Learning to use formulas to solve simple arithmetic problems

Arindam Mitra, Chitta Baral

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Solving simple arithmetic word problems is one of the challenges in Natural Language Understanding. This paper presents a novel method to learn to use formulas to solve simple arithmetic word problems. Our system, analyzes each of the sentences to identify the variables and their attributes; and automatically maps this information into a higher level representation. It then uses that representation to recognize the presence of a formula along with its associated variables. An equation is then generated from the formal description of the formula. In the training phase, it learns to score the <formula, variables> pair from the systematically generated higher level representation. It is able to solve 86.07% of the problems in a corpus of standard primary school test questions and beats the state-of-the-art by a margin of 8.07%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2016 - Long Papers
PublisherAssociation for Computational Linguistics (ACL)
Pages2144-2153
Number of pages10
Volume4
ISBN (Electronic)9781510827585
StatePublished - 2016
Event54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2016 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Aug 7 2016Aug 12 2016

Other

Other54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2016
CountryGermany
CityBerlin
Period8/7/168/12/16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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  • Cite this

    Mitra, A., & Baral, C. (2016). Learning to use formulas to solve simple arithmetic problems. In 54th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, ACL 2016 - Long Papers (Vol. 4, pp. 2144-2153). Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL).