Since Pretrained Language Models (PLMs) are the cornerstone of the most recent Information Retrieval (IR) models, the way they encode semantic knowledge is particularly important. However, little attention has been given to studying the PLMs' capability to capture hierarchical semantic knowledge. Traditionally, evaluating such knowledge encoded in PLMs relies on their performance on a task-dependent evaluation approach based on proxy tasks, such as hypernymy detection. Unfortunately, this approach potentially ignores other implicit and complex taxonomic relations. In this work, we propose a task-agnostic evaluation method able to evaluate to what extent PLMs can capture complex taxonomy relations, such as ancestors and siblings. The evaluation is based on intrinsic properties that capture the hierarchical nature of taxonomies. Our experimental evaluation shows that the lexico-semantic knowledge implicitly encoded in PLMs does not always capture hierarchical relations. We further demonstrate that the proposed properties can be injected into PLMs to improve their understanding of hierarchy. Through evaluations on taxonomy reconstruction, hypernym discovery and reading comprehension tasks, we show that the knowledge about hierarchy is moderately but not systematically transferable across tasks.
In this work, our aim is to provide a structured answer in natural language to a complex information need. Particularly, we envision using generative models from the perspective of data-to-text generation. We propose the use of a content selection and planning pipeline which aims at structuring the answer by generating intermediate plans. The experimental evaluation is performed using the TREC Complex Answer Retrieval (CAR) dataset. We evaluate both the generated answer and its corresponding structure and show the effectiveness of planning-based models in comparison to a text-to-text model.
Several deep neural ranking models have been proposed in the recent IR literature. While their transferability to one target domain held by a dataset has been widely addressed using traditional domain adaptation strategies, the question of their cross-domain transferability is still under-studied. We study here in what extent neural ranking models catastrophically forget old knowledge acquired from previously observed domains after acquiring new knowledge, leading to performance decrease on those domains. Our experiments show that the effectiveness of neuralIR ranking models is achieved at the cost of catastrophic forgetting and that a lifelong learning strategy using a cross-domain regularizer success-fully mitigates the problem. Using an explanatory approach built on a regression model, we also show the effect of domain characteristics on the rise of catastrophic forgetting. We believe that the obtained results can be useful for both theoretical and practical future work in neural IR.
The state-of-the-art solutions to the vocabulary mismatch in information retrieval (IR) mainly aim at leveraging either the relational semantics provided by external resources or the distributional semantics, recently investigated by deep neural approaches. Guided by the intuition that the relational semantics might improve the effectiveness of deep neural approaches, we propose the Deep Semantic Resource Inference Model (DSRIM) that relies on: 1) a representation of raw-data that models the relational semantics of text by jointly considering objects and relations expressed in a knowledge resource, and 2) an end-to-end neural architecture that learns the query-document relevance by leveraging the distributional and relational semantics of documents and queries. The experimental evaluation carried out on two TREC datasets from TREC Terabyte and TREC CDS tracks relying respectively on WordNet and MeSH resources, indicates that our model outperforms state-of-the-art semantic and deep neural IR models.
This paper tackles the problem of the semantic gap between a document and a query within an ad-hoc information retrieval task. In this context, knowledge bases (KBs) have already been acknowledged as valuable means since they allow the representation of explicit relations between entities. However, they do not necessarily represent implicit relations that could be hidden in a corpora. This latter issue is tackled by recent works dealing with deep representation learn ing of texts. With this in mind, we argue that embedding KBs within deep neural architectures supporting documentquery matching would give rise to fine-grained latent representations of both words and their semantic relations. In this paper, we review the main approaches of neural-based document ranking as well as those approaches for latent representation of entities and relations via KBs. We then propose some avenues to incorporate KBs in deep neural approaches for document ranking. More particularly, this paper advocates that KBs can be used either to support enhanced latent representations of queries and documents based on both distributional and relational semantics or to serve as a semantic translator between their latent distributional representations.