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A Weakly Supervised Model for Solving Math word Problems

by   Oishik Chatterjee, et al.

Solving math word problems (MWPs) is an important and challenging problem in natural language processing. Existing approaches to solve MWPs require full supervision in the form of intermediate equations. However, labeling every math word problem with its corresponding equations is a time-consuming and expensive task. In order to address this challenge of equation annotation, we propose a weakly supervised model for solving math word problems by requiring only the final answer as supervision. We approach this problem by first learning to generate the equation using the problem description and the final answer, which we then use to train a supervised MWP solver. We propose and compare various weakly supervised techniques to learn to generate equations directly from the problem description and answer. Through extensive experiment, we demonstrate that even without using equations for supervision, our approach achieves an accuracy of 56.0 on the standard Math23K dataset. We also curate and release a new dataset for MWPs in English consisting of 10227 instances suitable for training weakly supervised models.


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