Google Research

Query Refinement Prompts for Closed-Book Long-Form Question Answering

arXiv submission (2022)


Large language models (LLMs) have been shown to perform well in answering questions and in producing long-form texts such as stories and explanations, both in few-shot closed-book settings. While the former can be validated using well-known evaluation metrics, the latter is difficult to evaluate. To this end, we investigate the ability of LLMs to do both tasks at once -- to do question answering that requires long-form answers. Such questions tend to be multifaceted, i.e., they may have ambiguities and/or require information from multiple sources. To this end, we define query refinement prompts that encourage LLMs to explicitly express the multifacetedness in questions and generate long-form answers covering multiple facets of the question. Our experiments on two long-form question answering datasets, ASQA and AQuAMuSe, show that using our prompts allows us to outperform fully finetuned models in the closed book setting, as well as achieve results comparable to retrieve-then-generate open-book models.

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