Transfer Learning for Closed Domain Question Answering in COVID-19

Nur Rachmawati, Evi Yulianti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

COVID-19 has been a popular issue around 2019 until today. Recently, there has been a lot of research being conducted to utilize a big amount of data discussing about COVID-19. In this work, we conduct a closed domain question answering (CDQA) task in COVID-19 using transfer learning technique. The transfer learning technique is adopted because a large benchmark for question answering about COVID-19 is still unavailable. Therefore, rich knowledge learned from a large benchmark of open domain QA are utilized using transfer learning to improve the performance of our CDQA system. We use retriever-reader framework for our CDQA system, and propose to use Sequential Dependence Model (SDM) as our retriever component to enhance the effectiveness of the system. Our result shows that the use of SDM retriever can improve the F-1 score of the state-of-the-art baseline CDQA system using BM25 and TF-IDF+cosine similarity retriever by 3,26% and 32,62%, respectively. The optimal parameter settings for our CDQA system are found to be as follows: using 20 top-ranked documents as the retriever’s output, five sentences as the passage length, and BERT-Large-Uncased model as the reader. In this optimal parameter setting, SDM retriever can improve the F-1 score of the state-of-the-art baseline CDQA system using BM25 by 5,06 % and TF-IDF+cosine similarity retriever by 24,94 %. Our last experiment then confirms the merit of using transfer learning, since our best-performing model (double fine-tune SQuAD and COVID-QA) is shown to gain eight times higher accuracy than the baseline method without using transfer learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-285
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Bert
  • Closed domain question answering
  • Covid-19
  • Sequential dependence model
  • Transfer learning

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