Supervised Transfer Learning for Product Information Question Answering

Proc. of ICMLA

Publication date: December 17, 2018

Tuan Manh Lai, Trung Bui, Nedim Lipka, Sheng Li

Popular e-commerce websites such as Amazon offer community question answering systems for users to pose product related questions and experienced customers may provide answers voluntarily. In this paper, we show that the large volume of existing community question answering data can be beneficial when building a system for answering questions related to product facts and specifications. Our experimental results demonstrate that the performance of a model for answering questions related to products listed in the Home Depot website can be improved by a large margin via a simple transfer learning technique from an existing large-scale Amazon community question answering dataset. Transfer learning can result in an increase of about 10% accuracy in the experimental setting where we restrict the size of the data of the target task used for training. As an application of this work, we integrate the best performing model trained in this work into a mobile-based shopping assistant and show its usefulness.

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