MuLtIQA: An empirical investigation of generalization and transfer in reading comprehension

Alon Talmor, Jonathan Berant

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

A large number of reading comprehension (RC) datasets has been created recently, but little analysis has been done on whether they generalize to one another, and the extent to which existing datasets can be leveraged for improving performance on new ones. In this paper, we conduct such an investigation over ten RC datasets, training on one or more source RC datasets, and evaluating generalization, as well as transfer to a target RC dataset. We analyze the factors that contribute to generalization, and show that training on a source RC dataset and transferring to a target dataset substantially improves performance, even in the presence of powerful contextual representations from BERT (Devlin et al., 2019). We also find that training on multiple source RC datasets leads to robust generalization and transfer, and can reduce the cost of example collection for a new RC dataset. Following our analysis, we propose MULTIQA, a BERT-based model, trained on multiple RC datasets, which leads to state-of-the-art performance on five RC datasets. We share our infrastructure for the benefit of the research community.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACL 2019 - 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages4911-4921
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781950737482
StatePublished - 2020
Event57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2019 - Florence, Italy
Duration: 28 Jul 20192 Aug 2019

Publication series

NameACL 2019 - 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference

Conference

Conference57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2019
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityFlorence
Period28/07/192/08/19

Funding

FundersFunder number
Blavatnik Computer Science Research Fund
Yandex Initiative for Machine Learning
Israel Science Foundation942/16

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