Data Augmentation for BERT Fine-Tuning in Open-Domain Question Answering

Recently, a simple combination of passage retrieval using off-the-shelf IR techniques and a BERT reader was found to be very effective for question answering directly on Wikipedia, yielding a large improvement over the previous state of the art on a standard benchmark dataset. In this paper, we present a data augmentation technique using distant supervision that exploits positive as well as negative examples. We apply a stage-wise approach to fine tuning BERT on multiple datasets, starting with data that is "furthest" from the test data and ending with the "closest". Experimental results show large gains in effectiveness over previous approaches on English QA datasets, and we establish new baselines on two recent Chinese QA datasets.

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