Rutherford, Attapol; Demberg, Vera; Xue, Nianwen

A systematic study of neural discourse models for implicit discourse relation

Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long PapersDialogue and Discourse, Association for Computational Linguistics, pp. 281-291, Valencia, Spain, 2017.

Inferring implicit discourse relations in natural language text is the most difficult subtask in discourse parsing. Many neural network models have been proposed to tackle this problem. However, the comparison for this task is not unified, so we could hardly draw clear conclusions about the effectiveness of various architectures. Here, we propose neural network models that are based on feedforward and long-short term memory architecture and systematically study the effects of varying structures. To our surprise, the best-configured feedforward architecture outperforms LSTM-based model in most cases despite thorough tuning. Further, we compare our best feedforward system with competitive convolutional and recurrent networks and find that feedforward can actually be more effective. For the first time for this task, we compile and publish outputs from previous neural and non-neural systems to establish the standard for further comparison.