UNIQORN: Unified Question Answering over RDF Knowledge Graphs and Natural Language Text

19 Aug 2021  ·  Soumajit Pramanik, Jesujoba Alabi, Rishiraj Saha Roy, Gerhard Weikum ·

Question answering over knowledge graphs and other RDF data has been greatly advanced, with a number of good systems providing crisp answers for natural language questions or telegraphic queries. Some of these systems incorporate textual sources as additional evidence for the answering process, but cannot compute answers that are present in text alone. Conversely, systems from the IR and NLP communities have addressed QA over text, but such systems barely utilize semantic data and knowledge. This paper presents the first QA system that can seamlessly operate over RDF datasets and text corpora, or both together, in a unified framework. Our method, called UNIQORN, builds a context graph on-the-fly, by retrieving question-relevant evidences from the RDF data and/or a text corpus, using fine-tuned BERT models. The resulting graph is typically rich but highly noisy. UNIQORN copes with this input by a graph algorithm for Group Steiner Trees, that identifies the best answer candidates in the context graph. Experimental results on several benchmarks of complex questions with multiple entities and relations, show that UNIQORN significantly outperforms state-of-the-art methods for QA over heterogeneous sources. The graph-based methodology provides user-interpretable evidence for the complete answering process.

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