Retrieval-Augmented Generative Question Answering for Event Argument Extraction

Xinya Du, Heng Ji

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Event argument extraction has long been studied as a sequential prediction problem with extractive-based methods, tackling each argument in isolation. Although recent work proposes generation-based methods to capture cross-argument dependency, they require generating and post-processing a complicated target sequence (template). Motivated by these observations and recent pretrained language models' capabilities of learning from demonstrations. We propose a retrieval-augmented generative QA model (R-GQA) for event argument extraction. It retrieves the most similar QA pair and augments it as prompt to the current example's context, then decodes the arguments as answers. Our approach outperforms substantially prior methods across various settings (i.e. fully supervised, domain transfer, and few-shot learning). Finally, we propose a clustering-based sampling strategy (JointEnc) and conduct a thorough analysis of how different strategies influence the few-shot learning performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2022 - Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Duration: Dec 7 2022Dec 11 2022


Conference2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, EMNLP 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Arab Emirates
CityAbu Dhabi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems


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