Finding Similar Exercises in Online Education Systems

author: Qui Liu, University of Science and Technology of China
published: Nov. 23, 2018,   recorded: August 2018,   views: 1

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In online education systems, finding similar exercises is a fundamental task of many applications, such as exercise retrieval and student modeling. Several approaches have been proposed for this task by simply using the specific textual content (e.g. the same knowledge concepts or the similar words) in exercises. However, the problem of how to systematically exploit the rich semantic information embedded in multiple heterogenous data (e.g. texts and images) to precisely retrieve similar exercises remains pretty much open. To this end, in this paper, we develop a novel Multimodal Attention-based Neural Network (MANN) framework for finding similar exercises in large-scale online education systems by learning a unified semantic representation from the heterogenous data. In MANN, given exercises with texts, images and knowledge concepts, we first apply a convolutional neural network to extract image representations and use an embedding layer for representing concepts. Then, we design an attention-based long short-term memory network to learn a unified semantic representation of each exercise in a multimodal way. Here, two attention strategies are proposed to capture the associations of texts and images, texts and knowledge concepts, respectively. Moreover, with a Similarity Attention, the similar parts in each exercise pair are also measured. Finally, we develop a pairwise training strategy for returning similar exercises. Extensive experimental results on real-world data clearly validate the effectiveness and the interpretation power of MANN.

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