Narrowing the Knowledge Evaluation Gap: Open-Domain Question Answering with Multi-Granularity Answers

Published on Jan 9
· Featured in Daily Papers on Jan 10


Factual questions typically can be answered correctly at different levels of granularity. For example, both ``August 4, 1961'' and ``1961'' are correct answers to the question ``When was Barack Obama born?''. Standard question answering (QA) evaluation protocols, however, do not explicitly take this into account and compare a predicted answer against answers of a single granularity level. In this work, we propose GRANOLA QA, a novel evaluation setting where a predicted answer is evaluated in terms of accuracy and informativeness against a set of multi-granularity answers. We present a simple methodology for enriching existing datasets with multi-granularity answers, and create GRANOLA-EQ, a multi-granularity version of the EntityQuestions dataset. We evaluate a range of decoding methods on GRANOLA-EQ, including a new algorithm, called Decoding with Response Aggregation (DRAG), that is geared towards aligning the response granularity with the model's uncertainty. Our experiments show that large language models with standard decoding tend to generate specific answers, which are often incorrect. In contrast, when evaluated on multi-granularity answers, DRAG yields a nearly 20 point increase in accuracy on average, which further increases for rare entities. Overall, this reveals that standard evaluation and decoding schemes may significantly underestimate the knowledge encapsulated in LMs.


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