Google Research

Shopping Sense: Rapid Instance-Level Knowledge Acquisition for Google Maps from Class-Level Common Sense

Ninth AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP-2021), pp. 143-154


Successful knowledge graphs (KGs) solved the historical knowledge acquisition bottleneck by supplanting an expert focus with a simple, crowd-friendly one: KG nodes represent popular people, places, organizations, etc., and the graph arcs represent common sense relations like affiliations, locations, etc. Techniques for more general, categorical, KG curation do not seem to have made the same transition: the KG research community is still largely focused on methods that belie the common-sense characteristics of successful KGs. In this paper, we propose a simple approach to acquiring and reasoning with class-level attributes from the crowd that represent broad common sense associations between categories. We pick a very real industrial-scale data set and problem: how to augment an existing knowledge graph of places and products with associations between them indicating the availability of the products at those places, which would enable a KG to provide answers to questions like, ``Where can I buy milk nearby?'' This problem has several practical challenges, not least of which is that only 30\% of physical stores (i.e. brick \& mortar stores) have a website, and fewer list their product inventory, leaving a large acquisition gap to be filled by methods other than information extraction (IE). Based on a KG-inspired intuition that a lot of the class-level pairs are part of people's general common sense, e.g. everyone knows grocery stores sell milk and don't sell asphalt, we acquired a mixture of instance- and class- level pairs (e.g. {Ajay Mittal Dairy, milk}, {GroceryStore, milk}, resp.) from a novel 3-tier crowdsourcing method, and demonstrate the scalability advantages of the class-level approach. Our results show that crowdsourced class-level knowledge can provide rapid scaling of knowledge acquisition in this and similar domains, as well as long-term value in the KG.

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