XTE: Explainable Text Entailment

09/25/2020 ∙ by Vivian S. Silva, et al. ∙ 0

Text entailment, the task of determining whether a piece of text logically follows from another piece of text, is a key component in NLP, providing input for many semantic applications such as question answering, text summarization, information extraction, and machine translation, among others. Entailment scenarios can range from a simple syntactic variation to more complex semantic relationships between pieces of text, but most approaches try a one-size-fits-all solution that usually favors some scenario to the detriment of another. Furthermore, for entailments requiring world knowledge, most systems still work as a "black box", providing a yes/no answer that does not explain the underlying reasoning process. In this work, we introduce XTE - Explainable Text Entailment - a novel composite approach for recognizing text entailment which analyzes the entailment pair to decide whether it must be resolved syntactically or semantically. Also, if a semantic matching is involved, we make the answer interpretable, using external knowledge bases composed of structured lexical definitions to generate natural language justifications that explain the semantic relationship holding between the pieces of text. Besides outperforming well-established entailment algorithms, our composite approach gives an important step towards Explainable AI, allowing the inference model interpretation, making the semantic reasoning process explicit and understandable.

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