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ExBERT: An External Knowledge Enhanced BERT for Natural Language Inference

Gajbhiye, Amit and Al Moubayed, Noura and Bradley, Steven (2021) 'ExBERT: An External Knowledge Enhanced BERT for Natural Language Inference.', in Artificial Neural Networks and Machine Learning – ICANN 2021 30th International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks, Bratislava, Slovakia, September 14–17, 2021, Proceedings, Part V. , pp. 460-472. Theoretical Computer Science and General Issues., 12895


Neural language representation models such as BERT, pretrained on large-scale unstructured corpora lack explicit grounding to real-world commonsense knowledge and are often unable to remember facts required for reasoning and inference. Natural Language Inference (NLI) is a challenging reasoning task that relies on common human understanding of language and real-world commonsense knowledge. We introduce a new model for NLI called External Knowledge Enhanced BERT (ExBERT), to enrich the contextual representation with realworld commonsense knowledge from external knowledge sources and enhance BERT’s language understanding and reasoning capabilities. ExBERT takes full advantage of contextual word representations obtained from BERT and employs them to retrieve relevant external knowledge from knowledge graphs and to encode the retrieved external knowledge. Our model adaptively incorporates the external knowledge context required for reasoning over the inputs. Extensive experiments on the challenging SciTail and SNLI benchmarks demonstrate the effectiveness of ExBERT: in comparison to the previous state-of-the-art, we obtain an accuracy of 95.9% on SciTail and 91.5% on SNLI.

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:The final authenticated version is available online at
Date accepted:01 July 2021
Date deposited:20 July 2021
Date of first online publication:07 September 2021
Date first made open access:18 September 2021

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