AAAI 2019 : Thirty-Third AAAI conference on artificial intelligence

Recognizing textual entailment is a key task for many semantic applications, such as Question Answering, Text Summarization, and Information Extraction, among others. Entailment scenarios can range from a simple syntactic variation to more complex semantic relationships between pieces of text, but most approaches try a one-size-fits-all solution that usually favors some scenario to the detriment of another. We propose a composite approach for recognizing text entailment which analyzes the entailment pair to decide whether it must be resolved syntactically or semantically. We also make the answer interpretable: whenever an entailment is solved semantically, we explore a knowledge base composed of structured lexical definitions to generate natural language human-like justifications, explaining the semantic relationship holding between the pieces of text. Besides outperforming well-established entailment algorithms, our composite approach gives an important step towards Explainable AI, using world knowledge to make the semantic reasoning process explicit and understandable.