Question answering over knowledge graphs (KG-QA) is a vital topic in IR. Questions with temporal intent are a special class of practical importance, but have not received much attention in research. This work presents EXAQT, the first end-to-end system for answering complex temporal questions that have multiple entities and predicates, and associated temporal conditions.

EXAQT: EXplainable Answering of complex Questions with Temporal intent.

EXAQT answers natural language questions over KGs in two stages, one geared towards high recall, the other towards precision at top ranks. The first step computes question-relevant compact subgraphs within the KG, and judiciously enhances them with pertinent temporal facts, both using fine-tuned BERT models. The second step constructs relational graph convolutional networks (R-GCN) from the first step’s output, and enhances the R-GCNs with time-aware entity embeddings and attention over temporal relations.

A simplified excerpt of the relevant zone in the Wikidata KG necessary for answering the question is shown in the figure.

Running Example in EXAQT
Wikidata KG excerpt for "where did obama's children study when he became president?"
with answer Sidwell Friends School

Complex questions of this sort must consider multi-hop constraints (Barack Obama → Malia Obama, Sasha Obama → Sidwell Friends School, University of Chicago Laboratory School), and reason on the overlap of the intersection of the start of the presidency (2009) with the study period at the school (2009 – 2016).


To evaluate EXAQT, We leverage recent community efforts in QA benchmark, and we search through eight KG-QA datasets for time-related questions. The result is a new compilation with about 16, 181 questions called TimeQuestions.

Please refer to our paper for further details.


For more information, please contact: Zhen Jia, Soumajit Pramanik, Rishiraj Saha Roy or Gerhard Weikum

To know more about our group, please visit

Download TimeQuestions

Training Set (9708 Questions) Dev Set (3236 Questions) Test Set (3237 Questions) TimeQuestions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Code on GitHub

EXAQT code


"Complex Temporal Question Answering on Knowledge Graphs", Zhen Jia, Soumajit Pramanik, Rishiraj Saha Roy, and Gerhard Weikum, in Proceedings of the 30th ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management 2021(CIKM'21), Virtual Event, 1 - 5 November 2021.