Guokun Lai


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Large-scale Cloze Test Dataset Created by Teachers
Qizhe Xie | Guokun Lai | Zihang Dai | Eduard Hovy
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Cloze tests are widely adopted in language exams to evaluate students’ language proficiency. In this paper, we propose the first large-scale human-created cloze test dataset CLOTH, containing questions used in middle-school and high-school language exams. With missing blanks carefully created by teachers and candidate choices purposely designed to be nuanced, CLOTH requires a deeper language understanding and a wider attention span than previously automatically-generated cloze datasets. We test the performance of dedicatedly designed baseline models including a language model trained on the One Billion Word Corpus and show humans outperform them by a significant margin. We investigate the source of the performance gap, trace model deficiencies to some distinct properties of CLOTH, and identify the limited ability of comprehending the long-term context to be the key bottleneck.


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RACE: Large-scale ReAding Comprehension Dataset From Examinations
Guokun Lai | Qizhe Xie | Hanxiao Liu | Yiming Yang | Eduard Hovy
Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We present RACE, a new dataset for benchmark evaluation of methods in the reading comprehension task. Collected from the English exams for middle and high school Chinese students in the age range between 12 to 18, RACE consists of near 28,000 passages and near 100,000 questions generated by human experts (English instructors), and covers a variety of topics which are carefully designed for evaluating the students’ ability in understanding and reasoning. In particular, the proportion of questions that requires reasoning is much larger in RACE than that in other benchmark datasets for reading comprehension, and there is a significant gap between the performance of the state-of-the-art models (43%) and the ceiling human performance (95%). We hope this new dataset can serve as a valuable resource for research and evaluation in machine comprehension. The dataset is freely available at the code is available at