Contrastive multi-document question generation

Woon Sang Cho, Yizhe Zhang, Sudha Rao, Asli Celikyilmaz, Chenyan Xiong, Jianfeng Gao, Mengdi Wang, Bill Dolan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Multi-document question generation focuses on generating a question that covers the common aspect of multiple documents. Such a model is useful in generating clarifying options. However, a naive model trained only using the targeted (“positive”) document set may generate too generic questions that cover a larger scope than delineated by the document set. To address this challenge, we introduce the contrastive learning strategy where given “positive” and “negative” sets of documents, we generate a question that is closely related to the “positive” set but is far away from the “negative” set. This setting allows generated questions to be more specific and related to the target document set. To generate such specific questions, we propose Multi-Source Coordinated Question Generator (MSCQG), a novel framework that includes a supervised learning (SL) stage and a reinforcement learning (RL) stage. In the SL stage, a single-document question generator is trained. In the RL stage, a coordinator model is trained to find optimal attention weights to align multiple single-document generators, by optimizing a reward designed to promote specificity of generated questions. We also develop an effective auxiliary objective, named Set-induced Contrastive Regularization (SCR) that improves the coordinator's contrastive learning during the RL stage. We show that our model significantly outperforms several strong baselines, as measured by automatic metrics and human evaluation. The source repository is publicly available at www.github.com/woonsangcho/contrast_qgen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEACL 2021 - 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages12-30
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781954085022
StatePublished - 2021
Event16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Associationfor Computational Linguistics, EACL 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Apr 19 2021Apr 23 2021

Publication series

NameEACL 2021 - 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Proceedings of the Conference

Conference

Conference16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Associationfor Computational Linguistics, EACL 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period4/19/214/23/21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Linguistics and Language

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