Peek Across: Improving Multi-Document Modeling via Cross-Document Question-Answering

Avi Caciularu, Matthew E. Peters, Jacob Goldberger, Ido Dagan, Arman Cohan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The integration of multi-document pre-training objectives into language models has resulted in remarkable improvements in multi-document downstream tasks. In this work, we propose extending this idea by pre-training a generic multi-document model from a novel cross-document question answering pre-training objective. To that end, given a set (or cluster) of topically-related documents, we systematically generate semantically-oriented questions from a salient sentence in one document and challenge the model, during pre-training, to answer these questions while “peeking" into other topically-related documents. In a similar manner, the model is also challenged to recover the sentence from which the question was generated, again while leveraging cross-document information. This novel multi-document QA formulation directs the model to better recover cross-text informational relations, and introduces a natural augmentation that artificially increases the pre-training data. Further, unlike prior multi-document models that focus on either classification or summarization tasks, our pre-training objective formulation enables the model to perform tasks that involve both short text generation (e.g., QA) and long text generation (e.g., summarization). Following this scheme, we pre-train our model - termed QAMDEN - and evaluate its performance across several multi-document tasks, including multi-document QA, summarization, and query-focused summarization, yielding improvements of up to 7%, and significantly outperforms zero-shot GPT-3.5 and GPT-4.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLong Papers
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages1970-1989
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781959429722
StatePublished - 2023
Event61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2023 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: 9 Jul 202314 Jul 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics
Volume1
ISSN (Print)0736-587X

Conference

Conference61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2023
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityToronto
Period9/07/2314/07/23

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Association for Computational Linguistics.

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