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Long-form Question Answering: An Iterative Planning-Retrieval-Generation Approach

Pritom Saha AkashKashob Kumar RoyLucian PopaKevin Chen-Chuan Chang
Nov 2023
Long-form question answering (LFQA) poses a challenge as it involves generating detailed answers in the form of paragraphs, which go beyond simple yes/no responses or short factual answers. While existing QA models excel in questions with concise answers, LFQA requires handling multiple topics and their intricate relationships, demanding comprehensive explanations. Previous attempts at LFQA focused on generating long-form answers by utilizing relevant contexts from a corpus, relying solely on the question itself. However, they overlooked the possibility that the question alone might not provide sufficient information to identify the relevant contexts. Additionally, generating detailed long-form answers often entails aggregating knowledge from diverse sources. To address these limitations, we propose an LFQA model with iterative Planning, Retrieval, and Generation. This iterative process continues until a complete answer is generated for the given question. From an extensive experiment on both an open domain and a technical domain QA dataset, we find that our model outperforms the state-of-the-art models on various textual and factual metrics for the LFQA task.
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