Inferring Implicit Relations in Complex Questions with Language Models

Uri Katz, Mor Geva, Jonathan Berant

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A prominent challenge for modern language understanding systems is the ability to answer implicit reasoning questions, where the required reasoning steps for answering the question are not mentioned in the text explicitly. In this work, we investigate why current models struggle with implicit reasoning question answering (QA) tasks, by decoupling inference of reasoning steps from their execution. We define a new task of implicit relation inference and construct a benchmark, IMPLICITRELATIONS, where given a question, a model should output a list of concept-relation pairs, where the relations describe the implicit reasoning steps required for answering the question. Using IMPLICITRELATIONS, we evaluate models from the GPT-3 family and find that, while these models struggle on the implicit reasoning QA task, they often succeed at inferring implicit relations. This suggests that the challenge in implicit reasoning questions does not stem from the need to plan a reasoning strategy alone, but to do it while also retrieving and reasoning over relevant information.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event2022 Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: 7 Dec 202211 Dec 2022


Conference2022 Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi

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© 2022 Association for Computational Linguistics.


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