Declarative Question Answering over Knowledge Bases Containing Natural Language Text with Answer Set Programming

  • Arindam Mitra Arizona State University
  • Peter Clark Allen Institute for AI
  • Oyvind Tafjord AI2
  • Chitta Baral Arizona State University


While in recent years machine learning (ML) based approaches have been the popular approach in developing endto-end question answering systems, such systems often struggle when additional knowledge is needed to correctly answer the questions. Proposed alternatives involve translating the question and the natural language text to a logical representation and then use logical reasoning. However, this alternative falters when the size of the text gets bigger. To address this we propose an approach that does logical reasoning over premises written in natural language text. The proposed method uses recent features of Answer Set Programming (ASP) to call external NLP modules (which may be based on ML) which perform simple textual entailment. To test our approach we develop a corpus based on the life cycle questions and showed that Our system achieves up to 18% performance gain when compared to standard MCQ solvers.

AAAI Technical Track: Knowledge Representation and Reasoning