Putting Question-Answering Systems into Practice: Transfer Learning for Efficient Domain Customization

19 Apr 2018  ·  Bernhard Kratzwald, Stefan Feuerriegel ·

Traditional information retrieval (such as that offered by web search engines) impedes users with information overload from extensive result pages and the need to manually locate the desired information therein. Conversely, question-answering systems change how humans interact with information systems: users can now ask specific questions and obtain a tailored answer - both conveniently in natural language. Despite obvious benefits, their use is often limited to an academic context, largely because of expensive domain customizations, which means that the performance in domain-specific applications often fails to meet expectations. This paper proposes cost-efficient remedies: (i) we leverage metadata through a filtering mechanism, which increases the precision of document retrieval, and (ii) we develop a novel fuse-and-oversample approach for transfer learning in order to improve the performance of answer extraction. Here knowledge is inductively transferred from a related, yet different, tasks to the domain-specific application, while accounting for potential differences in the sample sizes across both tasks. The resulting performance is demonstrated with actual use cases from a finance company and the film industry, where fewer than 400 question-answer pairs had to be annotated in order to yield significant performance gains. As a direct implication to management, this presents a promising path to better leveraging of knowledge stored in information systems.

PDF 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