language with respect to a frame based knowledge base and developing related natural language understanding components

Description

Question Answering has been under active research for decades, but it has recently taken the spotlight following IBM Watson's success in Jeopardy! and digital assistants such as Apple's Siri, Google

Question Answering has been under active research for decades, but it has recently taken the spotlight following IBM Watson's success in Jeopardy! and digital assistants such as Apple's Siri, Google Now, and Microsoft Cortana through every smart-phone and browser. However, most of the research in Question Answering aims at factual questions rather than deep ones such as ``How'' and ``Why'' questions.

In this dissertation, I suggest a different approach in tackling this problem. We believe that the answers of deep questions need to be formally defined before found.

Because these answers must be defined based on something, it is better to be more structural in natural language text; I define Knowledge Description Graphs (KDGs), a graphical structure containing information about events, entities, and classes. We then propose formulations and algorithms to construct KDGs from a frame-based knowledge base, define the answers of various ``How'' and ``Why'' questions with respect to KDGs, and suggest how to obtain the answers from KDGs using Answer Set Programming. Moreover, I discuss how to derive missing information in constructing KDGs when the knowledge base is under-specified and how to answer many factual question types with respect to the knowledge base.

After having the answers of various questions with respect to a knowledge base, I extend our research to use natural language text in specifying deep questions and knowledge base, generate natural language text from those specification. Toward these goals, I developed NL2KR, a system which helps in translating natural language to formal language. I show NL2KR's use in translating ``How'' and ``Why'' questions, and generating simple natural language sentences from natural language KDG specification. Finally, I discuss applications of the components I developed in Natural Language Understanding.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Interpretable Question Answering using Deep Embedded Knowledge Reasoning to Solve Qualitative Word Problems

Description

One of the measures to determine the intelligence of a system is through Question Answering, as it requires a system to comprehend a question and reason using its knowledge base

One of the measures to determine the intelligence of a system is through Question Answering, as it requires a system to comprehend a question and reason using its knowledge base to accurately answer it. Qualitative word problems are an important subset of such problems, as they require a system to recognize and reason with qualitative knowledge expressed in natural language. Traditional approaches in this domain include multiple modules to parse a given problem and to perform the required reasoning. Recent approaches involve using large pre-trained Language models like the Bidirection Encoder Representations from Transformers for downstream question answering tasks through supervision. These approaches however either suffer from errors between multiple modules, or are not interpretable with respect to the reasoning process employed. The proposed solution in this work aims to overcome these drawbacks through a single end-to-end trainable model that performs both the required parsing and reasoning. The parsing is achieved through an attention mechanism, whereas the reasoning is performed in vector space using soft logic operations. The model also enforces constraints in the form of auxiliary loss terms to increase the interpretability of the underlying reasoning process. The work achieves state of the art accuracy on the QuaRel dataset and matches that of the QuaRTz dataset with additional interpretability.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020

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Deductive, inductive and abductive reasoning over natural language text: a case study with adaptations, behaviors and variations in organisms

Description

Question answering is a challenging problem and a long term goal of Artificial Intelligence. There are many approaches proposed to solve this problem, including end to end machine learning systems,

Question answering is a challenging problem and a long term goal of Artificial Intelligence. There are many approaches proposed to solve this problem, including end to end machine learning systems, Information Retrieval based approaches and Textual Entailment. Despite being popular, these methods find difficulty in solving problems that require multi level reasoning and combining independent pieces of knowledge, for example, a question like "What adaptation is necessary in intertidal ecosystems but not in reef ecosystems?'', requires the system to consider qualities, behaviour or features of an organism living in an intertidal ecosystem and compare with that of an organism in a reef ecosystem to find the answer. The proposed solution is to solve a genre of questions, which is questions based on "Adaptation, Variation and Behavior in Organisms", where there are various different independent sets of knowledge required for answering questions along with reasoning. This method is implemented using Answer Set Programming and Natural Language Inference (which is based on machine learning ) for finding which of the given options is more probable to be the answer by matching it with the knowledge base. To evaluate this approach, a dataset of questions and a knowledge base in the domain of "Adaptation, Variation and Behavior in Organisms" is created.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019

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Representing, reasoning and answering questions about biological pathways various applications

Description

Biological organisms are made up of cells containing numerous interconnected biochemical processes. Diseases occur when normal functionality of these processes is disrupted, manifesting as disease symptoms. Thus, understanding these biochemical

Biological organisms are made up of cells containing numerous interconnected biochemical processes. Diseases occur when normal functionality of these processes is disrupted, manifesting as disease symptoms. Thus, understanding these biochemical processes and their interrelationships is a primary task in biomedical research and a prerequisite for activities including diagnosing diseases and drug development. Scientists studying these interconnected processes have identified various pathways involved in drug metabolism, diseases, and signal transduction, etc. High-throughput technologies, new algorithms and speed improvements over the last decade have resulted in deeper knowledge about biological systems, leading to more refined pathways. Such pathways tend to be large and complex, making it difficult for an individual to remember all aspects. Thus, computer models are needed to represent and analyze them. The refinement activity itself requires reasoning with a pathway model by posing queries against it and comparing the results against the real biological system. Many existing models focus on structural and/or factoid questions, relying on surface-level information. These are generally not the kind of questions that a biologist may ask someone to test their understanding of biological processes. Examples of questions requiring understanding of biological processes are available in introductory college level biology text books. Such questions serve as a model for the question answering system developed in this thesis. Thus, the main goal of this thesis is to develop a system that allows the encoding of knowledge about biological pathways to answer questions demonstrating understanding of the pathways. To that end, a language is developed to specify a pathway and pose questions against it. Some existing tools are modified and used to accomplish this goal. The utility of the framework developed in this thesis is illustrated with applications in the biological domain. Finally, the question answering system is used in real world applications by extracting pathway knowledge from text and answering questions related to drug development.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Facilitating Efficient Information Seeking in Social Media

Description

Online social media is popular due to its real-time nature, extensive connectivity and a large user base. This motivates users to employ social media for seeking information by reaching out

Online social media is popular due to its real-time nature, extensive connectivity and a large user base. This motivates users to employ social media for seeking information by reaching out to their large number of social connections. Information seeking can manifest in the form of requests for personal and time-critical information or gathering perspectives on important issues. Social media platforms are not designed for resource seeking and experience large volumes of messages, leading to requests not being fulfilled satisfactorily. Designing frameworks to facilitate efficient information seeking in social media will help users to obtain appropriate assistance for their needs

and help platforms to increase user satisfaction.

Several challenges exist in the way of facilitating information seeking in social media. First, the characteristics affecting the user’s response time for a question are not known, making it hard to identify prompt responders. Second, the social context in which the user has asked the question has to be determined to find personalized responders. Third, users employ rhetorical requests, which are statements having the

syntax of questions, and systems assisting information seeking might be hindered from focusing on genuine questions. Fouth, social media advocates of political campaigns employ nuanced strategies to prevent users from obtaining balanced perspectives on

issues of public importance.

Sociological and linguistic studies on user behavior while making or responding to information seeking requests provides concepts drawing from which we can address these challenges. We propose methods to estimate the response time of the user for a given question to identify prompt responders. We compute the question specific social context an asker shares with his social connections to identify personalized responders. We draw from theories of political mobilization to model the behaviors arising from the strategies of people trying to skew perspectives. We identify rhetorical questions by modeling user motivations to post them.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017