Understanding Procedural Text using Interactive Entity Networks

Jizhi Tang, Yansong Feng, Dongyan Zhao

Information Extraction Long Paper

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Abstract: The task of procedural text comprehension aims to understand the dynamic nature of entities/objects in a process. Here, the key is to track how the entities interact with each other and how their states are changing along the procedure. Recent efforts have made great progress to track multiple entities in a procedural text, but usually treat each entity separately and ignore the fact that there are often multiple entities interacting with each other during one process, some of which are even explicitly mentioned. In this paper, we propose a novel Interactive Entity Network (IEN), which is a recurrent network with memory equipped cells for state tracking. In each IEN cell, we maintain different attention matrices through specific memories to model different types of entity interactions. Importantly, we can update these memories in a sequential manner so as to explore the causal relationship between entity actions and subsequent state changes. We evaluate our model on a benchmark dataset, and the results show that IEN outperforms state-of-the-art models by precisely capturing the interactions of multiple entities and explicitly leverage the relationship between entity interactions and subsequent state changes.
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