Best Practices of Convolutional Neural Networks for Question Classification
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Question classificationMultilingualConvolutional neural networksNatural Language Processing (NLP)Deep learning
Pota, M., Esposito, M., Pietro, G. D., & Fujita, H. (2020). Best Practices of Convolutional Neural Networks for Question Classification. Applied Sciences, 10(14), 4710. [doi:10.3390/app10144710]
Question Classification (QC) is of primary importance in question answering systems, since it enables extraction of the correct answer type. State-of-the-art solutions for short text classification obtained remarkable results by Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). However, implementing such models requires choices, usually based on subjective experience, or on rare works comparing different settings for general text classification, while peculiar solutions should be individuated for QC task, depending on language and on dataset size. Therefore, this work aims at suggesting best practices for QC using CNNs. Different datasets were employed: (i) A multilingual set of labelled questions to evaluate the dependence of optimal settings on language; (ii) a large, widely used dataset for validation and comparison. Numerous experiments were executed, to perform a multivariate analysis, for evaluating statistical significance and influence on QC performance of all the factors (regarding text representation, architectural characteristics, and learning hyperparameters) and some of their interactions, and for finding the most appropriate strategies for QC. Results show the influence of CNN settings on performance. Optimal settings were found depending on language. Tests on different data validated the optimization performed, and confirmed the transferability of the best settings. Comparisons to configurations suggested by previous works highlight the best classification accuracy by those optimized here. These findings can suggest the best choices to configure a CNN for QC.