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QMUL-SDS at SCIVER: Step-by-Step Binary Classification for Scientific Claim Verification

Xia Zeng, Arkaitz Zubiaga

SDP. 2021.

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Scientific claim verification is a unique challenge that is attracting increasing interest. The SCIVER shared task offers a benchmark scenario to test and compare claim verification approaches by participating teams and consists in three steps: relevant abstract selection, rationale selection and label prediction. In this paper, we present team QMUL-SDS's participation in the shared task. We propose an approach that performs scientific claim verification by doing binary classifications step-by-step. We trained a BioBERT-large classifier to select abstracts based on pairwise relevance assessments for each <claim, title of the abstract> and continued to train it to select rationales out of each retrieved abstract based on <claim, sentence>. We then propose a two-step setting for label prediction, i.e. first predicting "NOT_ENOUGH_INFO" or "ENOUGH_INFO", then label those marked as "ENOUGH_INFO" as either "SUPPORT" or "CONTRADICT". Compared to the baseline system, we achieve substantial improvements on the dev set. As a result, our team is the No. 4 team on the leaderboard.
  title={QMUL-SDS at SCIVER: Step-by-Step Binary Classification for Scientific Claim Verification},
  author={Zeng, Xia and Zubiaga, Arkaitz},
  booktitle={Proceedings of the Second Workshop on Scholarly Document Processing},