UniK-QA: Unified Representations of Structured and Unstructured Knowledge for Open-Domain Question Answering

Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL)


We study open-domain question answering with structured, unstructured and semi-structured knowledge sources, including text, tables, lists and knowledge bases. Departing from prior work, we propose a unifying approach that homogenizes all sources by reducing them to text and applies the retriever-reader model which has so far been limited to text sources only. Our approach greatly improves the results on knowledge-base QA tasks by 11 points, compared to latest graph-based methods. More importantly, we demonstrate that our unified knowledge (UniK-QA1) model is a simple and yet effective way to combine heterogeneous sources of knowledge, advancing the state-of-the-art results on two popular question answering benchmarks, NaturalQuestions and WebQuestions, by 3.5 and 2.6 points, respectively.

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MLSys - 2022