HiTab: A Hierarchical Table Dataset for Question Answering and Natural Language Generation

Tables are often created with hierarchies, but existing works on table reasoning mainly focus on flat tables and neglect hierarchical tables. Hierarchical tables challenge existing methods by hierarchical indexing, as well as implicit relationships of calculation and semantics. This work presents HiTab, a free and open dataset to study question answering (QA) and natural language generation (NLG) over hierarchical tables. HiTab is a cross-domain dataset constructed from a wealth of statistical reports (analyses) and Wikipedia pages, and has unique characteristics: (1) nearly all tables are hierarchical, and (2) both target sentences for NLG and questions for QA are revised from original, meaningful, and diverse descriptive sentences authored by analysts and professions of reports. (3) to reveal complex numerical reasoning in statistical analyses, we provide fine-grained annotations of entity and quantity alignment. HiTab provides 10,686 QA pairs and descriptive sentences with well-annotated quantity and entity alignment on 3,597 tables with broad coverage of table hierarchies and numerical reasoning types. Targeting hierarchical structure, we devise a novel hierarchy-aware logical form for symbolic reasoning over tables, which shows high effectiveness. Targeting complex numerical reasoning, we propose partially supervised training given annotations of entity and quantity alignment, which helps models to largely reduce spurious predictions in the QA task. In the NLG task, we find that entity and quantity alignment also helps NLG models to generate better results in a conditional generation setting. Experiment results of state-of-the-art baselines suggest that this dataset presents a strong challenge and a valuable benchmark for future research.

PDF Abstract ACL 2022 PDF ACL 2022 Abstract

Results from the Paper

  Submit results from this paper to get state-of-the-art GitHub badges and help the community compare results to other papers.


No methods listed for this paper. Add relevant methods here