Automating Reading Comprehension by Generating Question and Answer Pairs

Neural network-based methods represent the state-of-the-art in question generation from text. Existing work focuses on generating only questions from text without concerning itself with answer generation. Moreover, our analysis shows that handling rare words and generating the most appropriate question given a candidate answer are still challenges facing existing approaches. We present a novel two-stage process to generate question-answer pairs from the text. For the first stage, we present alternatives for encoding the span of the pivotal answer in the sentence using Pointer Networks. In our second stage, we employ sequence to sequence models for question generation, enhanced with rich linguistic features. Finally, global attention and answer encoding are used for generating the question most relevant to the answer. We motivate and linguistically analyze the role of each component in our framework and consider compositions of these. This analysis is supported by extensive experimental evaluations. Using standard evaluation metrics as well as human evaluations, our experimental results validate the significant improvement in the quality of questions generated by our framework over the state-of-the-art. The technique presented here represents another step towards more automated reading comprehension assessment. We also present a live system \footnote{Demo of the system is available at \url{}.} to demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.

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