Explainable Natural Language Reasoning via Conceptual Unification

09/30/2020 ∙ by Marco Valentino, et al. ∙ 0

This paper presents an abductive framework for multi-hop and interpretable textual inference. The reasoning process is guided by the notions unification power and plausibility of an explanation, computed through the interaction of two major architectural components: (a) An analogical reasoning model that ranks explanatory facts by leveraging unification patterns in a corpus of explanations; (b) An abductive reasoning model that performs a search for the best explanation, which is realised via conceptual abstraction and subsequent unification. We demonstrate that the Step-wise Conceptual Unification can be effective for unsupervised question answering, and as an explanation extractor in combination with state-of-the-art Transformers. An empirical evaluation on the Worldtree corpus and the ARC Challenge resulted in the following conclusions: (1) The question answering model outperforms competitive neural and multi-hop baselines without requiring any explicit training on answer prediction; (2) When used as an explanation extractor, the proposed model significantly improves the performance of Transformers, leading to state-of-the-art results on the Worldtree corpus; (3) Analogical and abductive reasoning are highly complementary for achieving sound explanatory inference, a feature that demonstrates the impact of the unification patterns on performance and interpretability.

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