KDD Papers

A Context-aware Attention Network for Interactive Question Answering

Huayu Li (UNC Charlotte);Martin Renqiang Min (NEC Laboratories America);Yong Ge (University of Arizona);Asim Kadav (NEC Laboratories America)


Neural network based sequence-to-sequence models in an encoder-decoder framework have been successfully applied to solve Question Answering (QA) problems, predicting answers from statements and questions. However, almost all previous models have failed to consider detailed context information and unknown states under which systems do not have enough information to answer given questions. These scenarios with incomplete or ambiguous information are very common in the setting of Interactive Question Answering (IQA). To address this challenge, we develop a novel model, employing context-dependent word-level attention for more accurate statement representations and question-guided sentence-level attention for better context modeling, and design a new IQA dataset, which will be made publicly available, to test our model. Employing these attention mechanisms, our model accurately understands when it can output an answer or when it requires generating a supplementary question for additional input depending on different contexts. When available, user’s feedback is encoded and directly applied to update sentence-level attention to infer an answer. Extensive experiments on QA and IQA datasets demonstrate quantitatively the effectiveness of our model with significant improvement over state-of-the-art conventional QA models.