Procedural Text Understanding via Scene-Wise Evolution

15 Mar 2022  ·  Jialong Tang, Hongyu Lin, Meng Liao, Yaojie Lu, Xianpei Han, Le Sun, Weijian Xie, Jin Xu ·

Procedural text understanding requires machines to reason about entity states within the dynamical narratives. Current procedural text understanding approaches are commonly \textbf{entity-wise}, which separately track each entity and independently predict different states of each entity. Such an entity-wise paradigm does not consider the interaction between entities and their states. In this paper, we propose a new \textbf{scene-wise} paradigm for procedural text understanding, which jointly tracks states of all entities in a scene-by-scene manner. Based on this paradigm, we propose \textbf{S}cene \textbf{G}raph \textbf{R}easoner (\textbf{SGR}), which introduces a series of dynamically evolving scene graphs to jointly formulate the evolution of entities, states and their associations throughout the narrative. In this way, the deep interactions between all entities and states can be jointly captured and simultaneously derived from scene graphs. Experiments show that SGR not only achieves the new state-of-the-art performance but also significantly accelerates the speed of reasoning.

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