Topic-Based Question Generation

Wenpeng Hu, Bing Liu, Rui Yan, Dongyan Zhao, Jinwen Ma

Feb 15, 2018 (modified: Feb 15, 2018) ICLR 2018 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Asking questions is an important ability for a chatbot. This paper focuses on question generation. Although there are existing works on question generation based on a piece of descriptive text, it remains to be a very challenging problem. In the paper, we propose a new question generation problem, which also requires the input of a target topic in addition to a piece of descriptive text. The key reason for proposing the new problem is that in practical applications, we found that useful questions need to be targeted toward some relevant topics. One almost never asks a random question in a conversation. Due to the fact that given a descriptive text, it is often possible to ask many types of questions, generating a question without knowing what it is about is of limited use. To solve the problem, we propose a novel neural network that is able to generate topic-specific questions. One major advantage of this model is that it can be trained directly using a question-answering corpus without requiring any additional annotations like annotating topics in the questions or answers. Experimental results show that our model outperforms the state-of-the-art baseline.
  • TL;DR: We propose a neural network that is able to generate topic-specific questions.