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Publications

  • Domain-Targeted, High Precision Knowledge Extraction
    Bhavana Dalvi, Niket Tandon, and Peter Clark TACL 2017
  • Adaptive Concentration Inequalities for Sequential Decision Problems
    Shengjia Zhao, Enze Zhou, Ashish Sabharwal, and Stefano Ermon NIPS 2016
  • Examples are not enough. Learn to criticize! Criticism for Interpretability
    Been Kim, Sanmi Koyejo and Rajiv Khanna NIPS 2016

    Example-based explanations are widely used in the effort to improve the interpretability of highly complex distributions. However, prototypes alone are rarely sufficient to represent the gist of the complexity. In order for users to construct better mental models and understand complex data distributions, we also need criticism to explain what are not captured by prototypes. Motivated by the Bayesian model criticism framework, we develop MMD-critic which efficiently learns prototypes and criticism, designed to aid human interpretability. A human subject pilot study shows that the MMD-critic selects prototypes and criticism that are useful to facilitate human understanding and reasoning. We also evaluate the prototypes selected by MMD-critic via a nearest prototype classifier, showing competitive performance compared to baselines. Less

  • What’s in an Explanation? Characterizing Knowledge and Inference Requirements for Elementary Science Exams
    Peter Jansen, Niranjan Balasubramanian, Mihai Surdeanu, and Peter Clark COLING 2016

    QA systems have been making steady advances in the challenging elementary science exam domain. In this work, we develop an explanation-based analysis of knowledge and inference requirements, which supports a fine-grained characterization of the challenges. In particular, we model the requirements based on appropriate sources of evidence to be used for the QA task. We create requirements by first identifying suitable sentences in a knowledge base that support the correct answer, then use these to build explanations, filling in any necessary missing information. These explanations are used to create a fine-grained categorization of the requirements. Using these requirements, we compare a retrieval and an inference solver on 212 questions. The analysis validates the gains of the inference solver, demonstrating that it answers more questions requiring complex inference, while also providing insights into the relative strengths of the solvers and knowledge sources. We release the annotated questions and explanations as a resource with broad utility for science exam QA, including determining knowledge base construction targets, as well as supporting information aggregation in automated inference. Less

  • Semantic Parsing to Probabilistic Programs for Situated Question Answering
    Jayant Krishnamurthy, Oyvind Tafjord, and Aniruddha Kembhavi EMNLP 2016

    Situated question answering is the problem of answering questions about an environment such as an image or diagram. This problem requires jointly interpreting a question and an environment using background knowledge to select the correct answer. We present Parsing to Probabilistic Programs (P3), a novel situated question answering model that can use background knowledge and global features of the question/environment interpretation while retaining efficient approximate inference. Our key insight is to treat semantic parses as probabilistic programs that execute nondeterministically and whose possible executions represent environmental uncertainty. We evaluate our approach on a new, publicly-released data set of 5000 science diagram questions, outperforming several competitive classical and neural baselines. Less

  • Creating Causal Embeddings for Question Answering with Minimal Supervision
    Rebecca Sharp, Mihai Surdeanu, Peter Jansen, and Peter Clark EMNLP 2016

    A common model for question answering (QA) is that a good answer is one that is closely related to the question, where relatedness is often determined using generalpurpose lexical models such as word embeddings. We argue that a better approach is to look for answers that are related to the question in a relevant way, according to the information need of the question, which may be determined through task-specific embeddings. With causality as a use case, we implement this insight in three steps. First, we generate causal embeddings cost-effectively by bootstrapping cause-effect pairs extracted from free text using a small set of seed patterns. Second, we train dedicated embeddings over this data, by using task-specific contexts, i.e., the context of a cause is its effect. Finally, we extend a state-of-the-art reranking approach for QA to incorporate these causal embeddings. We evaluate the causal embedding models both directly with a casual implication task, and indirectly, in a downstream causal QA task using data from Yahoo! Answers. We show that explicitly modeling causality improves performance in both tasks. In the QA task our best model achieves 37.3% P@1, significantly outperforming a strong baseline by 7.7% (relative). Less

  • Cross-Sentence Inference for Process Knowledge
    Samuel Louvan, Chetan Naik, Sadhana Kumaravel, Heeyoung Kwon, Niranjan Balasubramanian, and Peter Clark EMNLP 2016

    For AI systems to reason about real world situations, they need to recognize which processes are at play and which entities play key roles in them. Our goal is to extract this kind of rolebased knowledge about processes, from multiple sentence-level descriptions. This knowledge is hard to acquire; while semantic role labeling (SRL) systems can extract sentence level role information about individual mentions of a process, their results are often noisy and they do not attempt create a globally consistent characterization of a process. To overcome this, we extend standard within sentence joint inference to inference across multiple sentences. This cross sentence inference promotes role assignments that are compatible across different descriptions of the same process. When formulated as an Integer Linear Program, this leads to improvements over within-sentence inference by nearly 3% in F1. The resulting role-based knowledge is of high quality (with a F1 of nearly 82). Less

  • Beyond Parity Constraints: Fourier Analysis of Hash Functions for Inference
    Tudor Achim, Ashish Sabharwal, and Stefano Ermon ICML 2016

    Random projections have played an important role in scaling up machine learning and data mining algorithms. Recently they have also been applied to probabilistic inference to estimate properties of high-dimensional distributions; however , they all rely on the same class of projections based on universal hashing. We provide a general framework to analyze random projections which relates their statistical properties to their Fourier spectrum, which is a well-studied area of theoretical computer science. Using this framework we introduce two new classes of hash functions for probabilistic inference and model counting that show promising performance on synthetic and real-world benchmarks. Less

  • G-CNN: an Iterative Grid Based Object Detector
    Mahyar Najibi, Mohammad Rastegari, and Larry Davis CVPR 2016

    We introduce G-CNN, an object detection technique based on CNNs which works without proposal algorithms. G-CNN starts with a multi-scale grid of fixed bounding boxes. We train a regressor to move and scale elements of the grid towards objects iteratively. G-CNN models the problem of object detection as finding a path from a fixed grid to boxes tightly surrounding the objects. G-CNN with around 180 boxes in a multi-scale grid performs comparably to Fast R-CNN which uses around 2K bounding boxes generated with a proposal technique. This strategy makes detection faster by removing the object proposal stage as well as reducing the number of boxes to be processed. Less

  • Deep3D: Fully Automatic 2D-to-3D Video Conversion with Deep Convolutional Neural Networks
    Junyuan Xie, Ross Girshick, and Ali Farhadi ECCV 2016

    We propose Deep3D, a fully automatic 2D-to-3D conversion algorithm that takes 2D images or video frames as input and outputs stereo 3D image pairs. The stereo images can be viewed with 3D glasses or head-mounted VR displays. Deep3D is trained directly on stereo pairs from a dataset of 3D movies to minimize the pixel-wise reconstruction error of the right view when given the left view. Internally, the Deep3D network estimates a probabilistic disparity map that is used by a differentiable depth image-based rendering layer to produce the right view. Thus Deep3D does not require collecting depth sensor data for supervision. Less

  • Designing AI Systems that Obey Our Laws and Values
    Amitai Etzioni and Oren Etzioni CACM 2016

    Operational AI systems (for example, self-driving cars) need to obey both the law of the land and our values. We propose AI oversight systems ("AI Guardians") as an approach to addressing this challenge, and to respond to the potential risks associated with increasingly autonomous AI systems. These AI oversight systems serve to verify that operational systems did not stray unduly from the guidelines of their programmers and to bring them back in compliance if they do stray. The introduction of such second-order, oversight systems is not meant to suggest strict, powerful, or rigid (from here on 'strong') controls. Operations systems need a great degree of latitude in order to follow the lessons of their learning from additional data mining and experience and to be able to render at least semi-autonomous decisions (more about this later). However, all operational systems need some boundaries, both in order to not violate the law and to adhere to ethical norms. Developing such oversight systems, AI Guardians, is a major new mission for the AI community. Less

  • FigureSeer: Parsing Result-Figures in Research Papers
    Noah Siegel, Zachary Horvitz, Roie Levin, Santosh Divvala, and Ali Farhadi ECCV 2016

    ‘Which are the pedestrian detectors that yield a precision above 95% at 25% recall?’ Answering such a complex query involves identifying and analyzing the results reported in figures within several research papers. Despite the availability of excellent academic search engines, retrieving such information poses a cumbersome challenge today as these systems have primarily focused on understanding the text content of scholarly documents. In this paper, we introduce FigureSeer, an end-to-end framework for parsing result-figures, that enables powerful search and retrieval of results in research papers. Our proposed approach automatically localizes figures from research papers, classifies them, and analyses the content of the result-figures. The key challenge in analyzing the figure content is the extraction of the plotted data and its association with the legend entries. We address this challenge by formulating a novel graph-based reasoning approach using a CNN-based similarity metric. We present a thorough evaluation on a real-word annotated dataset to demonstrate the efficacy of our approach. Less

  • Much Ado About Time: Exhaustive Annotation of Temporal Data
    Gunnar A. Sigurdsson, Olga Russakovsky, Ali Farhadi, Ivan Laptev, and Abhinav Gupta HCOMP 2016

    Large-scale annotated datasets allow AI systems to learn from and build upon the knowledge of the crowd. Many crowdsourcing techniques have been developed for collecting image annotations. These techniques often implicitly rely on the fact that a new input image takes a negligible amount of time to perceive. In contrast, we investigate and determine the most cost-effective way of obtaining high-quality multi-label annotations for temporal data such as videos. Watching even a short 30-second video clip requires a significant time investment from a crowd worker; thus, requesting multiple annotations following a single viewing is an important cost-saving strategy. But how many questions should we ask per video? We conclude that the optimal strategy is to ask as many questions as possible in a HIT (up to 52 binary questions after watching a 30-second video clip in our experiments). We demonstrate that while workers may not correctly answer all questions, the cost-benefit analysis nevertheless favors consensus from multiple such cheap-yet-imperfect iterations over more complex alternatives. When compared with a one-question-per-video baseline, our method is able to achieve a 10% improvement in recall (76.7% ours versus 66.7% baseline) at comparable precision (83.8% ours versus 83.0% baseline) in about half the annotation time (3.8 minutes ours compared to 7.1 minutes baseline). We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method by collecting multi-label annotations of 157 human activities on 1,815 videos. Less

  • Hollywood in Homes: Crowdsourcing Data Collection for Activity Understanding
    Gunnar A. Sigurdsson, Gül Varol, Xiaolong Wang, Ali Farhadi, Ivan Laptev, and Abhinav Gupta ECCV 2016

    Computer vision has a great potential to help our daily lives by searching for lost keys, watering flowers or reminding us to take a pill. To succeed with such tasks, computer vision methods need to be trained from real and diverse examples of our daily dynamic scenes. While most of such scenes are not particularly exciting, they typically do not appear on YouTube, in movies or TV broadcasts. So how do we collect sufficiently many diverse but boring samples representing our lives? We propose a novel Hollywood in Homes approach to collect such data. Instead of shooting videos in the lab, we ensure diversity by distributing and crowdsourcing the whole process of video creation from script writing to video recording and annotation. Following this procedure we collect a new dataset, Charades, with hundreds of people recording videos in their own homes, acting out casual everyday activities. The dataset is composed of 9,848 annotated videos with an average length of 30 seconds, showing activities of 267 people from three continents. Each video is annotated by multiple free-text descriptions, action labels, action intervals and classes of interacted objects. In total, Charades provides 27,847 video descriptions, 66,500 temporally localized intervals for 157 action classes and 41,104 labels for 46 object classes. Using this rich data, we evaluate and provide baseline results for several tasks including action recognition and automatic description generation. We believe that the realism, diversity, and casual nature of this dataset will present unique challenges and new opportunities for computer vision community. Less

  • XNOR-Net: ImageNet Classification Using Binary Convolutional Neural Networks
    Mohammad Rastegari, Vicente Ordonez, Joseph Redmon, and Ali Farhadi ECCV 2016

    We propose two efficient approximations to standard convolutional neural networks: Binary-Weight-Networks and XNOR-Networks. In Binary-Weight-Networks, the filters are approximated with binary values resulting in $32\times$ memory saving. In XNOR-Networks, both the filters and the input to convolutional layers are binary. XNOR-Networks approximate convolutions using primarily binary operations. This results in 58x faster convolutional operations (in terms of number of the high precision operations) and 32x memory savings. XNOR-Nets offer the possibility of running state-of-the-art networks on CPUs (rather than GPUs) in real-time. Our binary networks are simple, accurate, efficient, and work on challenging visual tasks. We evaluate our approach on the ImageNet classification task. The classification accuracy with a Binary-Weight-Network version of AlexNet is the same as the full-precision AlexNet. We compare our method with recent network binarization methods, BinaryConnect and BinaryNets, and outperform these methods by large margins on ImageNet, more than 16% in top-1 accuracy. Less

  • "What happens if..." Learning to Predict the Effect of Forces in Images
    Roozbeh Mottaghi, Mohammad Rastegari, Abhinav Gupta, and Ali Farhadi ECCV 2016

    What happens if one pushes a cup sitting on a table toward the edge of the table? How about pushing a desk against a wall? In this paper, we study the problem of understanding the movements of objects as a result of applying external forces to them. For a given force vector applied to a specific location in an image, our goal is to predict long-term sequential movements caused by that force. Doing so entails reasoning about scene geometry, objects, their attributes, and the physical rules that govern the movements of objects. We design a deep neural network model that learns long-term sequential dependencies of object movements while taking into account the geometry and appearance of the scene by combining Convolutional and Recurrent Neural Networks. Training our model requires a large-scale dataset of object movements caused by external forces. To build a dataset of forces in scenes, we reconstructed all images in SUN RGB-D dataset in a physics simulator to estimate the physical movements of objects caused by external forces applied to them. Our Forces in Scenes (ForScene) dataset contains 65,000 object movements in 3D which represent a variety of external forces applied to different types of objects. Our experimental evaluations show that the challenging task of predicting long-term movements of objects as their reaction to external forces is possible from a single image. The code and dataset are available at: http://allenai.org/plato/forces. Less

  • A Diagram Is Worth A Dozen Images
    Aniruddha Kembhavi, Mike Salvato, Eric Kolve, Minjoon Seo, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, and Ali Farhadi ECCV 2016

    Diagrams are common tools for representing complex concepts, relationships and events, often when it would be difficult to portray the same information with natural images. Understanding natural images has been extensively studied in computer vision, while diagram understanding has received little attention. In this paper, we study the problem of diagram interpretation, the challenging task of identifying the structure of a diagram and the semantics of its constituents and their relationships. We introduce Diagram Parse Graphs (DPG) as our representation to model the structure of diagrams. We define syntactic parsing of diagrams as learning to infer DPGs for diagrams and study semantic interpretation and reasoning of diagrams in the context of diagram question answering. We devise an LSTM-based method for syntactic parsing of diagrams and introduce a DPG-based attention model for diagram question answering. We compile a new dataset of diagrams with exhaustive annotations of constituents and relationships for about 5,000 diagrams and 15,000 questions and answers. Our results show the significance of our models for syntactic parsing and question answering in diagrams using DPGs. Less

  • Unsupervised Deep Embedding for Clustering Analysis
    Junyuan Xie, Ross Girshick, and Ali Farhadi ICML 2016

    Clustering is central to many data-driven application domains and has been studied extensively in terms of distance functions and grouping algorithms. Relatively little work has focused on learning representations for clustering. In this paper, we propose Deep Embedded Clustering (DEC), a method that simultaneously learns feature representations and cluster assignments using deep neural networks. DEC learns a mapping from the data space to a lower-dimensional feature space in which it iteratively optimizes a clustering objective. Our experimental evaluations on image and text corpora show significant improvement over state-of-the-art methods. Less

  • Metaphor as a Medium for Emotion: An Empirical Study
    Saif M. Mohammad, Ekaterina Shutova, and Peter D. Turney SEM 2016

    It is generally believed that a metaphor tends to have a stronger emotional impact than a literal statement; however, there is no quantitative study establishing the extent to which this is true. Further, the mechanisms through which metaphors convey emotions are not well understood. We present the first data-driven study comparing the emotionality of metaphorical expressions with that of their literal counterparts. Our results indicate that metaphorical usages are, on average, significantly more emotional than literal usages. We also show that this emotional content is not simply transferred from the source domain into the target, but rather is a result of meaning composition and interaction of the two domains in the metaphor. Less

  • Moving Beyond the Turing Test with the Allen AI Science Challenge
    Carissa Schoenick, Peter Clark, Oyvind Tafjord, Peter Turney, and Oren Etzioni CACM 2016

    Given recent successes in AI (e.g., AlphaGo’s victory against Lee Sedol in the game of GO), it’s become increasingly important to assess: how close are AI systems to human-level intelligence? This paper describes the Allen AI Science Challenge—an approach towards that goal which led to a unique Kaggle Competition, its results, the lessons learned, and our next steps. Less

  • Designing AI Systems that Obey Our Laws and Values
    Amitai Etzioni and Oren Etzioni CACM 2016

    Operational AI systems (e.g., self-driving cars) need to obey both the law of the land, and our value system. We propose AI oversight systems (“AI Guardians”) as an approach to addressing this challenge, and to respond to the potential risks associated with increasingly autonomous AI systems. These AI oversight systems serve to verify that operational ones did not stray unduly from the guidelines of their programmers and to bring them back in compliance if they do stray. The introduction of such second-order, oversight systems is not meant to suggest strict, powerful, or rigid (from here on ‘strong’) controls. Operations systems need a great degree of latitude in order to follow the lessons of their learning from additional data mining and experience and to be able to render at least semi-autonomous decisions (more about this below). However, all operational systems need some boundaries, both in order to not violate the law and to adhere to ethical norms. Developing such oversight systems, AI Guardians, is a major new mission for the AI community. Less

  • Tables as Semi-structured Knowledge for Question Answering
    Sujay Kumar Jauhar, Peter D. Turney, Eduard Hovy ACL 2016

    Question answering requires access to a knowledge base to check facts and reason about information. Knowledge in the form of natural language text is easy to acquire, but difficult for automated reasoning. Highly-structured knowledge bases can facilitate reasoning, but are difficult to acquire. In this paper we explore tables as a semi-structured formalism that provides a balanced compromise to this trade-off. We first use the structure of tables to guide the construction of a dataset of over 9000 multiple-choice questions with rich alignment annotations, easily and efficiently via crowd-sourcing. We then use this annotated data to train a semi-structured feature-driven model for question answering that uses tables as a knowledge base. In benchmark evaluations, we significantly outperform both a strong un-structured retrieval baseline and a highly-structured Markov Logic Network model.

    Erratum: We used 63 tables in our experiments, not 65 as stated in the paper: 39 for Regents and 24 for Monarch. The tables are those in our accompanying dataset, available on our data page. Less

  • AI assisted ethics
    Amitai Etzioni and Oren Etzioni Ethics and Information Technology 2016

    The growing number of 'smart' instruments, those equipped with AI, has raised concerns because these instruments make autonomous decisions; that is, they act beyond the guidelines provided them by programmers. Hence, the question the makers and users of smart instrument (e.g., driver-less cars) face is how to ensure that these instruments will not engage in unethical conduct (not to be conflated with illegal conduct). The article suggests that to proceed we need a new kind of AI program—oversight programs—that will monitor, audit, and hold operational AI programs accountable. Less

  • IKE - An Interactive Tool for Knowledge Extraction
    Bhavana Dalvi, Sumithra Bhakthavatsalam, Chris Clark, Peter Clark, Oren Etzioni, Anthony Fader, and Dirk Groeneveld AKBC workshop 2016

    Recent work on information extraction has suggested that fast, interactive tools can be highly effective; however, creating a usable system is challenging, and few publicly available tools exist. In this paper we present IKE, a new extraction tool that performs fast, interactive bootstrapping to develop high quality extraction patterns for targeted relations. Central to IKE is the notion that an extraction pattern can be treated as a search query over a corpus. To operationalize this, IKE uses a novel query language that is expressive, easy to understand, and fast to execute - essential requirements for a practical system. It is also the first interactive extraction tool to seamlessly integrate symbolic (boolean) and distributional (similarity-based) methods for search. An initial evaluation suggests that relation tables can be populated substantially faster than by manual pattern authoring while retaining accuracy, and more reliably than fully automated tools, an important step towards practical KB construction. We are making IKE publicly available. Less

  • PDFFigures 2.0: Mining Figures from Research Papers
    Christopher Clark and Santosh Divvala JCDL 2016

    Figures and tables are key sources of information in many scholarly documents. However, current academic search engines do not make use of gures and tables when semantically parsing documents or presenting document summaries to users. To facilitate these applications we develop an algorithm that extracts gures, tables, and captions from documents called \PDFFigures 2.0."Our proposed approach analyzes the structure of individual pages by detecting captions, graphical elements, and chunks of body text, and then locates gures and tables by reasoning about the empty regions within that text. To evaluate our work, we introduce a new dataset of computer science papers, along with ground truth labels for the locations of the gures, tables, and captions within them. Our algorithm achieves impressive results (94% precision at 90% recall) on this dataset surpassing previous state of the art. Further, we show how our framework was used to extract gures from a corpus of over one million papers, and how the resulting extractions were integrated into the user interface of a smart academic search engine, Semantic Scholar (www.semanticscholar.org). Finally, we present results of exploratory data analysis completed on the extracted gures as well as an extension of our method for the task of section title extraction. We release our dataset and code on our project webpage for enabling future research (http://pdgures2.allenai.org). Less

  • A Task-Oriented Approach for Cost-sensitive Recognition
    Roozbeh Mottaghi, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, and Ali Fahradi CVPR 2016

    With the recent progress in visual recognition, we have already started to see a surge of vision related real-world applications. These applications, unlike general scene understanding, are task oriented and require specific information from visual data. Considering the current growth in new sensory devices, feature designs, feature learning methods, and algorithms, the search in the space of features and models becomes combinatorial. In this paper, we propose a novel cost-sensitive task-oriented recognition method that is based on a combination of linguistic semantics and visual cues. Our task-oriented framework is able to generalize to unseen tasks for which there is no training data and outperforms state-of-the-art cost-based recognition baselines on our new task-based dataset. Less

  • Actions ~ Transformations
    Xiaolong Wang, Ali Farhadi, and Abhinav Gupta CVPR 2016

    What defines an action like “kicking ball”? We argue that the true meaning of an action lies in the change or transformation an action brings to the environment. In this paper, we propose a novel representation for actions by modeling an action as a transformation which changes the state of the environment before the action happens (pre-condition) to the state after the action (effect). Motivated by recent advancements of video representation using deep learning, we design a Siamese network which models the action as a transformation on a high-level feature space. We show that our model gives improvements on standard action recognition datasets including UCF101 and HMDB51. More importantly, our approach is able to generalize beyond learned action categories and shows significant performance improvement on cross-category generalization on our new ACT dataset. Less

  • You Only Look Once: Unified, Real-Time Object Detection
    Joseph Redmon, Santosh Divvala, Ross Girshick, and Ali Farhadi CVPR 2016

    We present YOLO, a new approach to object detection. Prior work on object detection repurposes classifiers to perform detection. Instead, we frame object detection as a regression problem to spatially separated bounding boxes and associated class probabilities. A single neural network pre- dicts bounding boxes and class probabilities directly from full images in one evaluation. Since the whole detection pipeline is a single network, it can be optimized end-to-end directly on detection performance. Our unified architecture is extremely fast. Our base YOLO model processes images in real-time at 45 frames per second. A smaller version of the network, Fast YOLO, processes an astounding 155 frames per second while still achieving double the mAP of other real-time detec- tors. Compared to state-of-the-art detection systems, YOLO makes more localization errors but is less likely to predict false positives on background. Finally, YOLO learns very general representations of objects. It outperforms other detection methods, including DPM and R-CNN, when generalizing from natural images to other domains like artwork. Less

  • Newtonian Image Understanding: Unfolding the Dynamics of Objects in Static Images
    Roozbeh Mottaghi, Hessam Bagherinezhad, Mohammad Rastegari, and Ali Farhadi CVPR 2016

    In this paper, we study the challenging problem of predicting the dynamics of objects in static images. Given a query object in an image, our goal is to provide a physical understanding of the object in terms of the forces acting upon it and its long term motion as response to those forces. Direct and explicit estimation of the forces and the motion of objects from a single image is extremely challenging. We define intermediate physical abstractions called Newtonian scenarios and introduce Newtonian Neural Network (N3) that learns to map a single image to a state in a Newto- nian scenario. Our evaluations show that our method can reliably predict dynamics of a query object from a single image. In addition, our approach can provide physical rea- soning that supports the predicted dynamics in terms of ve- locity and force vectors. To spur research in this direction we compiled Visual Newtonian Dynamics (VIND) dataset that includes more than 6000 videos aligned with Newto- nian scenarios represented using game engines, and more than 4500 still images with their ground truth dynamics. Less

  • Situation Recognition: Visual Semantic Role Labeling for Image Understanding
    Mark Yatskar, Luke Zettlemoyer, and Ali Farhadi CVPR 2016

    This paper introduces situation recognition, the problem of producing a concise summary of the situation an image depicts including: (1) the main activity (e.g., clipping), (2) the participating actors, objects, substances, and locations (e.g., man, shears, sheep, wool, and field) and most importantly (3) the roles these participants play in the activity (e.g., the man is clipping, the shears are his tool, the wool is being clipped from the sheep, and the clipping is in a field). We use FrameNet, a verb and role lexicon devel- oped by linguists, to define a large space of possible sit- uations and collect a large-scale dataset containing over 500 activities, 1,700 roles, 11,000 objects, 125,000 images, and 200,000 unique situations. We also introduce struc- tured prediction baselines and show that, in activity-centric images, situation-driven prediction of objects and activities outperforms independent object and activity recognition. Less

  • Question Answering via Integer Programming over Semi-Structured Knowledge
    Daniel Khashabi, Tushar Khot, Ashish Sabharwal, Peter Clark, Oren Etzioni, and Dan Roth IJCAI 2016 Code Demo

    Answering science questions posed in natural language is an important AI challenge. Answering such questions often requires non-trivial inference and knowledge that goes beyond factoid retrieval. Yet, most systems for this task are based on relatively shallow Information Retrieval (IR) and statistical correlation techniques operating on large unstructured corpora. We propose a structured inference system for this task, formulated as an Integer Linear Program (ILP), that answers natural language questions using a semi-structured knowledge base derived from text, including questions requiring multi-step inference and a combination of multiple facts. On a dataset of real, unseen science questions, our system significantly outperforms (+14%) the best previous attempt at structured reasoning for this task, which used Markov Logic Networks (MLNs). It also improves upon a previous ILP formulation by 17.7%. When combined with unstructured inference methods, the ILP system significantly boosts overall performance (+10%). Finally, we show our approach is substantially more robust to a simple answer perturbation compared to statistical correlation methods. Less

  • Probabilistic Models for Learning a Semantic Parser Lexicon
    Jayant Krishnamurthy NAACL 2016

    We introduce several probabilistic models for learning the lexicon of a semantic parser. Lexicon learning is the first step of training a semantic parser for a new application domain and the quality of the learned lexicon significantly affects both the accuracy and efficiency of the final semantic parser. Existing work on lexicon learning has focused on heuristic methods that lack convergence guarantees and require significant human input in the form of lexicon templates or annotated logical forms. In contrast, our probabilistic models are trained directly from question/answer pairs using EM and our simplest model has a concave objective that guarantees convergence to a global optimum. An experimental evaluation on a set of 4th grade science questions demonstrates that our models improve semantic parser accuracy (35-70% error reduction) and efficiency (4-25x more sentences per second) relative to prior work despite using less human input. Our models also obtain competitive results on GEO880 without any dataset- specific engineering. Less

  • Mark Yatskar, Vicente Ordonez, and Ali Farhadi NAACL 2016

    Obtaining common sense knowledge using current information extraction techniques is extremely challenging. In this work, we instead propose to derive simple common sense statements from fully annotated object detection corpora such as the Microsoft Common Objects in Context dataset. We show that many thousands of common sense facts can be extracted from such corpora at high quality. Furthermore, using WordNet and a novel submodular k-coverage formulation, we are able to generalize our initial set of common sense assertions to unseen objects and uncover over 400k potentially useful facts. Less

  • Keeping AI Legal
    Amitai Etzioni and Oren Etzioni Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law 2016

    AI programs make numerous decisions on their own, lack transparency, and may change frequently. Hence, the article shows, unassisted human agents — such as auditors, accountants, inspectors, and police — cannot ensure that AI guided instruments will abide by the law. Human agents need assistance of AI oversight programs that analyze and oversee the operational AI programs. The article then asks whether operational AI programs should be programmed to enable human users to override them — without that such a move would undermine the legal order. The article next points out that AI operational programs provide very high surveillance capacities, and that hence AI oversight programs are essential for protecting individual rights in the cyber age. The article closes by discussing the argument that AI guided instruments, e.g. robots, lead to endangering much more than the legal order — that they may turn on their makers, or even destroy humanity. Less

  • Hessam Bagherinezhad, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, Yejin Choi, and Ali Farhadi AAAI 2016

    Human vision greatly benefits from the information about sizes of objects. The role of size in several visual reasoning tasks has been thoroughly explored in human perception and cognition. However, the impact of the information about sizes of objects is yet to be determined in AI. We postulate that this is mainly attributed to the lack of a comprehensive repository of size information. In this paper, we introduce a method to automatically infer object sizes, leveraging visual and textual information from web. By maximizing the joint likelihood of textual and visual observations, our method learns reliable relative size estimates, with no explicit human supervision. We introduce the relative size dataset and show that our method outperforms competitive textual and visual baselines in reasoning about size comparisons. Less

  • Babak Saleh, Ahmed Elgammal, Jacob Feldman, and Ali Farhadi AAAI 2016

    The human visual system can spot an abnormal image, and reason about what makes it strange. This task has not received enough attention in computer vision. In this paper we study various types of atypicalities in images in a more comprehensive way than has been done before. We propose a new dataset of abnormal images showing a wide range of atypicalities. We design human subject experiments to discover a coarse taxonomy of the reasons for abnormality. Our experiments reveal three major categories of abnormality: object-centric, scene-centric, and contextual. Based on this taxonomy, we propose a comprehensive computational model that can predict all different types of abnormality in images and outperform prior arts in abnormality recognition. Less

  • Peter Clark and Oren Etzioni AI Magazine 2016

    Given the well-known limitations of the Turing Test, there is a need for objective tests to both focus attention on, and measure progress towards, the goals of AI. In this paper we argue that machine performance on standardized tests should be a key component of any new measure of AI, because attaining a high level of performance requires solving significant AI problems involving language understanding and world modeling — critical skills for any machine that lays claim to intelligence. In addition, standardized tests have all the basic requirements of a practical test: they are accessible, easily comprehensible, clearly measurable, and offer a graduated progression from simple tasks to those requiring deep understanding of the world. Here we propose this task as a challenge problem for the community, summarize our state-of-the-art results on math and science tests, and provide supporting datasets (see www.allenai.org/data.html). Less

  • Shuo Yang, Tushar Khot, Kristian Kersting, and Sriraam Natarajan AAAI 2016

    Many real world applications in medicine, biology, communication networks, web mining, and economics, among others, involve modeling and learning structured stochastic processes that evolve over continuous time. Existing approaches, however, have focused on propositional domains only. Without extensive feature engineering, it is difficult---if not impossible---to apply them within relational domains where we may have varying number of objects and relations among them. We therefore develop the first relational representation called Relational Continuous-Time Bayesian Networks (RCTBNs) that can address this challenge. It features a nonparametric learning method that allows for efficiently learning the complex dependencies and their strengths simultaneously from sequence data. Our experimental results demonstrate that RCTBNs can learn as effectively as state-of-the-art approaches for propositional tasks while modeling relational tasks faithfully. Less

  • Amos Azaria, Jayant Krishnamurthy, and Tom M. Mitchell AAAI 2016

    Unlike traditional machine learning methods, humans often learn from natural language instruction. As users become increasingly accustomed to interacting with mobile devices using speech, their interest in instructing these devices in natural language is likely to grow. We introduce our Learning by Instruction Agent (LIA), an intelligent personal agent that users can teach to perform new action sequences to achieve new commands, using solely natural language interaction. LIA uses a CCG semantic parser to ground the semantics of each command in terms of primitive executable procedures defining sensors and effectors of the agent. Given a natural language command that LIA does not understand, it prompts the user to explain how to achieve the command through a sequence of steps, also specified in natural language. A novel lexicon induction algorithm enables LIA to generalize across taught commands, e.g., having been taught how to “forward an email to Alice,” LIA can correctly interpret the command “forward this email to Bob.” A user study involving email tasks demonstrates that users voluntarily teach LIA new commands, and that these taught commands significantly reduce task completion time. These results demonstrate the potential of natural language instruction as a significant, under-explored paradigm for machine learning. Less

  • Peter Clark, Oren Etzioni, Daniel Khashabi, Tushar Khot, Ashish Sabharwal, Oyvind Tafjord, and Peter Turney AAAI 2016

    What capabilities are required for an AI system to pass standard 4th Grade Science Tests? Previous work has examined the use of Markov Logic Networks (MLNs) to represent the requisite background knowledge and interpret test questions, but did not improve upon an information retrieval (IR) baseline. In this paper, we describe an alternative approach that operates at three levels of representation and reasoning: information retrieval, corpus statistics, and simple inference over a semi-automatically constructed knowledge base, to achieve substantially improved results. We evaluate the methods on six years of unseen, unedited exam questions from the NY Regents Science Exam (using only non-diagram, multiple choice questions), and show that our overall system’s score is 71.3%, an improvement of 23.8% (absolute) over the MLN-based method described in previous work. We conclude with a detailed analysis, illustrating the complementary strengths of each method in the ensemble. Our datasets are being released to enable further research. Less

  • Ashish Sabharwal, Horst Samulowitz, and Gerald Tesauro AAAI 2016

    We study a novel machine learning (ML) problem setting of sequentially allocating small subsets of training data amongst a large set of classifiers. The goal is to select a classifier that will give near-optimal accuracy when trained on all data, while also minimizing the cost of misallocated samples. This is motivated by large modern datasets and ML toolkits with many combinations of learning algorithms and hyper- parameters. Inspired by the principle of “optimism under un- certainty,” we propose an innovative strategy, Data Allocation using Upper Bounds (DAUB), which robustly achieves these objectives across a variety of real-world datasets. We further develop substantial theoretical support for DAUB in an idealized setting where the expected accuracy of a classifier trained on n samples can be known exactly. Under these conditions we establish a rigorous sub-linear bound on the regret of the approach (in terms of misallocated data), as well as a rigorous bound on suboptimality of the selected classifier. Our accuracy estimates using real-world datasets only entail mild violations of the theoretical scenario, suggesting that the practical behavior of DAUB is likely to approach the idealized behavior. Less

  • Shengjia Zhao, Sorathan Chaturapruek, Ashish Sabharwal, and Stefano Ermon AAAI 2016

    Many recent algorithms for approximate model counting are based on a reduction to combinatorial searches over random subsets of the space defined by parity or XOR constraints. Long parity constraints (involving many variables) provide strong theoretical guarantees but are computationally difficult. Short parity constraints are easier to solve but have weaker statistical properties. It is currently not known how long these parity constraints need to be. We close the gap by providing matching necessary and sufficient conditions on the required asymptotic length of the parity constraints. Further, we provide a new family of lower bounds and the first non-trivial upper bounds on the model count that are valid for arbitrarily short XORs. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of these bounds on model counting benchmarks and in a Satisfiability Modulo Theory (SMT) application motivated by the analysis of contingency tables in statistics. Less

  • Shih-Wen Huang, Jonathan Bragg, Isaac Cowhey, Oren Etzioni, and Daniel S. Weld CSCW 2016

    Successful online communities (e.g., Wikipedia, Yelp, and StackOverflow) can produce valuable content. However, many communities fail in their initial stages. Starting an online community is challenging because there is not enough content to attract a critical mass of active members. This paper examines methods for addressing this cold-start problem in data mining-bootstrappable communities by attracting non-members to contribute to the community. Less

  • Carolyn Kim, Ashish Sabharwal, and Stefano Ermon AAAI 2016

    We consider the problem of sampling from a discrete probability distribution specified by a graphical model. Exact samples can, in principle, be obtained by computing the mode of the original model perturbed with an exponentially many i.i.d. random variables. We propose a novel algorithm that views this as a combinatorial optimization problem and searches for the extreme state using a standard integer linear programming (ILP) solver, appropriately extended to account for the random perturbation. Our technique, GumbelMIP, leverages linear programming (LP) relaxations to evaluate the quality of samples and prune large portions of the search space, and can thus scale to large tree-width models beyond the reach of current exact inference methods. Further, when the optimization problem is not solved to optimality, our method yields a novel approximate sampling technique. We empirically demonstrate that our approach parallelizes well, our exact sampler scales better than alternative approaches, and our approximate sampler yields better quality samples than a Gibbs sampler and a low-dimensional perturbation method. Less

  • Bhavana Dalvi, Aditya Mishra, and William W. Cohen The 9th ACM International Conference on Web Search and Data Mining (WSDM) 2016

    In an entity classification task, topic or concept hierarchies are often incomplete. Previous work by Dalvi et al. has shown that in non-hierarchical semi-supervised classification tasks, the presence of such unanticipated classes can cause semantic drift for seeded classes. The Exploratory learning method was proposed to solve this problem; however it is limited to the flat classification task. This paper builds such exploratory learning methods for hierarchical classification tasks. We experimented with subsets of the NELL ontology and text, and HTML table datasets derived from the ClueWeb09 corpus. Our method (OptDAC-ExploreEM) outperforms the existing Exploratory EM method, and its naive extension (DAC-ExploreEM), in terms of seed class F1 on average by 10% and 7% respectively. Less

  • Hamid Izadinia, Fereshteh Sadeghi, Santosh K. Divvala, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, Yejin Choi, and Ali Farhadi ICCV 2015

    We introduce Segment-Phrase Table (SPT), a large collection of bijective associations between textual phrases and their corresponding segmentations. Leveraging recent progress in object recognition and natural language semantics, we show how we can successfully build a highquality segment-phrase table using minimal human supervision. More importantly, we demonstrate the unique value unleashed by this rich bimodal resource, for both vision as well as natural language understanding. First, we show that fine-grained textual labels facilitate contextual reasoning that helps in satisfying semantic constraints across image segments. This feature enables us to achieve state-of-the-art segmentation results on benchmark datasets. Next, we show that the association of high-quality segmentations to textual phrases aids in richer semantic understanding and reasoning of these textual phrases. Leveraging this feature, we motivate the problem of visual entailment and visual paraphrasing, and demonstrate its utility on a large dataset. Less

  • Bilge Soran, Ali Farhadi, and Linda Shapiro ICCV 2015

    We all have experienced forgetting habitual actions among our daily activities. For example, we probably have forgotten to turn the lights off before leaving a room or turn the stove off after cooking. In this paper, we propose a solution to the problem of issuing notifications on actions that may be missed. This involves learning about interdependencies between actions and being able to predict an ongoing action while segmenting the input video stream. In order to show a proof of concept, we collected a new egocentric dataset, in which people wear a camera while making lattes. We show promising results on the extremely challenging task of issuing correct and timely reminders. We also show that our model reliably segments the actions, while predicting the ongoing one when only a few frames from the beginning of the action are observed. The overall prediction accuracy is 46.2% when only 10 frames of an action are seen (2/3 of a sec). Moreover, the overall recognition and segmentation accuracy is shown to be 72.7% when the whole activity sequence is observed. Finally, the online prediction and segmentation accuracy is 68.3% when the prediction is made at every time step. Less

  • Mohammad Rastegari, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, and Ali Farhadi CVPR 2015

    In this paper we present a bottom-up method to instance level Multiple Instance Learning (MIL) that learns to discover positive instances with globally constrained reasoning about local pairwise similarities. We discover positive instances by optimizing for a ranking such that positive (top rank) instances are highly and consistently similar to each other and dissimilar to negative instances. Our approach takes advantage of a discriminative notion of pairwise similarity coupled with a structural cue in the form of a consistency metric that measures the quality of each similarity. We learn a similarity function for every pair of instances in positive bags by how similarly they differ from instances in negative bags, the only certain labels in MIL. Our experiments demonstrate that our method consistently outperforms state-of-the-art MIL methods both at bag-level and instance-level predictions in standard benchmarks, image category recognition, and text categorization datasets. Less

  • Minjoon Seo, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, Ali Farhadi, Oren Etzioni, and Clint Malcolm EMNLP 2015

    This paper introduces GEOS, the first automated system to solve unaltered SAT geometry questions by combining text understanding and diagram interpretation. We model the problem of understanding geometry questions as submodular optimization, and identify a formal problem description likely to be compatible with both the question text and diagram. GEOS then feeds the description to a geometric solver that attempts to determine the correct answer. In our experiments, GEOS achieves a 49% score on official SAT questions, and a score of 61% on practice questions. Finally, we show that by integrating textual and visual information, GEOS boosts the accuracy of dependency and semantic parsing of the question text. Less

  • Rik Koncel-Kedziorski, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, Ashish Sabharwal, Oren Etzioni, and Siena Dumas Ang TACL 2015

    This paper formalizes the problem of solving multi-sentence algebraic word problems as that of generating and scoring equation trees. We use integer linear programming to generate equation trees and score their likelihood by learning local and global discriminative models. These models are trained on a small set of word problems and their answers, without any manual annotation, in order to choose the equation that best matches the problem text. We refer to the overall system as ALGES. We compare ALGES with previous work and show that it covers the full gamut of arithmetic operations whereas Hosseini et al. (2014) only handle addition and subtraction. In addition, ALGES overcomes the brittleness of the Kush- man et al. (2014) approach on single-equation problems, yielding a 15% to 50% reduction in error. Less

  • Hamid Izadinia, Fereshteh Sadeghi, Santosh Divvala, Hanna Hajishirzi, Yejin Choi, and Ali Farhadi ICCV 2015

    We introduce Segment-Phrase Table (SPT), a large collection of bijective associations between textual phrases and their corresponding segmentations. Leveraging recent progress in object recognition and natural language semantics, we show how we can successfully build a highquality segment-phrase table using minimal human supervision. More importantly, we demonstrate the unique value unleashed by this rich bimodal resource, for both vision as well as natural language understanding. First, we show that fine-grained textual labels facilitate contextual reasoning that helps in satisfying semantic constraints across image segments. This feature enables us to achieve state-of-the-art segmentation results on benchmark datasets. Next, we show that the association of high-quality segmentations to textual phrases aids in richer semantic understanding and reasoning of these textual phrases. Leveraging this feature, we motivate the problem of visual entailment and visual paraphrasing, and demonstrate its utility on a large dataset. Less

  • Been Kim, Julie Shah, and Finale Doshi-Velez NIPS 2015

    We present the Mind the Gap Model (MGM), an approach for interpretable feature extraction and selection. By placing interpretability criteria directly into the model, we allow for the model to both optimize parameters related to interpretability and to directly report a global set of distinguishable dimensions to assist with further data exploration and hypothesis generation. MGM extracts distinguishing features on real-world datasets of animal features, recipes ingredients, and disease co-occurrence. It also maintains or improves performance when compared to related approaches. We perform a user study with domain experts to show the MGM’s ability to help with dataset exploration. Less

  • Fereshteh Sadeghi, C. Lawrence Zitnick, and Ali Farhadi NIPS 2015

    In this paper, we study the problem of answering visual analogy questions. These questions take the form of image A is to image B as image C is to what. Answering these questions entails discovering the mapping from image A to image B and then extending the mapping to image C and searching for the image D such that the relation from A to B holds for C to D.We pose this problem as learning an embedding that encourages pairs of analogous images with similar transformations to be close together using convolutional neural networks with a quadruple Siamese architecture. We introduce a dataset of visual analogy questions in natural images, and show first results of its kind on solving analogy questions on natural images. Less

  • Brian Kell, Ashish Sabharwal, and Willem-Jan van Hoeve CPAIOR 2015

    Nogood learning is a critical component of Boolean satisfiability (SAT) solvers, and increasingly popular in the context of integer programming and constraint programming. We present a generic method to learn valid clauses from exact or approximate binary decision diagrams (BDDs) and resolution in the context of SAT solving. We show that any clause learned from SAT conflict analysis can also be generated using our method, while, in addition, we can generate stronger clauses that cannot be derived from one application of conflict analysis. Importantly, since SAT instances are often too large for an exact BDD representation, we focus on BDD relaxations of polynomial size and show how they can still be used to generated useful clauses. Our experimental results show that when this method is used as a preprocessing step and the generated clauses are appended to the original instance, the size of the search tree for a SAT solver can be significantly reduced. Less

  • Samuel Louvan, Chetan Naik, Veronica Lynn, Ankit Arun, Niranjan Balasubramanian, and Peter Clark Proc. 1st Int Workshop on Capturing Scientific Knowledge (SciKnow) 2015

    We consider a 4th grade level question answering task. We focus on a subset involving recognizing instances of physical, biological, and other natural processes. Many processes involve similar entities and are hard to distinguish using simple bag-of-words representations alone. Less

  • Minjoon Seo, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, Ali Farhadi, Oren Etzioni, and Clint Malcolm EMNLP 2015

    This paper introduces GeoS, the first automated system to solve unaltered SAT geometry questions by combining text understanding and diagram interpretation. We model the problem of understanding geometry questions as submodular optimization, and identify a formal problem description likely to be compatible with both the question text and diagram. GeoS then feeds the description to a geometric solver that attempts to determine the correct answer. In our experiments, GeoS achieves a 49% score on official SAT questions, and a score of 61% on practice questions.1 Finally, we show that by integrating textual and visual information, GeoS boosts the accuracy of dependency and semantic parsing of the question text. Less

  • Yang Li and Peter Clark EMNLP 2015

    Much of what we understand from text is not explicitly stated. Rather, the reader uses his/her knowledge to fill in gaps and create a coherent, mental picture or “scene” depicting what text appears to convey. The scene constitutes an understanding of the text, and can be used to answer questions that go beyond the text. Our goal is to answer elementary science questions, where this requirement is pervasive; A question will often give a partial description of a scene and ask the student about implicit information. We show that by using a simple “knowledge graph” representation of the question, we can leverage several large-scale linguistic resources to provide missing background knowledge, somewhat alleviating the knowledge bottleneck in previous approaches. The coherence of the best resulting scene, built from a question/answer-candidate pair, reflects the confidence that the answer candidate is correct, and thus can be used to answer multiple choice questions. Our experiments show that this approach outperforms competitive algorithms on several datasets tested. The significance of this work is thus to show that a simple “knowledge graph” representation allows a version of “interpretation as scene construction” to be made viable. Less

  • Tushar Khot, Niranjan Balasubramanian, Eric Gribkoff, Ashish Sabharwal, Peter Clark, and Oren Etzioni EMNLP 2015

    Elementary-level science exams pose significant knowledge acquisition and reasoning challenges for automatic question answering. We develop a system that reasons with knowledge derived from textbooks, represented in a subset of first-order logic. Automatic extraction, while scalable, often results in knowledge that is incomplete and noisy, motivating use of reasoning mechanisms that handle uncertainty. Markov Logic Networks (MLNs) seem a natural model for expressing such knowledge, but the exact way of leveraging MLNs is by no means obvious. We investigate three ways of applying MLNs to our task. First, we simply use the extracted science rules directly as MLN clauses and exploit the structure present in hard constraints to improve tractability. Second, we interpret science rules as describing prototypical entities, resulting in a drastically simplified but brittle network. Our third approach, called Praline, uses MLNs to align lexical elements as well as define and control how inference should be performed in this task. Praline demonstrates a 15% accuracy boost and a 10x reduction in runtime as compared to other MLN-based methods, and comparable accuracy to word-based baseline approaches. Less

  • Fereshteh Sadeghi, Santosh Divvala, and Ali Farhadi CVPR 2015

    How can we know whether a statement about our world is valid. For example, given a relationship between a pair of entities e.g., 'eat(horse, hay)', how can we know whether this relationship is true or false in general. Gathering such knowledge about entities and their relationships is one of the fundamental challenges in knowledge extraction. Most previous works on knowledge extraction havefocused purely on text-driven reasoning for verifying relation phrases. In this work, we introduce the problemof visual verification of relation phrases and developed aVisual Knowledge Extraction system called VisKE. Given a verb-based relation phrase between common nouns, our approach assess its validity by jointly analyzing over textand images and reasoning about the spatial consistency of the relative configurations of the entities and the relation involved. Our approach involves no explicit human supervision there by enabling large-scale analysis. Using our approach, we have already verified over 12000 relation phrases. Our approach has been used to not only enrich existing textual knowledge bases by improving their recall,but also augment open-domain question-answer reasoning. Less

  • Daniel Fried, Peter Jansen, Gustave Hahn-Powell, Mihai Surdeanu, and Peter Clark TACL 2015

    Lexical semantic models provide robust performance for question answering, but, in general, can only capitalize on direct evidence seen during training. For example, monolingual alignment models acquire term alignment probabilities from semistructured data such as question-answer pairs; neural network language models learn term embeddings from unstructured text. All this knowledge is then used to estimate the semantic similarity between question and answer candidates. We introduce a higher-order formalism that allows all these lexical semantic models to chain direct evidence to construct indirect associations between question and answer texts, by casting the task as the traversal of graphs that encode direct term associations. Using a corpus of 10,000 questions from Yahoo! Answers, we experimentally demonstrate that higher-order methods are broadly applicable to alignment and language models, across both word and syntactic representations. We show that an important criterion for success is controlling for the semantic drift that accumulates during graph traversal. All in all, the proposed higher-order approach improves five out of the six lexical semantic models investigated, with relative gains of up to +13% over their first-order variants. Less

  • Ben Hixon, Peter Clark, and Hannaneh Hajishirzi NAACL 2015

    We describe how a question-answering system can learn about its domain from conversational dialogs. Our system learns to relate concepts in science questions to propositions in a fact corpus, stores new concepts and relations in a knowledge graph (KG), and uses the graph to solve questions. We are the first to acquire knowledge for question-answering from open, natural language dialogs without a fixed ontology or domain model that predetermines what users can say. Our relation-based strategies complete more successful dialogs than a query expansion baseline, our taskdriven relations are more effective for solving science questions than relations from general knowledge sources, and our method is practical enough to generalize to other domains. Less

  • Rebecca Sharp, Peter Jansen, Mihai Surdeanu, and Peter Clark NAACL 2015

    Monolingual alignment models have been shown to boost the performance of question answering systems by "bridging the lexical chasm" between questions and answers. The main limitation of these approaches is that they require semistructured training data in the form of question-answer pairs, which is difficult to obtain in specialized domains or lowresource languages. We propose two inexpensive methods for training alignment models solely using free text, by generating artificial question-answer pairs from discourse structures. Our approach is driven by two representations of discourse: a shallow sequential representation, and a deep one based on Rhetorical Structure Theory. We evaluate the proposed model on two corpora from different genres and domains: one from Yahoo! Answers and one from the biology domain, and two types of non-factoid questions: manner and reason. We show that these alignment models trained directly from discourse structures imposed on free text improve performance considerably over an information retrieval baseline and a neural network language model trained on the same data. Less

  • Marco Valenzuela, Vu Ha, and Oren Etzioni AAAI (Workshop on Scholarly Big Data) 2015

    We introduce the novel task of identifying important citations in scholarly literature, i.e., citations that indicate that the cited work is used or extended in the new effort. We believe this task is a crucial component in algorithms that detect and follow research topics and in methods that measure the quality of publications. We model this task as a supervised classification problem at two levels of detail: a coarse one with classes (important vs. non-important), and a more detailed one with four importance classes. We annotate a dataset of approximately 450 citations with this information, and release it publicly. We propose a supervised classification approach that addresses this task with a battery of features that range from citation counts to where the citation appears in the body of the paper, and show that, our approach achieves a precision of 65% for a recall of 90%. Less

  • Peter Clark Proceedings of IAAI 2015

    While there has been an explosion of impressive, datadriven AI applications in recent years, machines still largely lack a deeper understanding of the world to answer questions that go beyond information explicitly stated in text, and to explain and discuss those answers. To reach this next generation of AI applications, it is imperative to make faster progress in areas of knowledge, modeling, reasoning, and language. Standardized tests have often been proposed as a driver for such progress, with good reason: Many of the questions require sophisticated understanding of both language and the world, pushing the boundaries of AI, while other questions are easier, supporting incremental progress. In Project Aristo at the Allen Institute for AI, we are working on a specific version of this challenge, namely having the computer pass Elementary School Science and Math exams. Even at this level there is a rich variety of problems and question types, the most difficult requiring significant progress in AI. Here we propose this task as a challenge problem for the community, and are providing supporting datasets. Solutions to many of these problems would have a major impact on the field so we encourage you: Take the Aristo Challenge! Less

  • Christopher Clark and Santosh Divvala AAAI (Workshop on Scholarly Big Data) 2015

    Identifying and extracting figures and tables along with their captions from scholarly articles is important both as a way of providing tools for article summarization, and as part of larger systems that seek to gain deeper, semantic understanding of these articles. While many "off-the-shelf" tools exist that can extract embedded images from these documents, e.g. PDFBox, Poppler, etc., these tools are unable to extract tables, captions, and figures composed of vector graphics. Our proposed approach analyzes the structure of individual pages of a document by detecting chunks of body text, and locates the areas wherein figures or tables could reside by reasoning about the empty regions within that text. This method can extract a wide variety of figures because it does not make strong assumptions about the format of the figures embedded in the document, as long as they can be differentiated from the main article's text. Our algorithm also demonstrates a caption-to-figure matching component that is effective even in cases where individual captions are adjacent to multiple figures. Our contribution also includes methods for leveraging particular consistency and formatting assumptions to identify titles, body text and captions within each article. We introduce a new dataset of 150 computer science papers along with ground truth labels for the locations of the figures, tables and captions within them. Our algorithm achieves 96% precision at 92% recall when tested against this dataset, surpassing previous state of the art. We release our dataset, code, and evaluation scripts on our project website for enabling future research. Less

  • Minjoon Seo, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, Ali Farhadi, and Oren Etzioni AAAI 2014

    Automatically solving geometry questions is a longstanding AI problem. A geometry question typically includes a textual description accompanied by a diagram. The first step in solving geometry questions is diagram understanding, which consists of identifying visual elements in the diagram, their locations, their geometric properties, and aligning them to corresponding textual descriptions. In this paper, we present a method for diagram understanding that identifies visual elements in a diagram while maximizing agreement between textual and visual data. We show that the method’s objective function is submodular; thus we are able to introduce an efficient method for diagram understanding that is close to optimal. To empirically evaluate our method, we compile a new dataset of geometry questions (textual descriptions and diagrams) and compare with baselines that utilize standard vision techniques. Our experimental evaluation shows an F1 boost of more than 17% in identifying visual elements and 25% in aligning visual elements with their textual descriptions. Less

  • Ashish Sabharwal and Horst Samulowitz International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming 2014

    Novel search space splitting techniques have recently been successfully exploited to paralleliz Constraint Programming and Mixed Integer Programming solvers. We first show how universal hashing can be used to extend one such interesting approach to a generalized setting that goes beyond discrepancy-based search, while still retaining strong theoretical guarantees. We then explain that such static or explicit splitting approaches are not as effective in the context of parallel combinatorial search with intensive knowledge acquisition and sharing such as parallel SAT, where implicit splitting through clause sharing appears to dominate. Furthermore, we show that in a parallel setting there exists a surprising tradeoff between the well-known communication cost for knowledge sharing across multiple compute nodes and the so far neglected cost incurred by the computational load per node. We provide experimental evidence that one can successfully exploit this tradeoff and achieve reasonable speedups in parallel SAT solving beyond 16 cores. Less

  • Peter Clark, Niranjan Balasubramanian, Sumithra Bhakthavatsalam, Kevin Humphreys, Jesse Kinkead, Ashish Sabharwal, and Oyvind Tafjord AKBC 2014

    While there has been tremendous progress in automatic database population in recent years, most of human knowledge does not naturally fit into a database form. For example, knowledge that "metal objects can conduct electricity" or "animals grow fur to help them stay warm" requires a substantially different approach to both acquisition and representation. This kind of knowledge is important because it can support inference e.g., (with some associated confidence) if an object is made of metal then it can conduct electricity; if an animal grows fur then it will stay warm. If we want our AI systems to understand and reason about the world, then acquisition of this kind of inferential knowledge is essential. In this paper, we describe our work on automatically constructing an inferential knowledge base, and applying it to a question-answering task. Rather than trying to induce rules from examples, or enter them by hand, our goal is to acquire much of this knowledge directly from text. Our premise is that much inferential knowledge is written down explicitly, in particular in textbooks, and can be extracted with reasonable reliability. We describe several challenges that this approach poses, and innovative, partial solutions that we have developed. Finally we speculate on the longer-term evolution of this work. Less

    Best Paper Award
  • Jonathan Berant, Vivek Srikumar, Pei-Chun Chen, Brad Huang, Christopher D. Manning, Abby Vander Linden, Brittany Harding, and Peter Clark EMNLP 2014

    Machine reading calls for programs that read and understand text, but most current work only attempts to extract facts from redundant web-scale corpora. In this paper, we focus on a new reading comprehension task that requires complex reasoning over a single document. The input is a paragraph describing a biological process, and the goal is to answer questions that require an understanding of the relations between entities and events in the process. To answer the questions, we first predict a rich structure representing the process in the paragraph. Then, we map the question to a formal query, which is executed against the predicted structure. We demonstrate that answering questions via predicted structures substantially improves accuracy over baselines that use shallower representations. Less

    Best Paper Award
  • Mohammad Javad Hosseini, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, Oren Etzioni, and Nate Kushman EMNLP 2014

    This paper presents a novel approach to learning to solve simple arithmetic word problems. Our system, ARIS, analyzes each of the sentences in the problem statement to identify the relevant variables and their values. ARIS then maps this information into an equation that represents the problem, and enables its (trivial) solution as shown in Figure 1. The paper analyzes the arithmetic-word problems "genre", identifying seven categories of verbs used in such problems. ARIS learns to categorize verbs with 81.2% accuracy, and is able to solve 77.7% of the problems in a corpus of standard primary school test questions. We report the first learning results on this task without reliance on predefined templates and make our data publicly available. Less

  • Foster Provost, Geoffrey I. Webb, Ron Bekkerman, Oren Etzioni, Usama Fayyad, and Claudia Perlich Big Data 2014

    In August 2013, we held a panel discussion at the KDD 2013 conference in Chicago on the subject of data science, data scientists, and start-ups. KDD is the premier conference on data science research and practice. The panel discussed the pros and cons for top-notch data scientists of the hot data science start-up scene. In this article, we first present background on our panelists. Our four panelists have unquestionable pedigrees in data science and substantial experience with start-ups from multiple perspectives (founders, employees, chief scientists, venture capitalists). For the casual reader, we next present a brief summary of the experts' opinions on eight of the issues the panel discussed. The rest of the article presents a lightly edited transcription of the entire panel discussion. Less

  • Anthony Fader, Luke Zettlemoyer, and Oren Etzioni KDD 2014

    We consider the problem of open-domain question answering (Open QA) over massive knowledge bases (KBs). Existing approaches use either manually curated KBs like Freebase or KBs automatically extracted from unstructured text. In this paper, we present oqa, the first approach to leverage both curated and extracted KBs. A key technical challenge is designing systems that are robust to the high variability in both natural language questions and massive KBs. oqa achieves robustness by decomposing the full Open QA problem into smaller sub-problems including question paraphrasing and query reformulation. oqa solves these sub-problems by mining millions of rules from an unlabeled question corpus and across multiple KBs. oqa then learns to integrate these rules by performing discriminative training on question-answer pairs using a latentvariable structured perceptron algorithm. We evaluate oqa on three benchmark question sets and demonstrate that it achieves up to twice the precision and recall of a state-ofthe-art Open QA system. Less

  • Peter Jansen, Mihai Surdeanu, and Peter Clark ACL 2014

    We propose a robust answer reranking model for non-factoid questions that integrates lexical semantics with discourse information, driven by two representations of discourse: a shallow representation centered around discourse markers, and a deep one based on Rhetorical Structure Theory. We evaluate the proposed model on two corpora from different genres and domains: one from Yahoo! Answers and one from the biology domain, and two types of non-factoid questions: manner and reason. We experimentally demonstrate that the discourse structure of nonfactoid answers provides information that is complementary to lexical semantic similarity between question and answer, improving performance up to 24% (relative) over a state-of-the-art model that exploits lexical semantic similarity alone. We further demonstrate excellent domain transfer of discourse information, suggesting these discourse features have general utility to non-factoid question answering. Less

  • Xuchen Yao, Jonathan Berant, and Benjamin Van Durme ACL (Workshop on Semantic Parsing) 2014

    We contrast two seemingly distinct approaches to the task of question answering (QA) using Freebase: one based on information extraction techniques, the other on semantic parsing. Results over the same test-set were collected from two state-ofthe-art, open-source systems, then analyzed in consultation with those systems' creators. We conclude that the differences between these technologies, both in task performance, and in how they get there, is not significant. This suggests that the semantic parsing community should target answering more compositional open-domain questions that are beyond the reach of more direct information extraction methods. Less

  • Min Joon Seo, Hannaneh Hajishirzi, Ali Farhadi, and Oren Etzioni AAAI 2014

    Automatically solving geometry questions is a longstanding AI problem. A geometry question typically includes a textual description accompanied by a diagram. The first step in solving geometry questions is diagram understanding, which consists of identifying visual elements in the diagram, their locations, their geometric properties, and aligning them to corresponding textual descriptions. In this paper, we present a method for diagram understanding that identifies visual elements in a diagram while maximizing agreement between textual and visual data. We show that the method's objective function is submodular; thus we are able to introduce an efficient method for diagram understanding that is close to optimal. To empirically evaluate our method, we compile a new dataset of geometry questions (textual descriptions and diagrams) and compare with baselines that utilize standard vision techniques. Our experimental evaluation shows an F1 boost of more than 17% in identifying visual elements and 25% in aligning visual elements with their textual descriptions. Less

  • Santosh K. Divvala, Ali Farhadi, and Carlos Guestrin CVPR 2014

    Recognition is graduating from labs to real-world applications. While it is encouraging to see its potential being tapped, it brings forth a fundamental challenge to the vision researcher: scalability. How can we learn a model for any concept that exhaustively covers all its appearance variations, while requiring minimal or no human supervision for compiling the vocabulary of visual variance, gathering the training images and annotations, and learning the models? In this paper, we introduce a fully-automated approach for learning extensive models for a wide range of variations (e.g. actions, interactions, attributes and beyond) within any concept. Our approach leverages vast resources of online books to discover the vocabulary of variance, and intertwines the data collection and modeling steps to alleviate the need for explicit human supervision in training the models. Our approach organizes the visual knowledge about a concept in a convenient and useful way, enabling a variety of applications across vision and NLP. Our online system has been queried by users to learn models for several interesting concepts including breakfast, Gandhi, beautiful, etc. To date, our system has models available for over 50,000 variations within 150 concepts, and has annotated more than 10 million images with bounding boxes. Less

  • Yuen-Hsien Tseng, Lung-Hao Lee, Shu-Yen Lin, Bo-Shun Liao, Mei-Jun Liu, Hsin-Hsi Chen, Oren Etzioni, and Anthony Fader EACL 2014

    This study presents the Chinese Open Relation Extraction (CORE) system that is able to extract entity-relation triples from Chinese free texts based on a series of NLP techniques, i.e., word segmentation, POS tagging, syntactic parsing, and extraction rules. We employ the proposed CORE techniques to extract more than 13 million entity-relations for an open domain question answering application. To our best knowledge, CORE is the first Chinese Open IE system for knowledge acquisition. Less

  • Peter Clark, Phil Harrison, and Niranjan Balasubramanian AKBC (Workshop on Automatic KB Construction) 2013

    Our long-term interest is in machines that contain large amounts of general and scientific knowledge, stored in a "computable" form that supports reasoning and explanation. As a medium-term focus for this, our goal is to have the computer pass a fourth-grade science test, anticipating that much of the required knowledge will need to be acquired semi-automatically. This paper presents the first step towards this goal, namely a blueprint of the knowledge requirements for an early science exam, and a brief description of the resources, methods, and challenges involved in the semiautomatic acquisition of that knowledge. The result of our analysis suggests that as well as fact extraction from text and statistically driven rule extraction, three other styles of automatic knowledge-base construction (AKBC) would be useful: acquiring definitional knowledge, direct "reading" of rules from texts that state them, and, given a particular representational framework (e.g., qualitative reasoning), acquisition of specific instances of those models from text (e..g, specific qualitative models). Less

  • Aju Thalappillil Scaria, Jonathan Berant, Mengqiu Wang, Christopher D. Manning, Justin Lewis, Brittany Harding, and Peter Clark EMNLP 2013

    Biological processes are complex phenomena involving a series of events that are related to one another through various relationships. Systems that can understand and reason over biological processes would dramatically improve the performance of semantic applications involving inference such as question answering (QA) — specifically "How?" and "Why?" questions. In this paper, we present the task of process extraction, in which events within a process and the relations between the events are automatically extracted from text. We represent processes by graphs whose edges describe a set of temporal, causal and co-reference event-event relations, and characterize the structural properties of these graphs (e.g., the graphs are connected). Then, we present a method for extracting relations between the events, which exploits these structural properties by performing joint inference over the set of extracted relations. On a novel dataset containing 148 descriptions of biological processes (released with this paper), we show significant improvement comparing to baselines that disregard process structure. Less

  • Xiao Ling, Dan Weld, and Peter Clark AKBC 2013

    Knowledge of objects and their parts, meronym relations, are at the heart of many question-answering systems, but manually encoding these facts is impractical. Past researchers have tried hand-written patterns, supervised learning, and bootstrapped methods, but achieving both high precision and recall has proven elusive. This paper reports on a thorough exploration of distant supervision to learn a meronym extractor for the domain of college biology. We introduce a novel algorithm, generalizing the "at least one" assumption of multi-instance learning to handle the case where a fixed (but unknown) percentage of bag members are positive examples. Detailed experiments compare strategies for mention detection, negative example generation, leveraging out-of-domain meronyms, and evaluate the benefit of our multi-instance percentage model. Less

  • Xuchen Yao, Benjamin Van Durme, Chris Callision-Burch, and Peter Clark EMNLP 2013

    We introduce a novel discriminative model for phrase-based monolingual alignment using a semi-Markov CRF. Our model achieves stateof-the-art alignment accuracy on two phrasebased alignment datasets (RTE and paraphrase), while doing significantly better than other strong baselines in both non-identical alignment and phrase-only alignment. Additional experiments highlight the potential benefit of our alignment model to RTE, paraphrase identification and question answering, where even a naive application of our model's alignment score approaches the state of the art. Less

  • Xuchen Yao, Benjamin Van Durme, Chris Callision-Burch, and Peter Clark ACL 2013

    Fast alignment is essential for many natural language tasks. But in the setting of monolingual alignment, previous work has not been able to align more than one sentence pair per second. We describe a discriminatively trained monolingual word aligner that uses a Conditional Random Field to globally decode the best alignment with features drawn from source and target sentences. Using just part-of-speech tags and WordNet as external resources, our aligner gives state-of-the-art result, while being an order-of-magnitude faster than the previous best performing system. Less

  • Xuchen Yao, Benjamin Van Durme, and Peter Clark ACL 2013

    Information Retrieval (IR) and Answer Extraction are often designed as isolated or loosely connected components in Question Answering (QA), with repeated overengineering on IR, and not necessarily performance gain for QA. We propose to tightly integrate them by coupling automatically learned features for answer extraction to a shallow-structured IR model. Our method is very quick to implement, and significantly improves IR for QA (measured in Mean Average Precision and Mean Reciprocal Rank) by 10%-20% against an uncoupled retrieval baseline in both document and passage retrieval, which further leads to a downstream 20% improvement in QA F1. Less

  • Xuchen Yao, Benjamin Van Durme, Chris Callision-Burch, and Peter Clark NAACL 2013

    Our goal is to extract answers from preretrieved sentences for Question Answering (QA). We construct a linear-chain Conditional Random Field based on pairs of questions and their possible answer sentences, learning the association between questions and answer types. This casts answer extraction as an answer sequence tagging problem for the first time, where knowledge of shared structure between question and source sentence is incorporated through features based on Tree Edit Distance (TED). Our model is free of manually created question and answer templates, fast to run (processing 200 QA pairs per second excluding parsing time), and yields an F1 of 63.3% on a new public dataset based on prior TREC QA evaluations. The developed system is open-source, and includes an implementation of the TED model that is state of the art in the task of ranking QA pairs. Less

  • Peter Clark, Phil Harrison, Niranjan Balasubramanian, and Oren Etzioni AKBC (Workshop on Automatic Knowledge Base Construction and Web-scale Knowledge Extraction) 2012

    As part of our work on building a "knowledgeable textbook" about biology, we are developing a textual question-answering (QA) system that can answer certain classes of biology questions posed by users. In support of that, we are building a "textual KB" - an assembled set of semi-structured assertions based on the book - that can be used to answer users' queries, can be improved using global consistency constraints, and can be potentially validated and corrected by domain experts. Our approach is to view the KB as systematically caching answers from a QA system, and the QA system as assembling answers from the KB, the whole process kickstarted with an initial set of textual extractions from the book text itself. Although this research is only in a preliminary stage, we summarize our progress and lessons learned to date. Less