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Workshop: MATH-AI: Toward Human-Level Mathematical Reasoning

MWP-BERT: A Numeracy-augmented Pre-trained Encoder for Math Word Problems

Zhenwen Liang · Jipeng ZHANG · Lei Wang · Wei QIN · Jie Shao · Xiangliang Zhang


Math word problem (MWP) solving faces a dilemma in number representation learning. In order to avoid the number representation issue and reduce the search space of feasible solutions, existing works striving for MWP solving usually replace real numbers with symbolic placeholders to focus on logic reasoning. However, instead of the number value itself, it is the reusable numerical property that matters more in numerical reasoning. Therefore, we argue that injecting numerical properties into symbolic placeholders with contextualized representation learning schema canprovide a way out of the dilemma in the number representation issue here. In this work, we introduce this idea to the popular pre-training language model (PLM) techniques and build MWP-BERT, an effective contextual number representation PLM. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our MWP-BERT on MWP solving and several MWP-specific understanding tasks on both English and Chinese benchmarks.

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