Engage the Public: Poll Question Generation for Social Media Posts

Zexin Lu, Keyang Ding, Yuji Zhang, Jing Li, Baolin Peng, Lemao Liu

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


This paper presents a novel task to generate poll questions for social media posts. It offers an easy way to hear the voice from the public and learn from their feelings to important social topics. While most related work tackles formally-written texts (e.g., exam papers), we generate poll questions for short and colloquial social media messages exhibiting severe data sparsity. To deal with that, we propose to encode user comments and discover latent topics therein as contexts. They are then incorporated into a sequence-to-sequence (S2S) architecture for question generation and its extension with dual decoders to additionally yield poll choices (answers). For experiments, we collect a large-scale Chinese dataset from Sina Weibo containing over 20K polls. The results show that our model outperforms the popular S2S models without exploiting topics from comments and the dual decoder design can further benefit the prediction of both questions and answers. Human evaluations further exhibit our superiority in yielding high-quality polls helpful to draw user engagements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Joint Conference of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (ACL-IJCNLP 2021)
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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