Existing pre-trained language models (PLMs) have demonstrated the effectiveness of self-supervised learning for a broad range of natural language processing (NLP) tasks. However, most of them are not explicitly aware of domain-specific knowledge, which is essential for downstream tasks in many domains, such as tasks in e-commerce scenarios. In this paper, we propose K-PLUG, a knowledge-injected pre-trained language model based on the encoder-decoder transformer that can be transferred to both natural language understanding and generation tasks. Specifically, we propose five knowledge-aware self-supervised pre-training objectives to formulate the learning of domain-specific knowledge, including e-commerce domain-specific knowledge-bases, aspects of product entities, categories of product entities, and unique selling propositions of product entities. We verify our method in a diverse range of e-commerce scenarios that require domain-specific knowledge, including product knowledge base completion, abstractive product summarization, and multi-turn dialogue. K-PLUG significantly outperforms baselines across the board, which demonstrates that the proposed method effectively learns a diverse set of domain-specific knowledge for both language understanding and generation tasks. Our code is available.
Short text nowadays has become a more fashionable form of text data, e.g., Twitter posts, news titles, and product reviews. Extracting semantic topics from short texts plays a significant role in a wide spectrum of NLP applications, and neural topic modeling is now a major tool to achieve it. Motivated by learning more coherent and semantic topics, in this paper we develop a novel neural topic model named Dual Word Graph Topic Model (DWGTM), which extracts topics from simultaneous word co-occurrence and semantic correlation graphs. To be specific, we learn word features from the global word co-occurrence graph, so as to ingest rich word co-occurrence information; we then generate text features with word features, and feed them into an encoder network to get topic proportions per-text; finally, we reconstruct texts and word co-occurrence graph with topical distributions and word features, respectively. Besides, to capture semantics of words, we also apply word features to reconstruct a word semantic correlation graph computed by pre-trained word embeddings. Upon those ideas, we formulate DWGTM in an auto-encoding paradigm and efficiently train it with the spirit of neural variational inference. Empirical results validate that DWGTM can generate more semantically coherent topics than baseline topic models.
Spoken question answering (SQA) requires fine-grained understanding of both spoken documents and questions for the optimal answer prediction. In this paper, we propose novel training schemes for spoken question answering with a self-supervised training stage and a contrastive representation learning stage. In the self-supervised stage, we propose three auxiliary self-supervised tasks, including utterance restoration, utterance insertion, and question discrimination, and jointly train the model to capture consistency and coherence among speech documents without any additional data or annotations. We then propose to learn noise-invariant utterance representations in a contrastive objective by adopting multiple augmentation strategies, including span deletion and span substitution. Besides, we design a Temporal-Alignment attention to semantically align the speech-text clues in the learned common space and benefit the SQA tasks. By this means, the training schemes can more effectively guide the generation model to predict more proper answers. Experimental results show that our model achieves state-of-the-art results on three SQA benchmarks. Our code will be publicly available after publication.
Recent work in multilingual natural language processing has shown progress in various tasks such as natural language inference and joint multilingual translation. Despite success in learning across many languages, challenges arise where multilingual training regimes often boost performance on some languages at the expense of others. For multilingual named entity recognition (NER) we propose a simple technique that groups similar languages together by using embeddings from a pre-trained masked language model, and automatically discovering language clusters in this embedding space. Specifically, we fine-tune an XLM-Roberta model on a language identification task, and use embeddings from this model for clustering. We conduct experiments on 15 diverse languages in the WikiAnn dataset and show our technique largely outperforms three baselines: (1) training a multilingual model jointly on all available languages, (2) training one monolingual model per language, and (3) grouping languages by linguistic family. We also conduct analyses showing meaningful multilingual transfer for low-resource languages (Swahili and Yoruba), despite being automatically grouped with other seemingly disparate languages.
Automatic news recommendation has gained much attention from the academic community and industry. Recent studies reveal that the key to this task lies within the effective representation learning of both news and users. Existing works typically encode news title and content separately while neglecting their semantic interaction, which is inadequate for news text comprehension. Besides, previous models encode user browsing history without leveraging the structural correlation of user browsed news to reflect user interests explicitly. In this work, we propose a news recommendation framework consisting of collaborative news encoding (CNE) and structural user encoding (SUE) to enhance news and user representation learning. CNE equipped with bidirectional LSTMs encodes news title and content collaboratively with cross-selection and cross-attention modules to learn semantic-interactive news representations. SUE utilizes graph convolutional networks to extract cluster-structural features of user history, followed by intra-cluster and inter-cluster attention modules to learn hierarchical user interest representations. Experiment results on the MIND dataset validate the effectiveness of our model to improve the performance of news recommendation.
Despite considerable progress, most machine reading comprehension (MRC) tasks still lack sufficient training data to fully exploit powerful deep neural network models with millions of parameters, and it is laborious, expensive, and time-consuming to create large-scale, high-quality MRC data through crowdsourcing. This paper focuses on generating more training data for MRC tasks by leveraging existing question-answering (QA) data. We first collect a large-scale multi-subject multiple-choice QA dataset for Chinese, ExamQA. We next use incomplete, yet relevant snippets returned by a web search engine as the context for each QA instance to convert it into a weakly-labeled MRC instance. To better use the weakly-labeled data to improve a target MRC task, we evaluate and compare several methods and further propose a self-teaching paradigm. Experimental results show that, upon state-of-the-art MRC baselines, we can obtain +5.1% in accuracy on a multiple-choice Chinese MRC dataset, Cˆ3, and +3.8% in exact match on an extractive Chinese MRC dataset, CMRC 2018, demonstrating the usefulness of the generated QA-based weakly-labeled data for different types of MRC tasks as well as the effectiveness of self-teaching. ExamQA will be available at https://dataset.org/examqa/.
Understanding the semantic meaning of content on the web through the lens of entities and concepts has many practical advantages. However, when building large-scale entity extraction systems, practitioners are facing unique challenges involving finding the best ways to leverage the scale and variety of data available on internet platforms. We present learnings from our efforts in building an entity extraction system for multiple document types at large scale using multi-modal Transformers. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of multi-lingual, multi-task and cross-document type learning. We also discuss the label collection schemes that help to minimize the amount of noise in the collected data.
Visual and textual modalities contribute complementary information about events described in multimedia documents. Videos contain rich dynamics and detailed unfoldings of events, while text describes more high-level and abstract concepts. However, existing event extraction methods either do not handle video or solely target video while ignoring other modalities. In contrast, we propose the first approach to jointly extract events from both video and text articles. We introduce the new task of Video MultiMedia Event Extraction and propose two novel components to build the first system towards this task. First, we propose the first self-supervised cross-modal event coreference model that can determine coreference between video events and text events without any manually annotated pairs. Second, we introduce the first cross-modal transformer architecture, which extracts structured event information from both videos and text documents. We also construct and will publicly release a new benchmark of video-article pairs, consisting of 860 video-article pairs with extensive annotations for evaluating methods on this task. Our experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method on our new benchmark dataset. We achieve 6.0% and 5.8% absolute F-score gain on multimodal event coreference resolution and multimedia event extraction.
Temporal language grounding (TLG) aims to localize a video segment in an untrimmed video based on a natural language description. To alleviate the expensive cost of manual annotations for temporal boundary labels,we are dedicated to the weakly supervised setting, where only video-level descriptions are provided for training. Most of the existing weakly supervised methods generate a candidate segment set and learn cross-modal alignment through a MIL-based framework. However, the temporal structure of the video as well as the complicated semantics in the sentence are lost during the learning. In this work, we propose a novel candidate-free framework: Fine-grained Semantic Alignment Network (FSAN), for weakly supervised TLG. Instead of view the sentence and candidate moments as a whole, FSAN learns token-by-clip cross-modal semantic alignment by an iterative cross-modal interaction module, generates a fine-grained cross-modal semantic alignment map, and performs grounding directly on top of the map. Extensive experiments are conducted on two widely-used benchmarks: ActivityNet-Captions, and DiDeMo, where our FSAN achieves state-of-the-art performance.
Despite significant progress has been achieved in text summarization, factual inconsistency in generated summaries still severely limits its practical applications. Among the key factors to ensure factual consistency, a reliable automatic evaluation metric is the first and the most crucial one. However, existing metrics either neglect the intrinsic cause of the factual inconsistency or rely on auxiliary tasks, leading to an unsatisfied correlation with human judgments or increasing the inconvenience of usage in practice. In light of these challenges, we propose a novel metric to evaluate the factual consistency in text summarization via counterfactual estimation, which formulates the causal relationship among the source document, the generated summary, and the language prior. We remove the effect of language prior, which can cause factual inconsistency, from the total causal effect on the generated summary, and provides a simple yet effective way to evaluate consistency without relying on other auxiliary tasks. We conduct a series of experiments on three public abstractive text summarization datasets, and demonstrate the advantages of the proposed metric in both improving the correlation with human judgments and the convenience of usage. The source code is available at https://github.com/xieyxclack/factual_coco.
Recent advances in using retrieval components over external knowledge sources have shown impressive results for a variety of downstream tasks in natural language processing. Here, we explore the use of unstructured external knowledge sources of images and their corresponding captions for improving visual question answering (VQA). First, we train a novel alignment model for embedding images and captions in the same space, which achieves substantial improvement in performance on image-caption retrieval w.r.t. similar methods. Second, we show that retrieval-augmented multi-modal transformers using the trained alignment model improve results on VQA over strong baselines. We further conduct extensive experiments to establish the promise of this approach, and examine novel applications for inference time such as hot-swapping indices.
Nested Named Entity Recognition (NNER) has been extensively studied, aiming to identify all nested entities from potential spans (i.e., one or more continuous tokens). However, recent studies for NNER either focus on tedious tagging schemas or utilize complex structures, which fail to learn effective span representations from the input sentence with highly nested entities. Intuitively, explicit span representations will contribute to NNER due to the rich context information they contain. In this study, we propose a Hierarchical Transformer (HiTRANS) network for the NNER task, which decomposes the input sentence into multi-grained spans and enhances the representation learning in a hierarchical manner. Specifically, we first utilize a two-phase module to generate span representations by aggregating context information based on a bottom-up and top-down transformer network. Then a label prediction layer is designed to recognize nested entities hierarchically, which naturally explores semantic dependencies among different spans. Experiments on GENIA, ACE-2004, ACE-2005 and NNE datasets demonstrate that our proposed method achieves much better performance than the state-of-the-art approaches.
Current embedding-based large-scale retrieval models are trained with 0-1 hard label that indicates whether a query is relevant to a document, ignoring rich information of the relevance degree. This paper proposes to improve embedding-based retrieval from the perspective of better characterizing the query-document relevance degree by introducing label enhancement (LE) for the first time. To generate label distribution in the retrieval scenario, we design a novel and effective supervised LE method that incorporates prior knowledge from dynamic term weighting methods into contextual embeddings. Our method significantly outperforms four competitive existing retrieval models and its counterparts equipped with two alternative LE techniques by training models with the generated label distribution as auxiliary supervision information. The superiority can be easily observed on English and Chinese large-scale retrieval tasks under both standard and cold-start settings.
Latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA), a widely used topic model, is often employed as a fundamental tool for text analysis in various applications. However, the training process of the LDA model typically requires massive text corpus data. On one hand, such massive data may expose private information in the training data, thereby incurring significant privacy concerns. On the other hand, the efficiency of the LDA model training may be impacted, since LDA training often needs to handle these massive text corpus data. To address the privacy issues in LDA model training, some recent works have combined LDA training algorithms that are based on collapsed Gibbs sampling (CGS) with differential privacy. Nevertheless, these works usually have a high accumulative privacy budget due to vast iterations in CGS. Moreover, these works always have low efficiency due to handling massive text corpus data. To improve the privacy guarantee and efficiency, we combine a subsampling method with CGS and propose a novel LDA training algorithm with differential privacy, SUB-LDA. We find that subsampling in CGS naturally improves efficiency while amplifying privacy. We propose a novel metric, the efficiency–privacy function, to evaluate improvements of the privacy guarantee and efficiency. Based on a conventional subsampling method, we propose an adaptive subsampling method to improve the model’s utility produced by SUB-LDA when the subsampling ratio is small. We provide a comprehensive analysis of SUB-LDA, and the experiment results validate its efficiency and privacy guarantee improvements.
Writing mammography reports can be error-prone and time-consuming for radiologists. In this paper we propose a method to generate mammography reports given four images, corresponding to the four views used in screening mammography. To the best of our knowledge our work represents the first attempt to generate the mammography report using deep-learning. We propose an encoder-decoder model that includes an EfficientNet-based encoder and a Transformer-based decoder. We demonstrate that the Transformer-based attention mechanism can combine visual and semantic information to localize salient regions on the input mammograms and generate a visually interpretable report. The conducted experiments, including an evaluation by a certified radiologist, show the effectiveness of the proposed method.
It is a well-known approach for fringe groups and organizations to use euphemisms—ordinary-sounding and innocent-looking words with a secret meaning—to conceal what they are discussing. For instance, drug dealers often use “pot” for marijuana and “avocado” for heroin. From a social media content moderation perspective, though recent advances in NLP have enabled the automatic detection of such single-word euphemisms, no existing work is capable of automatically detecting multi-word euphemisms, such as “blue dream” (marijuana) and “black tar” (heroin). Our paper tackles the problem of euphemistic phrase detection without human effort for the first time, as far as we are aware. We first perform phrase mining on a raw text corpus (e.g., social media posts) to extract quality phrases. Then, we utilize word embedding similarities to select a set of euphemistic phrase candidates. Finally, we rank those candidates by a masked language model—SpanBERT. Compared to strong baselines, we report 20-50% higher detection accuracies using our algorithm for detecting euphemistic phrases.
Multi-hop QA requires the machine to answer complex questions through finding multiple clues and reasoning, and provide explanatory evidence to demonstrate the machine’s reasoning process. We propose Relation Extractor-Reader and Comparator (RERC), a three-stage framework based on complex question decomposition. The Relation Extractor decomposes the complex question, and then the Reader answers the sub-questions in turn, and finally the Comparator performs numerical comparison and summarizes all to get the final answer, where the entire process itself constitutes a complete reasoning evidence path. In the 2WikiMultiHopQA dataset, our RERC model has achieved the state-of-the-art performance, with a winning joint F1 score of 53.58 on the leaderboard. All indicators of our RERC are close to human performance, with only 1.95 behind the human level in F1 score of support fact. At the same time, the evidence path provided by our RERC framework has excellent readability and faithfulness.
The span-based model enjoys great popularity in recent works of sequence segmentation. However, each of these methods suffers from its own defects, such as invalid predictions. In this work, we introduce a unified span-based model, lexical unit analysis (LUA), that addresses all these matters. Segmenting a lexical unit sequence involves two steps. Firstly, we embed every span by using the representations from a pretraining language model. Secondly, we define a score for every segmentation candidate and apply dynamic programming (DP) to extract the candidate with the maximum score. We have conducted extensive experiments on 3 tasks, (e.g., syntactic chunking), across 7 datasets. LUA has established new state-of-the-art performances on 6 of them. We have achieved even better results through incorporating label correlations.
Dense neural text retrieval has achieved promising results on open-domain Question Answering (QA), where latent representations of questions and passages are exploited for maximum inner product search in the retrieval process. However, current dense retrievers require splitting documents into short passages that usually contain local, partial and sometimes biased context, and highly depend on the splitting process. As a consequence, it may yield inaccurate and misleading hidden representations, thus deteriorating the final retrieval result. In this work, we propose Dense Hierarchical Retrieval (DHR), a hierarchical framework which can generate accurate dense representations of passages by utilizing both macroscopic semantics in the document and microscopic semantics specific to each passage. Specifically, a document-level retriever first identifies relevant documents, among which relevant passages are then retrieved by a passage-level retriever. The ranking of the retrieved passages will be further calibrated by examining the document-level relevance. In addition, hierarchical title structure and two negative sampling strategies (i.e., In-Doc and In-Sec negatives) are investigated. We apply DHR to large-scale open-domain QA datasets. DHR significantly outperforms the original dense passage retriever, and helps an end-to-end QA system outperform the strong baselines on multiple open-domain QA benchmarks.
We investigate ways to compose complex concepts in texts from primitive ones while grounding them in images. We propose Concept and Relation Graph (CRG), which builds on top of constituency analysis and consists of recursively combined concepts with predicate functions. Meanwhile, we propose a concept composition neural network called Composer to leverage the CRG for visually grounded concept learning. Specifically, we learn the grounding of both primitive and all composed concepts by aligning them to images and show that learning to compose leads to more robust grounding results, measured in text-to-image matching accuracy. Notably, our model can model grounded concepts forming at both the finer-grained sentence level and the coarser-grained intermediate level (or word-level). Composer leads to pronounced improvement in matching accuracy when the evaluation data has significant compound divergence from the training data.
Humans are remarkably flexible when understanding new sentences that include combinations of concepts they have never encountered before. Recent work has shown that while deep networks can mimic some human language abilities when presented with novel sentences, systematic variation uncovers the limitations in the language-understanding abilities of networks. We demonstrate that these limitations can be overcome by addressing the generalization challenges in the gSCAN dataset, which explicitly measures how well an agent is able to interpret novel linguistic commands grounded in vision, e.g., novel pairings of adjectives and nouns. The key principle we employ is compositionality: that the compositional structure of networks should reflect the compositional structure of the problem domain they address, while allowing other parameters to be learned end-to-end. We build a general-purpose mechanism that enables agents to generalize their language understanding to compositional domains. Crucially, our network has the same state-of-the-art performance as prior work while generalizing its knowledge when prior work does not. Our network also provides a level of interpretability that enables users to inspect what each part of networks learns. Robust grounded language understanding without dramatic failures and without corner cases is critical to building safe and fair robots; we demonstrate the significant role that compositionality can play in achieving that goal.
The availability of parallel sentence simplification (SS) is scarce for neural SS modelings. We propose an unsupervised method to build SS corpora from large-scale bilingual translation corpora, alleviating the need for SS supervised corpora. Our method is motivated by the following two findings: neural machine translation model usually tends to generate more high-frequency tokens and the difference of text complexity levels exists between the source and target language of a translation corpus. By taking the pair of the source sentences of translation corpus and the translations of their references in a bridge language, we can construct large-scale pseudo parallel SS data. Then, we keep these sentence pairs with a higher complexity difference as SS sentence pairs. The building SS corpora with an unsupervised approach can satisfy the expectations that the aligned sentences preserve the same meanings and have difference in text complexity levels. Experimental results show that SS methods trained by our corpora achieve the state-of-the-art results and significantly outperform the results on English benchmark WikiLarge.
Producing the embedding of a sentence in anunsupervised way is valuable to natural language matching and retrieval problems in practice. In this work, we conduct a thorough examination of pretrained model based unsupervised sentence embeddings. We study on fourpretrained models and conduct massive experiments on seven datasets regarding sentence semantics. We have three main findings. First, averaging all tokens is better than only using [CLS] vector. Second, combining both topand bottom layers is better than only using toplayers. Lastly, an easy whitening-based vector normalization strategy with less than 10 linesof code consistently boosts the performance. The whole project including codes and data is publicly available at https://github.com/Jun-jie-Huang/WhiteningBERT.
In a typical customer service chat scenario, customers contact a support center to ask for help or raise complaints, and human agents try to solve the issues. In most cases, at the end of the conversation, agents are asked to write a short summary emphasizing the problem and the proposed solution, usually for the benefit of other agents that may have to deal with the same customer or issue. The goal of the present article is advancing the automation of this task. We introduce the first large scale, high quality, customer care dialog summarization dataset with close to 6500 human annotated summaries. The data is based on real-world customer support dialogs and includes both extractive and abstractive summaries. We also introduce a new unsupervised, extractive summarization method specific to dialogs.
Sentence splitting involves the segmentation of a sentence into two or more shorter sentences. It is a key component of sentence simplification, has been shown to help human comprehension and is a useful preprocessing step for NLP tasks such as summarisation and relation extraction. While several methods and datasets have been proposed for developing sentence splitting models, little attention has been paid to how sentence splitting interacts with discourse structure. In this work, we focus on cases where the input text contains a discourse connective, which we refer to as discourse-based sentence splitting. We create synthetic and organic datasets for discourse-based splitting and explore different ways of combining these datasets using different model architectures. We show that pipeline models which use discourse structure to mediate sentence splitting outperform end-to-end models in learning the various ways of expressing a discourse relation but generate text that is less grammatical; that large scale synthetic data provides a better basis for learning than smaller scale organic data; and that training on discourse-focused, rather than on general sentence splitting data provides a better basis for discourse splitting.
Multi-task dense retrieval models can be used to retrieve documents from a common corpus (e.g., Wikipedia) for different open-domain question-answering (QA) tasks. However, Karpukhin et al. (2020) shows that jointly learning different QA tasks with one dense model is not always beneficial due to corpus inconsistency. For example, SQuAD only focuses on a small set of Wikipedia articles while datasets like NQ and Trivia cover more entries, and joint training on their union can cause performance degradation. To solve this problem, we propose to train individual dense passage retrievers (DPR) for different tasks and aggregate their predictions during test time, where we use uncertainty estimation as weights to indicate how probable a specific query belongs to each expert’s expertise. Our method reaches state-of-the-art performance on 5 benchmark QA datasets, with up to 10% improvement in top-100 accuracy compared to a joint-training multi-task DPR on SQuAD. We also show that our method handles corpus inconsistency better than the joint-training DPR on a mixed subset of different QA datasets. Code and data are available at https://github.com/alexlimh/DPR_MUF.
Mining the causes of political decision-making is an active research area in the field of political science. In the past, most studies have focused on long-term policies that are collected over several decades of time, and have primarily relied on surveys as the main source of predictors. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a new political phenomenon, where political decision-making consists of frequent short-term decisions, all on the same controlled topic—the pandemic. In this paper, we focus on the question of how public opinion influences policy decisions, while controlling for confounders such as COVID-19 case increases or unemployment rates. Using a dataset consisting of Twitter data from the 50 US states, we classify the sentiments toward governors of each state, and conduct controlled studies and comparisons. Based on the compiled samples of sentiments, policies, and confounders, we conduct causal inference to discover trends in political decision-making across different states.
Event detection (ED) task aims to classify events by identifying key event trigger words embedded in a piece of text. Previous research have proved the validity of fusing syntactic dependency relations into Graph Convolutional Networks(GCN). While existing GCN-based methods explore latent node-to-node dependency relations according to a stationary adjacency tensor, an attention-based dynamic tensor, which can pay much attention to the key node like event trigger or its neighboring nodes, has not been developed. Simultaneously, suffering from the phenomenon of graph information vanishing caused by the symmetric adjacency tensor, existing GCN models can not achieve higher overall performance. In this paper, we propose a novel model Self-Attention Graph Residual Convolution Networks (SA-GRCN) to mine node-to-node latent dependency relations via self-attention mechanism and introduce Graph Residual Network (GResNet) to solve graph information vanishing problem. Specifically, a self-attention module is constructed to generate an attention tensor, representing the dependency attention scores of all words in the sentence. Furthermore, a graph residual term is added to the baseline SA-GCN to construct a GResNet. Considering the syntactically connection of the network input, we initialize the raw adjacency tensor without processed by the self-attention module as the residual term. We conduct experiments on the ACE2005 dataset and the results show significant improvement over competitive baseline methods.
Diverse machine translation aims at generating various target language translations for a given source language sentence. To leverage the linear relationship in the sentence latent space introduced by the mixup training, we propose a novel method, MixDiversity, to generate different translations for the input sentence by linearly interpolating it with different sentence pairs sampled from the training corpus during decoding. To further improve the faithfulness and diversity of the translations, we propose two simple but effective approaches to select diverse sentence pairs in the training corpus and adjust the interpolation weight for each pair correspondingly. Moreover, by controlling the interpolation weight, our method can achieve the trade-off between faithfulness and diversity without any additional training, which is required in most of the previous methods. Experiments on WMT’16 en-ro, WMT’14 en-de, and WMT’17 zh-en are conducted to show that our method substantially outperforms all previous diverse machine translation methods.
This paper investigates how to correct Chinese text errors with types of mistaken, missing and redundant characters, which are common for Chinese native speakers. Most existing models based on detect-correct framework can correct mistaken characters, but cannot handle missing or redundant characters due to inconsistency between model inputs and outputs. Although Seq2Seq-based or sequence tagging methods provide solutions to the three error types and achieved relatively good results in English context, they do not perform well in Chinese context according to our experiments. In our work, we propose a novel alignment-agnostic detect-correct framework that can handle both text aligned and non-aligned situations and can serve as a cold start model when no annotation data are provided. Experimental results on three datasets demonstrate that our method is effective and achieves a better performance than most recent published models.
Visual dialog is a task of answering a sequence of questions grounded in an image using the previous dialog history as context. In this paper, we study how to address two fundamental challenges for this task: (1) reasoning over underlying semantic structures among dialog rounds and (2) identifying several appropriate answers to the given question. To address these challenges, we propose a Sparse Graph Learning (SGL) method to formulate visual dialog as a graph structure learning task. SGL infers inherently sparse dialog structures by incorporating binary and score edges and leveraging a new structural loss function. Next, we introduce a Knowledge Transfer (KT) method that extracts the answer predictions from the teacher model and uses them as pseudo labels. We propose KT to remedy the shortcomings of single ground-truth labels, which severely limit the ability of a model to obtain multiple reasonable answers. As a result, our proposed model significantly improves reasoning capability compared to baseline methods and outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches on the VisDial v1.0 dataset. The source code is available at https://github.com/gicheonkang/SGLKT-VisDial.
Document-level event extraction is critical to various natural language processing tasks for providing structured information. Existing approaches by sequential modeling neglect the complex logic structures for long texts. In this paper, we leverage the entity interactions and sentence interactions within long documents and transform each document into an undirected unweighted graph by exploiting the relationship between sentences. We introduce the Sentence Community to represent each event as a subgraph. Furthermore, our framework SCDEE maintains the ability to extract multiple events by sentence community detection using graph attention networks and alleviate the role overlapping issue by predicting arguments in terms of roles. Experiments demonstrate that our framework achieves competitive results over state-of-the-art methods on the large-scale document-level event extraction dataset.
Research on open-domain dialogue systems that allow free topics is challenging in the field of natural language processing (NLP). The performance of the dialogue system has been improved recently by the method utilizing dialogue-related knowledge; however, non-English dialogue systems suffer from reproducing the performance of English dialogue systems because securing knowledge in the same language with the dialogue system is relatively difficult. Through experiments with a Korean dialogue system, this paper proves that the performance of a non-English dialogue system can be improved by utilizing English knowledge, highlighting the system uses cross-lingual knowledge. For the experiments, we 1) constructed a Korean version of the Wizard of Wikipedia dataset, 2) built Korean-English T5 (KE-T5), a language model pre-trained with Korean and English corpus, and 3) developed a knowledge-grounded Korean dialogue model based on KE-T5. We observed the performance improvement in the open-domain Korean dialogue model even only English knowledge was given. The experimental results showed that the knowledge inherent in cross-lingual language models can be helpful for generating responses in open dialogue systems.
The UNESCO World Heritage List (WHL) includes the exceptionally valuable cultural and natural heritage to be preserved for mankind. Evaluating and justifying the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) is essential for each site inscribed in the WHL, and yet a complex task, even for experts, since the selection criteria of OUV are not mutually exclusive. Furthermore, manual annotation of heritage values and attributes from multi-source textual data, which is currently dominant in heritage studies, is knowledge-demanding and time-consuming, impeding systematic analysis of such authoritative documents in terms of their implications on heritage management. This study applies state-of-the-art NLP models to build a classifier on a new dataset containing Statements of OUV, seeking an explainable and scalable automation tool to facilitate the nomination, evaluation, research, and monitoring processes of World Heritage sites. Label smoothing is innovatively adapted to improve the model performance by adding prior inter-class relationship knowledge to generate soft labels. The study shows that the best models fine-tuned from BERT and ULMFiT can reach 94.3% top-3 accuracy. A human study with expert evaluation on the model prediction shows that the models are sufficiently generalizable. The study is promising to be further developed and applied in heritage research and practice.
Few-shot knowledge graph completion is to infer the unknown facts (i.e., query head-tail entity pairs) of a given relation with only a few observed reference entity pairs. Its general process is to first encode the implicit relation of an entity pair and then match the relation of a query entity pair with the relations of the reference entity pairs. Most existing methods have thus far encoded an entity pair and matched entity pairs by using the direct neighbors of concerned entities. In this paper, we propose the P-INT model for effective few-shot knowledge graph completion. First, P-INT infers and leverages the paths that can expressively encode the relation of two entities. Second, to capture the fine grained matches, P-INT calculates the interactions of paths instead of mix- ing them for each entity pair. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that P-INT out- performs the state-of-the-art baselines by 11.2– 14.2% in terms of Hits@1. Our codes and datasets are online now.
We propose Cartography Active Learning (CAL), a novel Active Learning (AL) algorithm that exploits the behavior of the model on individual instances during training as a proxy to find the most informative instances for labeling. CAL is inspired by data maps, which were recently proposed to derive insights into dataset quality (Swayamdipta et al., 2020). We compare our method on popular text classification tasks to commonly used AL strategies, which instead rely on post-training behavior. We demonstrate that CAL is competitive to other common AL methods, showing that training dynamics derived from small seed data can be successfully used for AL. We provide insights into our new AL method by analyzing batch-level statistics utilizing the data maps. Our results further show that CAL results in a more data-efficient learning strategy, achieving comparable or better results with considerably less training data.
Meta-learning algorithms such as MAML, Reptile, and FOMAML have led to improved performance of several neural models. The primary difference between standard gradient descent and these meta-learning approaches is that they contain as a small component the gradient for maximizing dot-product between gradients of batches, leading to improved generalization. Previous work has shown that aligned gradients are related to generalization, and have also used the Reptile algorithm in a single-task setting to improve generalization. Inspired by these approaches for a single task setting, this paper proposes to use the finite differences first-order algorithm to calculate this gradient from dot-product of gradients, allowing explicit control on the weightage of this component relative to standard gradients. We use this gradient as a regularization technique, leading to more aligned gradients between different batches. By using the finite differences approximation, our approach does not suffer from O(nˆ2) memory usage of naively calculating the Hessian and can be easily applied to large models with large batch sizes. Our approach achieves state-of-the-art performance on the Gigaword dataset, and shows performance improvements on several datasets such as SQuAD-v2.0, Quasar-T, NewsQA and all the SuperGLUE datasets, with a range of models such as BERT, RoBERTa and ELECTRA. Our method also outperforms previous approaches of Reptile and FOMAML when used as a regularization technique, in both single and multi-task settings. Our method is model agnostic, and introduces no extra trainable weights.
While day-to-day questions come with a variety of answer types, the current question-answering (QA) literature has failed to adequately address the answer diversity of questions. To this end, we present GooAQ, a large-scale dataset with a variety of answer types. This dataset contains over 5 million questions and 3 million answers collected from Google. GooAQ questions are collected semi-automatically from the Google search engine using its autocomplete feature. This results in naturalistic questions of practical interest that are nonetheless short and expressed using simple language. GooAQ answers are mined from Google’s responses to our collected questions, specifically from the answer boxes in the search results. This yields a rich space of answer types, containing both textual answers (short and long) as well as more structured ones such as collections. We benchmark T5 models on GooAQ and observe that: (a) in line with recent work, LM’s strong performance on GooAQ’s short-answer questions heavily benefit from annotated data; however, (b) their quality in generating coherent and accurate responses for questions requiring long responses (such as ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions) is less reliant on observing annotated data and mainly supported by their pre-training. We release GooAQ to facilitate further research on improving QA with diverse response types.
This work proposes an extensive analysis of the Transformer architecture in the Neural Machine Translation (NMT) setting. Focusing on the encoder-decoder attention mechanism, we prove that attention weights systematically make alignment errors by relying mainly on uninformative tokens from the source sequence. However, we observe that NMT models assign attention to these tokens to regulate the contribution in the prediction of the two contexts, the source and the prefix of the target sequence. We provide evidence about the influence of wrong alignments on the model behavior, demonstrating that the encoder-decoder attention mechanism is well suited as an interpretability method for NMT. Finally, based on our analysis, we propose methods that largely reduce the word alignment error rate compared to standard induced alignments from attention weights.
Backdoor attack introduces artificial vulnerabilities into the model by poisoning a subset of the training data via injecting triggers and modifying labels. Various trigger design strategies have been explored to attack text classifiers, however, defending such attacks remains an open problem. In this work, we propose BFClass, a novel efficient backdoor-free training framework for text classification. The backbone of BFClass is a pre-trained discriminator that predicts whether each token in the corrupted input was replaced by a masked language model. To identify triggers, we utilize this discriminator to locate the most suspicious token from each training sample and then distill a concise set by considering their association strengths with particular labels. To recognize the poisoned subset, we examine the training samples with these identified triggers as the most suspicious token, and check if removing the trigger will change the poisoned model’s prediction. Extensive experiments demonstrate that BFClass can identify all the triggers, remove 95% poisoned training samples with very limited false alarms, and achieve almost the same performance as the models trained on the benign training data.
As it has been unveiled that pre-trained language models (PLMs) are to some extent capable of recognizing syntactic concepts in natural language, much effort has been made to develop a method for extracting complete (binary) parses from PLMs without training separate parsers. We improve upon this paradigm by proposing a novel chart-based method and an effective top-K ensemble technique. Moreover, we demonstrate that we can broaden the scope of application of the approach into multilingual settings. Specifically, we show that by applying our method on multilingual PLMs, it becomes possible to induce non-trivial parses for sentences from nine languages in an integrated and language-agnostic manner, attaining performance superior or comparable to that of unsupervised PCFGs. We also verify that our approach is robust to cross-lingual transfer. Finally, we provide analyses on the inner workings of our method. For instance, we discover universal attention heads which are consistently sensitive to syntactic information irrespective of the input language.
Recent knowledge graph embedding (KGE) models based on hyperbolic geometry have shown great potential in a low-dimensional embedding space. However, the necessity of hyperbolic space in KGE is still questionable, because the calculation based on hyperbolic geometry is much more complicated than Euclidean operations. In this paper, based on the state-of-the-art hyperbolic-based model RotH, we develop two lightweight Euclidean-based models, called RotL and Rot2L. The RotL model simplifies the hyperbolic operations while keeping the flexible normalization effect. Utilizing a novel two-layer stacked transformation and based on RotL, the Rot2L model obtains an improved representation capability, yet costs fewer parameters and calculations than RotH. The experiments on link prediction show that Rot2L achieves the state-of-the-art performance on two widely-used datasets in low-dimensional knowledge graph embeddings. Furthermore, RotL achieves similar performance as RotH but only requires half of the training time.
Dynamic early exiting aims to accelerate the inference of pre-trained language models (PLMs) by emitting predictions in internal layers without passing through the entire model. In this paper, we empirically analyze the working mechanism of dynamic early exiting and find that it faces a performance bottleneck under high speed-up ratios. On one hand, the PLMs’ representations in shallow layers lack high-level semantic information and thus are not sufficient for accurate predictions. On the other hand, the exiting decisions made by internal classifiers are unreliable, leading to wrongly emitted early predictions. We instead propose a new framework for accelerating the inference of PLMs, CascadeBERT, which dynamically selects proper-sized and complete models in a cascading manner, providing comprehensive representations for predictions. We further devise a difficulty-aware objective, encouraging the model to output the class probability that reflects the real difficulty of each instance for a more reliable cascading mechanism. Experimental results show that CascadeBERT can achieve an overall 15% improvement under 4x speed-up compared with existing dynamic early exiting methods on six classification tasks, yielding more calibrated and accurate predictions.
To alleviate human efforts from obtaining large-scale annotations, Semi-Supervised Relation Extraction methods aim to leverage unlabeled data in addition to learning from limited samples. Existing self-training methods suffer from the gradual drift problem, where noisy pseudo labels on unlabeled data are incorporated during training. To alleviate the noise in pseudo labels, we propose a method called MetaSRE, where a Relation Label Generation Network generates accurate quality assessment on pseudo labels by (meta) learning from the successful and failed attempts on Relation Classification Network as an additional meta-objective. To reduce the influence of noisy pseudo labels, MetaSRE adopts a pseudo label selection and exploitation scheme which assesses pseudo label quality on unlabeled samples and only exploits high-quality pseudo labels in a self-training fashion to incrementally augment labeled samples for both robustness and accuracy. Experimental results on two public datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.
Aiming to generate a set of keyphrases, Keyphrase Generation (KG) is a classical task for capturing the central idea from a given document. Based on Seq2Seq models, the previous reinforcement learning framework on KG tasks utilizes the evaluation metrics to further improve the well-trained neural models. However, these KG evaluation metrics such as F1@5 and F1@M are only aware of the exact correctness of predictions on phrase-level and ignore the semantic similarities between similar predictions and targets, which inhibits the model from learning deep linguistic patterns. In response to this problem, we propose a new fine-grained evaluation metric to improve the RL framework, which considers different granularities: token-level F1 score, edit distance, duplication, and prediction quantities. On the whole, the new framework includes two reward functions: the fine-grained evaluation score and the vanilla F1 score. This framework helps the model identifying some partial match phrases which can be further optimized as the exact match ones. Experiments on KG benchmarks show that our proposed training framework outperforms the previous RL training frameworks among all evaluation scores. In addition, our method can effectively ease the synonym problem and generate a higher quality prediction. The source code is available at https://github.com/xuyige/FGRL4KG.
To find a suitable embedding for a knowledge graph remains a big challenge nowadays. By using previous knowledge graph embedding methods, every entity in a knowledge graph is usually represented as a k-dimensional vector. As we know, an affine transformation can be expressed in the form of a matrix multiplication followed by a translation vector. In this paper, we firstly utilize a set of affine transformations related to each relation to operate on entity vectors, and then these transformed vectors are used for performing embedding with previous methods. The main advantage of using affine transformations is their good geometry properties with interpretability. Our experimental results demonstrate that the proposed intuitive design with affine transformations provides a statistically significant increase in performance with adding a few extra processing steps or adding a limited number of additional variables. Taking TransE as an example, we employ the scale transformation (the special case of an affine transformation), and only introduce k additional variables for each relation. Surprisingly, it even outperforms RotatE to some extent on various data sets. We also introduce affine transformations into RotatE, Distmult and ComplEx, respectively, and each one outperforms its original method.
Neural abstractive summarization models have drastically improved in the recent years. However, the summaries generated by these models generally suffer from issues such as: not capturing the critical facts in source documents, and containing facts that are inconsistent with the source documents. In this work, we present a general framework to train abstractive summarization models to alleviate such issues. We first train a sequence-to-sequence model to summarize documents, and then further train this model in a Reinforcement Learning setting with question-answering based rewards. We evaluate the summaries generated by the this framework using multiple automatic measures and human judgements. The experimental results show that the question-answering rewards can be used as a general framework to improve neural abstractive summarization. Particularly, the results from human evaluations show that the summaries generated by our approach is preferred over 30% of the time over the summaries generated by general abstractive summarization models.
Causal reasoning aims to predict the future scenarios that may be caused by the observed actions. However, existing causal reasoning methods deal with causalities on the word level. In this paper, we propose a novel event-level causal reasoning method and demonstrate its use in the task of effect generation. In particular, we structuralize the observed cause-effect event pairs into an event causality network, which describes causality dependencies. Given an input cause sentence, a causal subgraph is retrieved from the event causality network and is encoded with the graph attention mechanism, in order to support better reasoning of the potential effects. The most probable effect event is then selected from the causal subgraph and is used as guidance to generate an effect sentence. Experiments show that our method generates more reasonable effect sentences than various well-designed competitors.
In this study, we propose a self-supervised learning method that distils representations of word meaning in context from a pre-trained masked language model. Word representations are the basis for context-aware lexical semantics and unsupervised semantic textual similarity (STS) estimation. A previous study transforms contextualised representations employing static word embeddings to weaken excessive effects of contextual information. In contrast, the proposed method derives representations of word meaning in context while preserving useful context information intact. Specifically, our method learns to combine outputs of different hidden layers using self-attention through self-supervised learning with an automatically generated training corpus. To evaluate the performance of the proposed approach, we performed comparative experiments using a range of benchmark tasks. The results confirm that our representations exhibited a competitive performance compared to that of the state-of-the-art method transforming contextualised representations for the context-aware lexical semantic tasks and outperformed it for STS estimation.
Complex question answering over knowledge base remains as a challenging task because it involves reasoning over multiple pieces of information, including intermediate entities/relations and other constraints. Previous methods simplify the SPARQL query of a question into such forms as a list or a graph, missing such constraints as “filter” and “order_by”, and present models specialized for generating those simplified forms from a given question. We instead introduce a novel approach that directly generates an executable SPARQL query without simplification, addressing the issue of generating unseen entities. We adapt large scale pre-trained encoder-decoder models and show that our method significantly outperforms the previous methods and also that our method has higher interpretability and computational efficiency than the previous methods.
Emotion cause extraction (ECE) aims to extract the causes behind the certain emotion in text. Some works related to the ECE task have been published and attracted lots of attention in recent years. However, these methods neglect two major issues: 1) pay few attentions to the effect of document-level context information on ECE, and 2) lack of sufficient exploration for how to effectively use the annotated emotion clause. For the first issue, we propose a bidirectional hierarchical attention network (BHA) corresponding to the specified candidate cause clause to capture the document-level context in a structured and dynamic manner. For the second issue, we design an emotional filtering module (EF) for each layer of the graph attention network, which calculates a gate score based on the emotion clause to filter the irrelevant information. Combining the BHA and EF, the EF-BHA can dynamically aggregate the contextual information from two directions and filters irrelevant information. The experimental results demonstrate that EF-BHA achieves the competitive performances on two public datasets in different languages (Chinese and English). Moreover, we quantify the effect of context on emotion cause extraction and provide the visualization of the interactions between candidate cause clauses and contexts.
In relation extraction, distant supervision is widely used to automatically label a large-scale training dataset by aligning a knowledge base with unstructured text. Most existing studies in this field have assumed there is a great deal of centralized unstructured text. However, in practice, texts are usually distributed on different platforms and cannot be centralized due to privacy restrictions. Therefore, it is worthwhile to investigate distant supervision in the federated learning paradigm, which decouples the training of the model from the need for direct access to raw texts. However, overcoming label noise of distant supervision becomes more difficult in federated settings, because texts containing the same entity pair scatter around different platforms. In this paper, we propose a federated denoising framework to suppress label noise in federated settings. The key of this framework is a multiple instance learning based denoising method that is able to select reliable sentences via cross-platform collaboration. Various experiments on New York Times dataset and miRNA gene regulation relation dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.
We introduce and study a problem variant of sentiment analysis, namely the “same sentiment classification problem”, where, given a pair of texts, the task is to determine if they have the same sentiment, disregarding the actual sentiment polarity. Among other things, our goal is to enable a more topic-agnostic sentiment classification. We study the problem using the Yelp business review dataset, demonstrating how sentiment data needs to be prepared for this task, and then carry out sequence pair classification using the BERT language model. In a series of experiments, we achieve an accuracy above 83% for category subsets across topics, and 89% on average.
While neural networks are ubiquitous in state-of-the-art semantic parsers, it has been shown that most standard models suffer from dramatic performance losses when faced with compositionally out-of-distribution (OOD) data. Recently several methods have been proposed to improve compositional generalization in semantic parsing. In this work we instead focus on the problem of detecting compositionally OOD examples with neural semantic parsers, which, to the best of our knowledge, has not been investigated before. We investigate several strong yet simple methods for OOD detection based on predictive uncertainty. The experimental results demonstrate that these techniques perform well on the standard SCAN and CFQ datasets. Moreover, we show that OOD detection can be further improved by using a heterogeneous ensemble.
Recent multilingual pre-trained models, like XLM-RoBERTa (XLM-R), have been demonstrated effective in many cross-lingual tasks. However, there are still gaps between the contextualized representations of similar words in different languages. To solve this problem, we propose a novel framework named Multi-View Mixed Language Training (MVMLT), which leverages code-switched data with multi-view learning to fine-tune XLM-R. MVMLT uses gradient-based saliency to extract keywords which are the most relevant to downstream tasks and replaces them with the corresponding words in the target language dynamically. Furthermore, MVMLT utilizes multi-view learning to encourage contextualized embeddings to align into a more refined language-invariant space. Extensive experiments with four languages show that our model achieves state-of-the-art results on zero-shot cross-lingual sentiment classification and dialogue state tracking tasks, demonstrating the effectiveness of our proposed model.
With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the political and the medical aspects of disinformation merged as the problem got elevated to a whole new level to become the first global infodemic. Fighting this infodemic has been declared one of the most important focus areas of the World Health Organization, with dangers ranging from promoting fake cures, rumors, and conspiracy theories to spreading xenophobia and panic. Addressing the issue requires solving a number of challenging problems such as identifying messages containing claims, determining their check-worthiness and factuality, and their potential to do harm as well as the nature of that harm, to mention just a few. To address this gap, we release a large dataset of 16K manually annotated tweets for fine-grained disinformation analysis that (i) focuses on COVID-19, (ii) combines the perspectives and the interests of journalists, fact-checkers, social media platforms, policy makers, and society, and (iii) covers Arabic, Bulgarian, Dutch, and English. Finally, we show strong evaluation results using pretrained Transformers, thus confirming the practical utility of the dataset in monolingual vs. multilingual, and single task vs. multitask settings.
Extracting salient topics from a collection of documents can be a challenging task when a) the amount of data is large, b) the number of topics is not known a priori, and/or c) “topic noise” is present. We define “topic noise” as the collection of documents that are irrelevant to any coherent topic and should be filtered out. By design, most clustering algorithms (e.g. k-means, hierarchical clustering) assign all input documents to one of the available clusters, guaranteeing any topic noise to propagate into the result. To address these challenges, we present a novel algorithm, FANATIC, that efficiently distinguishes documents from genuine topics and those that are topic noise. We also introduce a new Reddit dataset to showcase FANATIC as it contains short, noisy data that is difficult to cluster using most clustering algorithms. We find that FANATIC clusters 500k Reddit titles (of which 20% are topic noise) in 2 minutes and achieves an AMI score of 0.59, in contrast with hdbscan (McInnes et al., 2017), a popular algorithm suited for this type of task, which requires over 7 hours and achieves an AMI of 0.03. Finally, we test FANATIC against a Twitter dataset and find again that it outperforms the other algorithms with an AMI score of 0.60. We make our code and data publicly available.
Simultaneous machine translation has recently gained traction thanks to significant quality improvements and the advent of streaming applications. Simultaneous translation systems need to find a trade-off between translation quality and response time, and with this purpose multiple latency measures have been proposed. However, latency evaluations for simultaneous translation are estimated at the sentence level, not taking into account the sequential nature of a streaming scenario. Indeed, these sentence-level latency measures are not well suited for continuous stream translation, resulting in figures that are not coherent with the simultaneous translation policy of the system being assessed. This work proposes a stream level adaptation of the current latency measures based on a re-segmentation approach applied to the output translation, that is successfully evaluated on streaming conditions for a reference IWSLT task.
Learning sentence embeddings often requires a large amount of labeled data. However, for most tasks and domains, labeled data is seldom available and creating it is expensive. In this work, we present a new state-of-the-art unsupervised method based on pre-trained Transformers and Sequential Denoising Auto-Encoder (TSDAE) which outperforms previous approaches by up to 6.4 points. It can achieve up to 93.1% of the performance of in-domain supervised approaches. Further, we show that TSDAE is a strong domain adaptation and pre-training method for sentence embeddings, significantly outperforming other approaches like Masked Language Model. A crucial shortcoming of previous studies is the narrow evaluation: Most work mainly evaluates on the single task of Semantic Textual Similarity (STS), which does not require any domain knowledge. It is unclear if these proposed methods generalize to other domains and tasks. We fill this gap and evaluate TSDAE and other recent approaches on four different datasets from heterogeneous domains.
Data-driven subword segmentation has become the default strategy for open-vocabulary machine translation and other NLP tasks, but may not be sufficiently generic for optimal learning of non-concatenative morphology. We design a test suite to evaluate segmentation strategies on different types of morphological phenomena in a controlled, semi-synthetic setting. In our experiments, we compare how well machine translation models trained on subword- and character-level can translate these morphological phenomena. We find that learning to analyse and generate morphologically complex surface representations is still challenging, especially for non-concatenative morphological phenomena like reduplication or vowel harmony and for rare word stems. Based on our results, we recommend that novel text representation strategies be tested on a range of typologically diverse languages to minimise the risk of adopting a strategy that inadvertently disadvantages certain languages.
Supplementary Training on Intermediate Labeled-data Tasks (STILT) is a widely applied technique, which first fine-tunes the pretrained language models on an intermediate task before on the target task of interest. While STILT is able to further improve the performance of pretrained language models, it is still unclear why and when it works. Previous research shows that those intermediate tasks involving complex inference, such as commonsense reasoning, work especially well for RoBERTa-large. In this paper, we discover that the improvement from an intermediate task could be orthogonal to it containing reasoning or other complex skills — a simple real-fake discrimination task synthesized by GPT2 can benefit diverse target tasks. We conduct extensive experiments to study the impact of different factors on STILT. These findings suggest rethinking the role of intermediate fine-tuning in the STILT pipeline.
The ability to continuously expand knowledge over time and utilize it to rapidly generalize to new tasks is a key feature of human linguistic intelligence. Existing models that pursue rapid generalization to new tasks (e.g., few-shot learning methods), however, are mostly trained in a single shot on fixed datasets, unable to dynamically expand their knowledge; while continual learning algorithms are not specifically designed for rapid generalization. We present a new learning setup, Continual Learning of Few-Shot Learners (CLIF), to address challenges of both learning settings in a unified setup. CLIF assumes a model learns from a sequence of diverse NLP tasks arriving sequentially, accumulating knowledge for improved generalization to new tasks, while also retaining performance on the tasks learned earlier. We examine how the generalization ability is affected in the continual learning setup, evaluate a number of continual learning algorithms, and propose a novel regularized adapter generation approach. We find that catastrophic forgetting affects generalization ability to a lesser degree than performance on seen tasks; while continual learning algorithms can still bring considerable benefit to the generalization ability.
Adapters are light-weight modules that allow parameter-efficient fine-tuning of pretrained models. Specialized language and task adapters have recently been proposed to facilitate cross-lingual transfer of multilingual pretrained models (Pfeiffer et al., 2020b). However, this approach requires training a separate language adapter for every language one wishes to support, which can be impractical for languages with limited data. An intuitive solution is to use a related language adapter for the new language variety, but we observe that this solution can lead to sub-optimal performance. In this paper, we aim to improve the robustness of language adapters to uncovered languages without training new adapters. We find that ensembling multiple existing language adapters makes the fine-tuned model significantly more robust to other language varieties not included in these adapters. Building upon this observation, we propose Entropy Minimized Ensemble of Adapters (EMEA), a method that optimizes the ensemble weights of the pretrained language adapters for each test sentence by minimizing the entropy of its predictions. Experiments on three diverse groups of language varieties show that our method leads to significant improvements on both named entity recognition and part-of-speech tagging across all languages.
Much recent work in bilingual lexicon induction (BLI) views word embeddings as vectors in Euclidean space. As such, BLI is typically solved by finding a linear transformation that maps embeddings to a common space. Alternatively, word embeddings may be understood as nodes in a weighted graph. This framing allows us to examine a node’s graph neighborhood without assuming a linear transform, and exploits new techniques from the graph matching optimization literature. These contrasting approaches have not been compared in BLI so far. In this work, we study the behavior of Euclidean versus graph-based approaches to BLI under differing data conditions and show that they complement each other when combined. We release our code at https://github.com/kellymarchisio/euc-v-graph-bli.
Knowledge Distillation (KD) is a model compression algorithm that helps transfer the knowledge in a large neural network into a smaller one. Even though KD has shown promise on a wide range of Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications, little is understood about how one KD algorithm compares to another and whether these approaches can be complimentary to each other. In this work, we evaluate various KD algorithms on in-domain, out-of-domain and adversarial testing. We propose a framework to assess adversarial robustness of multiple KD algorithms. Moreover, we introduce a new KD algorithm, Combined-KD, which takes advantage of two promising approaches (better training scheme and more efficient data augmentation). Our extensive experimental results show that Combined-KD achieves state-of-the-art results on the GLUE benchmark, out-of-domain generalization, and adversarial robustness compared to competitive methods.
Compliments and concerns in reviews are valuable for understanding users’ shopping interests and their opinions with respect to specific aspects of certain items. Existing review-based recommenders favor large and complex language encoders that can only learn latent and uninterpretable text representations. They lack explicit user-attention and item-property modeling, which however could provide valuable information beyond the ability to recommend items. Therefore, we propose a tightly coupled two-stage approach, including an Aspect-Sentiment Pair Extractor (ASPE) and an Attention-Property-aware Rating Estimator (APRE). Unsupervised ASPE mines Aspect-Sentiment pairs (AS-pairs) and APRE predicts ratings using AS-pairs as concrete aspect-level evidences. Extensive experiments on seven real-world Amazon Review Datasets demonstrate that ASPE can effectively extract AS-pairs which enable APRE to deliver superior accuracy over the leading baselines.
The Transformer translation model is based on the multi-head attention mechanism, which can be parallelized easily. The multi-head attention network performs the scaled dot-product attention function in parallel, empowering the model by jointly attending to information from different representation subspaces at different positions. In this paper, we present an approach to learning a hard retrieval attention where an attention head only attends to one token in the sentence rather than all tokens. The matrix multiplication between attention probabilities and the value sequence in the standard scaled dot-product attention can thus be replaced by a simple and efficient retrieval operation. We show that our hard retrieval attention mechanism is 1.43 times faster in decoding, while preserving translation quality on a wide range of machine translation tasks when used in the decoder self- and cross-attention networks.
In this article, we tackle the math word problem, namely, automatically answering a mathematical problem according to its textual description. Although recent methods have demonstrated their promising results, most of these methods are based on template-based generation scheme which results in limited generalization capability. To this end, we propose a novel human-like analogical learning method in a recall and learn manner. Our proposed framework is composed of modules of memory, representation, analogy, and reasoning, which are designed to make a new exercise by referring to the exercises learned in the past. Specifically, given a math word problem, the model first retrieves similar questions by a memory module and then encodes the unsolved problem and each retrieved question using a representation module. Moreover, to solve the problem in a way of analogy, an analogy module and a reasoning module with a copy mechanism are proposed to model the interrelationship between the problem and each retrieved question. Extensive experiments on two well-known datasets show the superiority of our proposed algorithm as compared to other state-of-the-art competitors from both overall performance comparison and micro-scope studies.
Aspect detection is a fundamental task in opinion mining. Previous works use seed words either as priors of topic models, as anchors to guide the learning of aspects, or as features of aspect classifiers. This paper presents a novel weakly-supervised method to exploit seed words for aspect detection based on an encoder architecture. The encoder maps segments and aspects into a low-dimensional embedding space. The goal is approximating similarity between segments and aspects in the embedding space and their ground-truth similarity generated from seed words. An objective function is proposed to capture the uncertainty of ground-truth similarity. Our method outperforms previous works on several benchmarks in various domains.
Current approaches to empathetic response generation focus on learning a model to predict an emotion label and generate a response based on this label and have achieved promising results. However, the emotion cause, an essential factor for empathetic responding, is ignored. The emotion cause is a stimulus for human emotions. Recognizing the emotion cause is helpful to better understand human emotions so as to generate more empathetic responses. To this end, we propose a novel framework that improves empathetic response generation by recognizing emotion cause in conversations. Specifically, an emotion reasoner is designed to predict a context emotion label and a sequence of emotion cause-oriented labels, which indicate whether the word is related to the emotion cause. Then we devise both hard and soft gated attention mechanisms to incorporate the emotion cause into response generation. Experiments show that incorporating emotion cause information improves the performance of the model on both emotion recognition and response generation.
Models of language trained on very large corpora have been demonstrated useful for natural language processing. As fixed artifacts, they have become the object of intense study, with many researchers “probing” the extent to which they acquire and readily demonstrate linguistic abstractions, factual and commonsense knowledge, and reasoning abilities. Recent work applied several probes to intermediate training stages to observe the developmental process of a large-scale model (Chiang et al., 2020). Following this effort, we systematically answer a question: for various types of knowledge a language model learns, when during (pre)training are they acquired? Using RoBERTa as a case study, we find: linguistic knowledge is acquired fast, stably, and robustly across domains. Facts and commonsense are slower and more domain-sensitive. Reasoning abilities are, in general, not stably acquired. As new datasets, pretraining protocols, and probes emerge, we believe that probing-across-time analyses can help researchers understand the complex, intermingled learning that these models undergo and guide us toward more efficient approaches that accomplish necessary learning faster.
Paraphrase identification (PI), a fundamental task in natural language processing, is to identify whether two sentences express the same or similar meaning, which is a binary classification problem. Recently, BERT-like pre-trained language models have been a popular choice for the frameworks of various PI models, but almost all existing methods consider general domain text. When these approaches are applied to a specific domain, existing models cannot make accurate predictions due to the lack of professional knowledge. In light of this challenge, we propose a novel framework, namely , which can leverage the external unstructured Wikipedia knowledge to accurately identify paraphrases. We propose to mine outline knowledge of concepts related to given sentences from Wikipedia via BM25 model. After retrieving related outline knowledge, makes predictions based on both the semantic information of two sentences and the outline knowledge. Besides, we propose a gating mechanism to aggregate the semantic information-based prediction and the knowledge-based prediction. Extensive experiments are conducted on two public datasets: PARADE (a computer science domain dataset) and clinicalSTS2019 (a biomedical domain dataset). The results show that the proposed outperforms state-of-the-art methods.
This work presents a novel four-stage open-domain QA pipeline R2-D2 (Rank twice, reaD twice). The pipeline is composed of a retriever, passage reranker, extractive reader, generative reader and a mechanism that aggregates the final prediction from all system’s components. We demonstrate its strength across three open-domain QA datasets: NaturalQuestions, TriviaQA and EfficientQA, surpassing state-of-the-art on the first two. Our analysis demonstrates that: (i) combining extractive and generative reader yields absolute improvements up to 5 exact match and it is at least twice as effective as the posterior averaging ensemble of the same models with different parameters, (ii) the extractive reader with fewer parameters can match the performance of the generative reader on extractive QA datasets.
Sarcasm and sentiment embody intrinsic uncertainty of human cognition, making joint detection of multi-modal sarcasm and sentiment a challenging task. In view of the advantages of quantum probability (QP) in modeling such uncertainty, this paper explores the potential of QP as a mathematical framework and proposes a QP driven multi-task (QPM) learning framework. The QPM framework involves a complex-valued multi-modal representation encoder, a quantum-like fusion subnetwork and a quantum measurement mechanism. Each multi-modal (e.g., textual, visual) utterance is first encoded as a quantum superposition of a set of basis terms using a complex-valued representation. Then, the quantum-like fusion subnetwork leverages quantum state composition and quantum interference to model the contextual interaction between adjacent utterances and the correlations across modalities respectively. Finally, quantum incompatible measurements are performed on the multi-modal representation of each utterance to yield the probabilistic outcomes of sarcasm and sentiment recognition. The experimental results show that our model achieves a state-of-the-art performance.
Multilingual pre-trained models have demonstrated their effectiveness in many multilingual NLP tasks and enabled zero-shot or few-shot transfer from high-resource languages to low-resource ones. However, due to significant typological differences and contradictions between some languages, such models usually perform poorly on many languages and cross-lingual settings, which shows the difficulty of learning a single model to handle massive diverse languages well at the same time. To alleviate this issue, we present a new multilingual pre-training pipeline. We propose to generate language representation from multilingual pre-trained model and conduct linguistic analysis to show that language representation similarity reflects linguistic similarity from multiple perspectives, including language family, geographical sprachbund, lexicostatistics, and syntax. Then we cluster all the target languages into multiple groups and name each group as a representation sprachbund. Thus, languages in the same representation sprachbund are supposed to boost each other in both pre-training and fine-tuning as they share rich linguistic similarity. We pre-train one multilingual model for each representation sprachbund. Experiments are conducted on cross-lingual benchmarks and significant improvements are achieved compared to strong baselines.
Recent developments in neural networks have led to the advance in data-to-text generation. However, the lack of ability of neural models to control the structure of generated output can be limiting in certain real-world applications. In this study, we propose a novel Plan-then-Generate (PlanGen) framework to improve the controllability of neural data-to-text models. Extensive experiments and analyses are conducted on two benchmark datasets, ToTTo and WebNLG. The results show that our model is able to control both the intra-sentence and inter-sentence structure of the generated output. Furthermore, empirical comparisons against previous state-of-the-art methods show that our model improves the generation quality as well as the output diversity as judged by human and automatic evaluations.
Neural table-to-text generation models have achieved remarkable progress on an array of tasks. However, due to the data-hungry nature of neural models, their performances strongly rely on large-scale training examples, limiting their applicability in real-world applications. To address this, we propose a new framework: Prototype-to-Generate (P2G), for table-to-text generation under the few-shot scenario. The proposed framework utilizes the retrieved prototypes, which are jointly selected by an IR system and a novel prototype selector to help the model bridging the structural gap between tables and texts. Experimental results on three benchmark datasets with three state-of-the-art models demonstrate that the proposed framework significantly improves the model performance across various evaluation metrics.
In parataxis languages like Chinese, word meanings are constructed using specific word-formations, which can help to disambiguate word senses. However, such knowledge is rarely explored in previous word sense disambiguation (WSD) methods. In this paper, we propose to leverage word-formation knowledge to enhance Chinese WSD. We first construct a large-scale Chinese lexical sample WSD dataset with word-formations. Then, we propose a model FormBERT to explicitly incorporate word-formations into sense disambiguation. To further enhance generalizability, we design a word-formation predictor module in case word-formation annotations are unavailable. Experimental results show that our method brings substantial performance improvement over strong baselines.
Back-translation (BT) has become one of the de facto components in unsupervised neural machine translation (UNMT), and it explicitly makes UNMT have translation ability. However, all the pseudo bi-texts generated by BT are treated equally as clean data during optimization without considering the quality diversity, leading to slow convergence and limited translation performance. To address this problem, we propose a curriculum learning method to gradually utilize pseudo bi-texts based on their quality from multiple granularities. Specifically, we first apply crosslingual word embedding to calculate the potential translation difficulty (quality) for the monolingual sentences. Then, the sentences are fed into UNMT from easy to hard batch by batch. Furthermore, considering the quality of sentences/tokens in a particular batch are also diverse, we further adopt the model itself to calculate the fine-grained quality scores, which are served as learning factors to balance the contributions of different parts when computing loss and encourage the UNMT model to focus on pseudo data with higher quality. Experimental results on WMT 14 En-Fr, WMT 14 En-De, WMT 16 En-Ro, and LDC En-Zh translation tasks demonstrate that the proposed method achieves consistent improvements with faster convergence speed.
Cross-lingual Sentence Retrieval (CLSR) aims at retrieving parallel sentence pairs that are translations of each other from a multilingual set of comparable documents. The retrieved parallel sentence pairs can be used in other downstream NLP tasks such as machine translation and cross-lingual word sense disambiguation. We propose a CLSR framework called Robust Fragment-level Representation (RFR) CLSR framework to address Out-of-Domain (OOD) CLSR problems. In particular, we improve the sentence retrieval robustness by representing each sentence as a collection of fragments. In this way, we change the retrieval granularity from the sentence to the fragment level. We performed CLSR experiments based on three OOD datasets, four language pairs, and three base well-known sentence encoders: m-USE, LASER, and LaBSE. Experimental results show that RFR significantly improves the base encoders’ performance for more than 85% of the cases.
Adversarial training, a method for learning robust deep neural networks, constructs adversarial examples during training. However, recent methods for generating NLP adversarial examples involve combinatorial search and expensive sentence encoders for constraining the generated instances. As a result, it remains challenging to use vanilla adversarial training to improve NLP models’ performance, and the benefits are mainly uninvestigated. This paper proposes a simple and improved vanilla adversarial training process for NLP models, which we name Attacking to Training (A2T). The core part of A2T is a new and cheaper word substitution attack optimized for vanilla adversarial training. We use A2T to train BERT and RoBERTa models on IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, Yelp, and SNLI datasets. Our results empirically show that it is possible to train robust NLP models using a much cheaper adversary. We demonstrate that vanilla adversarial training with A2T can improve an NLP model’s robustness to the attack it was originally trained with and also defend the model against other types of word substitution attacks. Furthermore, we show that A2T can improve NLP models’ standard accuracy, cross-domain generalization, and interpretability.
Framing has significant but subtle effects on public opinion and policy. We propose an NLP framework to measure entity-centric frames. We use it to understand media coverage on police violence in the United States in a new Police Violence Frames Corpus of 82k news articles spanning 7k police killings. Our work uncovers more than a dozen framing devices and reveals significant differences in the way liberal and conservative news sources frame both the issue of police violence and the entities involved. Conservative sources emphasize when the victim is armed or attacking an officer and are more likely to mention the victim’s criminal record. Liberal sources focus more on the underlying systemic injustice, highlighting the victim’s race and that they were unarmed. We discover temporary spikes in these injustice frames near high-profile shooting events, and finally, we show protest volume correlates with and precedes media framing decisions.
To be good conversational partners, natural language processing (NLP) systems should be trained to produce contextually useful utterances. Prior work has investigated training NLP systems with communication-based objectives, where a neural listener stands in as a communication partner. However, these systems commonly suffer from semantic drift where the learned language diverges radically from natural language. We propose a method that uses a population of neural listeners to regularize speaker training. We first show that language drift originates from the poor uncertainty calibration of a neural listener, which makes high-certainty predictions on novel sentences. We explore ensemble- and dropout-based populations of listeners and find that the former results in better uncertainty quantification. We evaluate both population-based objectives on reference games, and show that the ensemble method with better calibration enables the speaker to generate pragmatic utterances while scaling to a large vocabulary and generalizing to new games and listeners.
Scenario-based question answering (SQA) requires retrieving and reading paragraphs from a large corpus to answer a question which is contextualized by a long scenario description. Since a scenario contains both keyphrases for retrieval and much noise, retrieval for SQA is extremely difficult. Moreover, it can hardly be supervised due to the lack of relevance labels of paragraphs for SQA. To meet the challenge, in this paper we propose a joint retriever-reader model called JEEVES where the retriever is implicitly supervised only using QA labels via a novel word weighting mechanism. JEEVES significantly outperforms a variety of strong baselines on multiple-choice questions in three SQA datasets.
Ad hoc abbreviations are commonly found in informal communication channels that favor shorter messages. We consider the task of reversing these abbreviations in context to recover normalized, expanded versions of abbreviated messages. The problem is related to, but distinct from, spelling correction, as ad hoc abbreviations are intentional and can involve more substantial differences from the original words. Ad hoc abbreviations are also productively generated on-the-fly, so they cannot be resolved solely by dictionary lookup. We generate a large, open-source data set of ad hoc abbreviations. This data is used to study abbreviation strategies and to develop two strong baselines for abbreviation expansion.
Task-adaptive pre-training (TAPT) and Self-training (ST) have emerged as the major semi-supervised approaches to improve natural language understanding (NLU) tasks with massive amount of unlabeled data. However, it’s unclear whether they learn similar representations or they can be effectively combined. In this paper, we show that TAPT and ST can be complementary with simple TFS protocol by following TAPT -> Finetuning -> Self-training (TFS) process. Experimental results show that TFS protocol can effectively utilize unlabeled data to achieve strong combined gains consistently across six datasets covering sentiment classification, paraphrase identification, natural language inference, named entity recognition and dialogue slot classification. We investigate various semi-supervised settings and consistently show that gains from TAPT and ST can be strongly additive by following TFS procedure. We hope that TFS could serve as an important semi-supervised baseline for future NLP studies.
Transformer models fine-tuned with a sequence labeling objective have become the dominant choice for named entity recognition tasks. However, a self-attention mechanism with unconstrained length can fail to fully capture local dependencies, particularly when training data is limited. In this paper, we propose a novel joint training objective which better captures the semantics of words corresponding to the same entity. By augmenting the training objective with a group-consistency loss component we enhance our ability to capture local dependencies while still enjoying the advantages of the unconstrained self-attention mechanism. On the CoNLL2003 dataset, our method achieves a test F1 of 93.98 with a single transformer model. More importantly our fine-tuned CoNLL2003 model displays significant gains in generalization to out of domain datasets: on the OntoNotes subset we achieve an F1 of 72.67 which is 0.49 points absolute better than the baseline, and on the WNUT16 set an F1 of 68.22 which is a gain of 0.48 points. Furthermore, on the WNUT17 dataset we achieve an F1 of 55.85, yielding a 2.92 point absolute improvement.
Although neural sequence-to-sequence models have been successfully applied to semantic parsing, they fail at compositional generalization, i.e., they are unable to systematically generalize to unseen compositions of seen components. Motivated by traditional semantic parsing where compositionality is explicitly accounted for by symbolic grammars, we propose a new decoding framework that preserves the expressivity and generality of sequence-to-sequence models while featuring lexicon-style alignments and disentangled information processing. Specifically, we decompose decoding into two phases where an input utterance is first tagged with semantic symbols representing the meaning of individual words, and then a sequence-to-sequence model is used to predict the final meaning representation conditioning on the utterance and the predicted tag sequence. Experimental results on three semantic parsing datasets show that the proposed approach consistently improves compositional generalization across model architectures, domains, and semantic formalisms.
Paraphrase generation is an important task in natural language processing. Previous works focus on sentence-level paraphrase generation, while ignoring document-level paraphrase generation, which is a more challenging and valuable task. In this paper, we explore the task of document-level paraphrase generation for the first time and focus on the inter-sentence diversity by considering sentence rewriting and reordering. We propose CoRPG (Coherence Relationship guided Paraphrase Generation), which leverages graph GRU to encode the coherence relationship graph and get the coherence-aware representation for each sentence, which can be used for re-arranging the multiple (possibly modified) input sentences. We create a pseudo document-level paraphrase dataset for training CoRPG. Automatic evaluation results show CoRPG outperforms several strong baseline models on the BERTScore and diversity scores. Human evaluation also shows our model can generate document paraphrase with more diversity and semantic preservation.
Fact verification based on structured data is challenging as it requires models to understand both natural language and symbolic operations performed over tables. Although pre-trained language models have demonstrated a strong capability in verifying simple statements, they struggle with complex statements that involve multiple operations. In this paper, we improve fact verification by decomposing complex statements into simpler subproblems. Leveraging the programs synthesized by a weakly supervised semantic parser, we propose a program-guided approach to constructing a pseudo dataset for decomposition model training. The subproblems, together with their predicted answers, serve as the intermediate evidence to enhance our fact verification model. Experiments show that our proposed approach achieves the new state-of-the-art performance, an 82.7% accuracy, on the TabFact benchmark.
Although showing promising values to downstream applications, generating question and answer together is under-explored. In this paper, we introduce a novel task that targets question-answer pair generation from visual images. It requires not only generating diverse question-answer pairs but also keeping the consistency of them. We study different generation paradigms for this task and propose three models: the pipeline model, the joint model, and the sequential model. We integrate variational inference into these models to achieve diversity and consistency. We also propose region representation scaling and attention alignment to improve the consistency further. We finally devise an evaluator as a quantitative metric for consistency. We validate our approach on two benchmarks, VQA2.0 and Visual-7w, by automatically and manually evaluating diversity and consistency. Experimental results show the effectiveness of our models: they can generate diverse or consistent pairs. Moreover, this task can be used to improve visual question generation and visual question answering.
Multi-modal machine translation (MMT) aims at improving translation performance by incorporating visual information. Most of the studies leverage the visual information through integrating the global image features as auxiliary input or decoding by attending to relevant local regions of the image. However, this kind of usage of visual information makes it difficult to figure out how the visual modality helps and why it works. Inspired by the findings of (CITATION) that entities are most informative in the image, we propose an explicit entity-level cross-modal learning approach that aims to augment the entity representation. Specifically, the approach is framed as a reconstruction task that reconstructs the original textural input from multi-modal input in which entities are replaced with visual features. Then, a multi-task framework is employed to combine the translation task and the reconstruction task to make full use of cross-modal entity representation learning. The extensive experiments demonstrate that our approach can achieve comparable or even better performance than state-of-the-art models. Furthermore, our in-depth analysis shows how visual information improves translation.
Visual dialog is challenging since it needs to answer a series of coherent questions based on understanding the visual environment. How to ground related visual objects is one of the key problems. Previous studies utilize the question and history to attend to the image and achieve satisfactory performance, while these methods are not sufficient to locate related visual objects without any guidance. The inappropriate grounding of visual objects prohibits the performance of visual dialog models. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to Learn to Ground visual objects for visual dialog, which employs a novel visual objects grounding mechanism where both prior and posterior distributions over visual objects are used to facilitate visual objects grounding. Specifically, a posterior distribution over visual objects is inferred from both context (history and questions) and answers, and it ensures the appropriate grounding of visual objects during the training process. Meanwhile, a prior distribution, which is inferred from context only, is used to approximate the posterior distribution so that appropriate visual objects can be grounding even without answers during the inference process. Experimental results on the VisDial v0.9 and v1.0 datasets demonstrate that our approach improves the previous strong models in both generative and discriminative settings by a significant margin.
Recommendation dialogs require the system to build a social bond with users to gain trust and develop affinity in order to increase the chance of a successful recommendation. It is beneficial to divide up, such conversations with multiple subgoals (such as social chat, question answering, recommendation, etc.), so that the system can retrieve appropriate knowledge with better accuracy under different subgoals. In this paper, we propose a unified framework for common knowledge-based multi-subgoal dialog: knowledge-enhanced multi-subgoal driven recommender system (KERS). We first predict a sequence of subgoals and use them to guide the dialog model to select knowledge from a sub-set of existing knowledge graph. We then propose three new mechanisms to filter noisy knowledge and to enhance the inclusion of cleaned knowledge in the dialog response generation process. Experiments show that our method obtains state-of-the-art results on DuRecDial dataset in both automatic and human evaluation.
In this paper, we propose a simple few-shot domain adaptation paradigm for reading comprehension. We first identify the lottery subnetwork structure within the Transformer-based source domain model via gradual magnitude pruning. Then, we only fine-tune the lottery subnetwork, a small fraction of the whole parameters, on the annotated target domain data for adaptation. To obtain more adaptable subnetworks, we introduce self-attention attribution to weigh parameters, beyond simply pruning the smallest magnitude parameters, which can be seen as combining structured pruning and unstructured magnitude pruning softly. Experimental results show that our method outperforms the full model fine-tuning adaptation on four out of five domains when only a small amount of annotated data available for adaptation. Moreover, introducing self-attention attribution reserves more parameters for important attention heads in the lottery subnetwork and improves the target domain model performance. Our further analyses reveal that, besides exploiting fewer parameters, the choice of subnetworks is critical to the effectiveness.
This paper investigates the effectiveness of pre-training for few-shot intent classification. While existing paradigms commonly further pre-train language models such as BERT on a vast amount of unlabeled corpus, we find it highly effective and efficient to simply fine-tune BERT with a small set of labeled utterances from public datasets. Specifically, fine-tuning BERT with roughly 1,000 labeled data yields a pre-trained model – IntentBERT, which can easily surpass the performance of existing pre-trained models for few-shot intent classification on novel domains with very different semantics. The high effectiveness of IntentBERT confirms the feasibility and practicality of few-shot intent detection, and its high generalization ability across different domains suggests that intent classification tasks may share a similar underlying structure, which can be efficiently learned from a small set of labeled data. The source code can be found at https://github.com/hdzhang-code/IntentBERT.
With the increasing abundance of meeting transcripts, meeting summary has attracted more and more attention from researchers. The unsupervised pre-training method based on transformer structure combined with fine-tuning of downstream tasks has achieved great success in the field of text summarization. However, the semantic structure and style of meeting transcripts are quite different from that of articles. In this work, we propose a hierarchical transformer encoder-decoder network with multi-task pre-training. Specifically, we mask key sentences at the word-level encoder and generate them at the decoder. Besides, we randomly mask some of the role alignments in the input text and force the model to recover the original role tags to complete the alignments. In addition, we introduce a topic segmentation mechanism to further improve the quality of the generated summaries. The experimental results show that our model is superior to the previous methods in meeting summary datasets AMI and ICSI.
Existing text-based personality detection research mostly relies on data-driven approaches to implicitly capture personality cues in online posts, lacking the guidance of psychological knowledge. Psychological questionnaire, which contains a series of dedicated questions highly related to personality traits, plays a critical role in self-report personality assessment. We argue that the posts created by a user contain critical contents that could help answer the questions in a questionnaire, resulting in an assessment of his personality by linking the texts and the questionnaire. To this end, we propose a new model named Psychological Questionnaire enhanced Network (PQ-Net) to guide personality detection by tracking critical information in texts with a questionnaire. Specifically, PQ-Net contains two streams: a context stream to encode each piece of text into a contextual text representation, and a questionnaire stream to capture relevant information in the contextual text representation to generate potential answer representations for a questionnaire. The potential answer representations are used to enhance the contextual text representation and to benefit personality prediction. Experimental results on two datasets demonstrate the superiority of PQ-Net in capturing useful cues from the posts for personality detection.
We propose a novel Chain Guided Retriever-reader (CGR) framework to model the reasoning chain for multi-hop Science Question Answering. Our framework is capable of performing explainable reasoning without the need of any corpus-specific annotations, such as the ground-truth reasoning chain, or human-annotated entity mentions. Specifically, we first generate reasoning chains from a semantic graph constructed by Abstract Meaning Representation of retrieved evidence facts. A Chain-aware loss, concerning both local and global chain information, is also designed to enable the generated chains to serve as distant supervision signals for training the retriever, where reinforcement learning is also adopted to maximize the utility of the reasoning chains. Our framework allows the retriever to capture step-by-step clues of the entire reasoning process, which is not only shown to be effective on two challenging multi-hop Science QA tasks, namely OpenBookQA and ARC-Challenge, but also favors explainability.
We tackle multi-choice question answering. Acquiring related commonsense knowledge to the question and options facilitates the recognition of the correct answer. However, the current reasoning models suffer from the noises in the retrieved knowledge. In this paper, we propose a novel encoding method which is able to conduct interception and soft filtering. This contributes to the harvesting and absorption of representative information with less interference from noises. We experiment on CommonsenseQA. Experimental results illustrate that our method yields substantial and consistent improvements compared to the strong Bert, RoBERTa and Albert-based baselines.
Media coverage has a substantial effect on the public perception of events. Nevertheless, media outlets are often biased. One way to bias news articles is by altering the word choice. The automatic identification of bias by word choice is challenging, primarily due to the lack of a gold standard data set and high context dependencies. This paper presents BABE, a robust and diverse data set created by trained experts, for media bias research. We also analyze why expert labeling is essential within this domain. Our data set offers better annotation quality and higher inter-annotator agreement than existing work. It consists of 3,700 sentences balanced among topics and outlets, containing media bias labels on the word and sentence level. Based on our data, we also introduce a way to detect bias-inducing sentences in news articles automatically. Our best performing BERT-based model is pre-trained on a larger corpus consisting of distant labels. Fine-tuning and evaluating the model on our proposed supervised data set, we achieve a macro F1-score of 0.804, outperforming existing methods.
Contextual language models have led to significantly better results, especially when pre-trained on the same data as the downstream task. While this additional pre-training usually improves performance, it can lead to information leakage and therefore risks the privacy of individuals mentioned in the training data. One method to guarantee the privacy of such individuals is to train a differentially-private language model, but this usually comes at the expense of model performance. Also, in the absence of a differentially private vocabulary training, it is not possible to modify the vocabulary to fit the new data, which might further degrade results. In this work we bridge these gaps, and provide guidance to future researchers and practitioners on how to improve privacy while maintaining good model performance. We introduce a novel differentially private word-piece algorithm, which allows training a tailored domain-specific vocabulary while maintaining privacy. We then experiment with entity extraction tasks from clinical notes, and demonstrate how to train a differentially private pre-trained language model (i.e., BERT) with a privacy guarantee of 𝜖=1.1 and with only a small degradation in performance. Finally, as it is hard to tell given a privacy parameter 𝜖 what was the effect on the trained representation, we present experiments showing that the trained model does not memorize private information.
Popular dialog datasets such as MultiWOZ are created by providing crowd workers an instruction, expressed in natural language, that describes the task to be accomplished. Crowd workers play the role of a user and an agent to generate dialogs to accomplish tasks involving booking restaurant tables, calling a taxi etc. In this paper, we present a data creation strategy that uses the pre-trained language model, GPT2, to simulate the interaction between crowd workers by creating a user bot and an agent bot. We train the simulators using a smaller percentage of actual crowd-generated conversations and their corresponding instructions. We demonstrate that by using the simulated data, we achieve significant improvements in low-resource settings on two publicly available datasets - MultiWOZ dataset and the Persona chat dataset.
Conversational Emotion Recognition (CER) is a task to predict the emotion of an utterance in the context of a conversation. Although modeling the conversational context and interactions between speakers has been studied broadly, it is important to consider the speaker’s psychological state, which controls the action and intention of the speaker. The state-of-the-art method introduces CommonSense Knowledge (CSK) to model psychological states in a sequential way (forwards and backwards). However, it ignores the structural psychological interactions between utterances. In this paper, we propose a pSychological-Knowledge-Aware Interaction Graph (SKAIG). In the locally connected graph, the targeted utterance will be enhanced with the information of action inferred from the past context and intention implied by the future context. The utterance is self-connected to consider the present effect from itself. Furthermore, we utilize CSK to enrich edges with knowledge representations and process the SKAIG with a graph transformer. Our method achieves state-of-the-art and competitive performance on four popular CER datasets.
Morality plays an important role in social well-being, but people’s moral perception is not stable and changes over time. Recent advances in natural language processing have shown that text is an effective medium for informing moral change, but no attempt has been made to quantify the origins of these changes. We present a novel unsupervised framework for tracing textual sources of moral change toward entities through time. We characterize moral change with probabilistic topical distributions and infer the source text that exerts prominent influence on the moral time course. We evaluate our framework on a diverse set of data ranging from social media to news articles. We show that our framework not only captures fine-grained human moral judgments, but also identifies coherent source topics of moral change triggered by historical events. We apply our methodology to analyze the news in the COVID-19 pandemic and demonstrate its utility in identifying sources of moral change in high-impact and real-time social events.
Unlike well-structured text, such as news reports and encyclopedia articles, dialogue content often comes from two or more interlocutors, exchanging information with each other. In such a scenario, the topic of a conversation can vary upon progression and the key information for a certain topic is often scattered across multiple utterances of different speakers, which poses challenges to abstractly summarize dialogues. To capture the various topic information of a conversation and outline salient facts for the captured topics, this work proposes two topic-aware contrastive learning objectives, namely coherence detection and sub-summary generation objectives, which are expected to implicitly model the topic change and handle information scattering challenges for the dialogue summarization task. The proposed contrastive objectives are framed as auxiliary tasks for the primary dialogue summarization task, united via an alternative parameter updating strategy. Extensive experiments on benchmark datasets demonstrate that the proposed simple method significantly outperforms strong baselines and achieves new state-of-the-art performance. The code and trained models are publicly available via .
Large pre-trained neural models have recently shown remarkable progress in text generation. In this paper, we propose to generate text conditioned on the structured data (table) and a prefix (the written text) by leveraging the pre-trained models. We present a new data-to-text dataset, Table with Written Text (TWT), by repurposing two existing datasets: ToTTo and TabFact. TWT contains both factual and logical statements that are faithful to the structured data, aiming to serve as a useful benchmark for controlled text generation. Compared with existing data-to-text task settings, TWT is more intuitive, the prefix (usually provided by the user) controls the topic of the generated text. Existing methods usually output hallucinated text that is not faithful on TWT. Therefore, we design a novel approach with table-aware attention visibility and copy mechanism over the table. Experimental results show that our approach outperforms state-of-the-art methods under both automatic and human evaluation metrics.
Pre-training Transformer-based models such as BERT and ELECTRA on a collection of Arabic corpora, demonstrated by both AraBERT and AraELECTRA, shows an impressive result on downstream tasks. However, pre-training Transformer-based language models is computationally expensive, especially for large-scale models. Recently, Funnel Transformer has addressed the sequential redundancy inside Transformer architecture by compressing the sequence of hidden states, leading to a significant reduction in the pre-training cost. This paper empirically studies the performance and efficiency of building an Arabic language model with Funnel Transformer and ELECTRA objective. We find that our model achieves state-of-the-art results on several Arabic downstream tasks despite using less computational resources compared to other BERT-based models.
Multimodal sentiment analysis (MSA) draws increasing attention with the availability of multimodal data. The boost in performance of MSA models is mainly hindered by two problems. On the one hand, recent MSA works mostly focus on learning cross-modal dynamics, but neglect to explore an optimal solution for unimodal networks, which determines the lower limit of MSA models. On the other hand, noisy information hidden in each modality interferes the learning of correct cross-modal dynamics. To address the above-mentioned problems, we propose a novel MSA framework Modulation Model for Multimodal Sentiment Analysis (M3SA) to identify the contribution of modalities and reduce the impact of noisy information, so as to better learn unimodal and cross-modal dynamics. Specifically, modulation loss is designed to modulate the loss contribution based on the confidence of individual modalities in each utterance, so as to explore an optimal update solution for each unimodal network. Besides, contrary to most existing works which fail to explicitly filter out noisy information, we devise a modality filter module to identify and filter out modality noise for the learning of correct cross-modal embedding. Extensive experiments on publicly datasets demonstrate that our approach achieves state-of-the-art performance.
Training implicit discourse relation classifiers suffers from data sparsity. Variational AutoEncoder (VAE) appears to be the proper solution. It is because ideally VAE is capable of generating inexhaustible varying samples, and this facilitates selective data augmentation. However, our experiments show that coupling VAE with the RoBERTa-based classifier results in severe performance degradation. We ascribe the unusual phenomenon to erroneous sampling that would happen when VAE pursued variations. To overcome the problem, we develop a re-anchoring strategy, where Conditional VAE (CVAE) is used for estimating the risk of erroneous sampling, and meanwhile migrating the anchor to reduce the risk. The test results on PDTB v2.0 illustrate that, compared to the RoBERTa-based baseline, re-anchoring yields substantial improvements. Besides, we observe that re-anchoring can cooperate with other auxiliary strategies (transfer learning and interactive attention mechanism) to further improve the baseline, obtaining the F-scores of about 55%, 63%, 80% and 44% for the four main relation types (Comparison, Contingency, Expansion, Temporality) in the binary classification (Yes/No) scenario.
Curriculum learning, a machine training strategy that feeds training instances to the model from easy to hard, has been proven to facilitate the dialogue generation task. Meanwhile, knowledge distillation, a knowledge transformation methodology among teachers and students networks can yield significant performance boost for student models. Hence, in this paper, we introduce a combination of curriculum learning and knowledge distillation for efficient dialogue generation models, where curriculum learning can help knowledge distillation from data and model aspects. To start with, from the data aspect, we cluster the training cases according to their complexity, which is calculated by various types of features such as sentence length and coherence between dialog pairs. Furthermore, we employ an adversarial training strategy to identify the complexity of cases from model level. The intuition is that, if a discriminator can tell the generated response is from the teacher or the student, then the case is difficult that the student model has not adapted to yet. Finally, we use self-paced learning, which is an extension to curriculum learning to assign weights for distillation. In conclusion, we arrange a hierarchical curriculum based on the above two aspects for the student model under the guidance from the teacher model. Experimental results demonstrate that our methods achieve improvements compared with competitive baselines.
The paradigm of leveraging large pre-trained language models has made significant progress on benchmarks on task-oriented dialogue (TOD) systems. In this paper, we combine this paradigm with multi-task learning framework for end-to-end TOD modeling by adopting span prediction as an auxiliary task. In end-to-end setting, our model achieves new state-of-the-art results with combined scores of 108.3 and 107.5 on MultiWOZ 2.0 and MultiWOZ 2.1, respectively. Furthermore, we demonstrate that multi-task learning improves not only the performance of model but its generalization capability through domain adaptation experiments in the few-shot setting. The code is available at github.com/bepoetree/MTTOD.
Discourse analysis has long been known to be fundamental in natural language processing. In this research, we present our insight on discourse-level topic chain (DTC) parsing which aims at discovering new topics and investigating how these topics evolve over time within an article. To address the lack of data, we contribute a new discourse corpus with DTC-style dependency graphs annotated upon news articles. In particular, we ensure the high reliability of the corpus by utilizing a two-step annotation strategy to build the data and filtering out the annotations with low confidence scores. Based on the annotated corpus, we introduce a simple yet robust system for automatic discourse-level topic chain parsing.
Multilingual Neural Machine Translation (MNMT) trains a single NMT model that supports translation between multiple languages, rather than training separate models for different languages. Learning a single model can enhance the low-resource translation by leveraging data from multiple languages. However, the performance of an MNMT model is highly dependent on the type of languages used in training, as transferring knowledge from a diverse set of languages degrades the translation performance due to negative transfer. In this paper, we propose a Hierarchical Knowledge Distillation (HKD) approach for MNMT which capitalises on language groups generated according to typological features and phylogeny of languages to overcome the issue of negative transfer. HKD generates a set of multilingual teacher-assistant models via a selective knowledge distillation mechanism based on the language groups, and then distills the ultimate multilingual model from those assistants in an adaptive way. Experimental results derived from the TED dataset with 53 languages demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in avoiding the negative transfer effect in MNMT, leading to an improved translation performance (about 1 BLEU score in average) compared to strong baselines.
The pivot for the unified Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis (ABSA) is to couple aspect terms with their corresponding opinion terms, which might further derive easier sentiment predictions. In this paper, we investigate the unified ABSA task from the perspective of Machine Reading Comprehension (MRC) by observing that the aspect and the opinion terms can serve as the query and answer in MRC interchangeably. We propose a new paradigm named Role Flipped Machine Reading Comprehension (RF-MRC) to resolve. At its heart, the predicted results of either the Aspect Term Extraction (ATE) or the Opinion Terms Extraction (OTE) are regarded as the queries, respectively, and the matched opinion or aspect terms are considered as answers. The queries and answers can be flipped for multi-hop detection. Finally, every matched aspect-opinion pair is predicted by the sentiment classifier. RF-MRC can solve the ABSA task without any additional data annotation or transformation. Experiments on three widely used benchmarks and a challenging dataset demonstrate the superiority of the proposed framework.
Deep reinforcement learning provides a promising approach for text-based games in studying natural language communication between humans and artificial agents. However, the generalization still remains a big challenge as the agents depend critically on the complexity and variety of training tasks. In this paper, we address this problem by introducing a hierarchical framework built upon the knowledge graph-based RL agent. In the high level, a meta-policy is executed to decompose the whole game into a set of subtasks specified by textual goals, and select one of them based on the KG. Then a sub-policy in the low level is executed to conduct goal-conditioned reinforcement learning. We carry out experiments on games with various difficulty levels and show that the proposed method enjoys favorable generalizability.
Although abstractive summarization models have achieved impressive results on document summarization tasks, their performance on dialogue modeling is much less satisfactory due to the crude and straight methods for dialogue encoding. To address this question, we propose a novel end-to-end Transformer-based model FinDS for abstractive dialogue summarization that leverages Finer-grain universal Dialogue semantic Structures to model dialogue and generates better summaries. Experiments on the SAMsum dataset show that FinDS outperforms various dialogue summarization approaches and achieves new state-of-the-art (SOTA) ROUGE results. Finally, we apply FinDS to a more complex scenario, showing the robustness of our model. We also release our source code.
Contrastive Learning has emerged as a powerful representation learning method and facilitates various downstream tasks especially when supervised data is limited. How to construct efficient contrastive samples through data augmentation is key to its success. Unlike vision tasks, the data augmentation method for contrastive learning has not been investigated sufficiently in language tasks. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to construct contrastive samples for language tasks using text summarization. We use these samples for supervised contrastive learning to gain better text representations which greatly benefit text classification tasks with limited annotations. To further improve the method, we mix up samples from different classes and add an extra regularization, named Mixsum, in addition to the cross-entropy-loss. Experiments on real-world text classification datasets (Amazon-5, Yelp-5, AG News, and IMDb) demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed contrastive learning framework with summarization-based data augmentation and Mixsum regularization.
Most previous studies on information status (IS) classification and bridging anaphora recognition assume that the gold mention or syntactic tree information is given (Hou et al., 2013; Roesiger et al., 2018; Hou, 2020; Yu and Poesio, 2020). In this paper, we propose an end-to-end neural approach for information status classification. Our approach consists of a mention extraction component and an information status assignment component. During the inference time, our system takes a raw text as the input and generates mentions together with their information status. On the ISNotes corpus (Markert et al., 2012), we show that our information status assignment component achieves new state-of-the-art results on fine-grained IS classification based on gold mentions. Furthermore, our system performs significantly better than other baselines for both mention extraction and fine-grained IS classification in the end-to-end setting. Finally, we apply our system on BASHI (Roesiger, 2018) and SciCorp (Roesiger, 2016) to recognize referential bridging anaphora. We find that our end-to-end system trained on ISNotes achieves competitive results on bridging anaphora recognition compared to the previous state-of-the-art system that relies on syntactic information and is trained on the in-domain datasets (Yu and Poesio, 2020).
Relations in most of the traditional knowledge graphs (KGs) only reflect static and factual connections, but fail to represent the dynamic activities and state changes about entities. In this paper, we emphasize the importance of incorporating events in KG representation learning, and propose an event-enhanced KG embedding model EventKE. Specifically, given the original KG, we first incorporate event nodes by building a heterogeneous network, where entity nodes and event nodes are distributed on the two sides of the network inter-connected by event argument links. We then use entity-entity relations from the original KG and event-event temporal links to inner-connect entity and event nodes respectively. We design a novel and effective attention-based message passing method, which is conducted on entity-entity, event-entity, and event-event relations to fuse the event information into KG embeddings. Experimental results on real-world datasets demonstrate that events can greatly improve the quality of the KG embeddings on multiple downstream tasks.
Cross-attention is an important component of neural machine translation (NMT), which is always realized by dot-product attention in previous methods. However, dot-product attention only considers the pair-wise correlation between words, resulting in dispersion when dealing with long sentences and neglect of source neighboring relationships. Inspired by linguistics, the above issues are caused by ignoring a type of cross-attention, called concentrated attention, which focuses on several central words and then spreads around them. In this work, we apply Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) to model the concentrated attention in cross-attention. Experiments and analyses we conducted on three datasets show that the proposed method outperforms the baseline and has significant improvement on alignment quality, N-gram accuracy, and long sentence translation.
Rumor spreaders are increasingly utilizing multimedia content to attract the attention and trust of news consumers. Though a set of rumor detection models have exploited the multi-modal data, they seldom consider the inconsistent relationships among images and texts. Moreover, they also fail to find a powerful way to spot the inconsistency information among the post contents and background knowledge. Motivated by the intuition that rumors are more likely to have inconsistency information in semantics, a novel Knowledge-guided Dual-inconsistency network is proposed to detect rumors with multimedia contents. It can capture the inconsistent semantics at the cross-modal level and the content-knowledge level in one unified framework. Extensive experiments on two public real-world datasets demonstrate that our proposal can outperform the state-of-the-art baselines.
Pre-trained language models have shown remarkable results on various NLP tasks. Nevertheless, due to their bulky size and slow inference speed, it is hard to deploy them on edge devices. In this paper, we have a critical insight that improving the feed-forward network (FFN) in BERT has a higher gain than improving the multi-head attention (MHA) since the computational cost of FFN is 2~3 times larger than MHA. Hence, to compact BERT, we are devoted to designing efficient FFN as opposed to previous works that pay attention to MHA. Since FFN comprises a multilayer perceptron (MLP) that is essential in BERT optimization, we further design a thorough search space towards an advanced MLP and perform a coarse-to-fine mechanism to search for an efficient BERT architecture. Moreover, to accelerate searching and enhance model transferability, we employ a novel warm-up knowledge distillation strategy at each search stage. Extensive experiments show our searched EfficientBERT is 6.9× smaller and 4.4× faster than BERT\rmBASE, and has competitive performances on GLUE and SQuAD Benchmarks. Concretely, EfficientBERT attains a 77.7 average score on GLUE test, 0.7 higher than MobileBERT\rmTINY, and achieves an 85.3/74.5 F1 score on SQuAD v1.1/v2.0 dev, 3.2/2.7 higher than TinyBERT4 even without data augmentation. The code is released at https://github.com/cheneydon/efficient-bert.
News recommendation techniques can help users on news platforms obtain their preferred news information. Most existing news recommendation methods rely on centrally stored user behavior data to train models and serve users. However, user data is usually highly privacy-sensitive, and centrally storing them in the news platform may raise privacy concerns and risks. In this paper, we propose a unified news recommendation framework, which can utilize user data locally stored in user clients to train models and serve users in a privacy-preserving way. Following a widely used paradigm in real-world recommender systems, our framework contains a stage for candidate news generation (i.e., recall) and a stage for candidate news ranking (i.e., ranking). At the recall stage, each client locally learns multiple interest representations from clicked news to comprehensively model user interests. These representations are uploaded to the server to recall candidate news from a large news pool, which are further distributed to the user client at the ranking stage for personalized news display. In addition, we propose an interest decomposer-aggregator method with perturbation noise to better protect private user information encoded in user interest representations. Besides, we collaboratively train both recall and ranking models on the data decentralized in a large number of user clients in a privacy-preserving way. Experiments on two real-world news datasets show that our method can outperform baseline methods and effectively protect user privacy.
Mapping natural language instructions to programs that computers can process is a fundamental challenge. Existing approaches focus on likelihood-based training or using reinforcement learning to fine-tune models based on a single reward. In this paper, we pose program generation from language as Inverse Reinforcement Learning. We introduce several interpretable reward components and jointly learn (1) a reward function that linearly combines them, and (2) a policy for program generation. Fine-tuning with our approach achieves significantly better performance than competitive methods using Reinforcement Learning (RL). On the VirtualHome framework, we get improvements of up to 9.0% on the Longest Common Subsequence metric and 14.7% on recall-based metrics over previous work on this framework (Puig et al., 2018). The approach is data-efficient, showing larger gains in performance in the low-data regime. Generated programs are also preferred by human evaluators over an RL-based approach, and rated higher on relevance, completeness, and human-likeness.
A critical point of multi-document summarization (MDS) is to learn the relations among various documents. In this paper, we propose a novel abstractive MDS model, in which we represent multiple documents as a heterogeneous graph, taking semantic nodes of different granularities into account, and then apply a graph-to-sequence framework to generate summaries. Moreover, we employ a neural topic model to jointly discover latent topics that can act as cross-document semantic units to bridge different documents and provide global information to guide the summary generation. Since topic extraction can be viewed as a special type of summarization that “summarizes” texts into a more abstract format, i.e., a topic distribution, we adopt a multi-task learning strategy to jointly train the topic and summarization module, allowing the promotion of each other. Experimental results on the Multi-News dataset demonstrate that our model outperforms previous state-of-the-art MDS models on both Rouge scores and human evaluation, meanwhile learns high-quality topics.
Math word problem solving has attracted considerable research interest in recent years. Previous works have shown the effectiveness of utilizing graph neural networks to capture the relationships in the problem. However, these works did not carefully take the edge label information and the long-range word relationship across sentences into consideration. In addition, during generation, they focus on the most relevant areas of the currently generated word, while neglecting the rest of the problem. In this paper, we propose a novel Edge-Enhanced Hierarchical Graph-to-Tree model (EEH-G2T), in which the math word problems are represented as edge-labeled graphs. Specifically, an edge-enhanced hierarchical graph encoder is used to incorporate edge label information. This encoder updates the graph nodes hierarchically in two steps: sentence-level aggregation and problem-level aggregation. Furthermore, a tree-structured decoder with a split attention mechanism is applied to guide the model to pay attention to different parts of the input problem. Experimental results on the MAWPS and Math23K dataset showed that our EEH-G2T can effectively improve performance compared with state-of-the-art methods.
Generating texts in scientific papers requires not only capturing the content contained within the given input but also frequently acquiring the external information called context. We push forward the scientific text generation by proposing a new task, namely context-aware text generation in the scientific domain, aiming at exploiting the contributions of context in generated texts. To this end, we present a novel challenging large-scale Scientific Paper Dataset for ConteXt-Aware Text Generation (SciXGen), consisting of well-annotated 205,304 papers with full references to widely-used objects (e.g., tables, figures, algorithms) in a paper. We comprehensively benchmark, using state-of-the-arts, the efficacy of our newly constructed SciXGen dataset in generating description and paragraph. Our dataset and benchmarks will be made publicly available to hopefully facilitate the scientific text generation research.
User targeting is an essential task in the modern advertising industry: given a package of ads for a particular category of products (e.g., green tea), identify the online users to whom the ad package should be targeted. A (ad package specific) user targeting model is typically trained using historical clickthrough data: positive instances correspond to users who have clicked on an ad in the package before, whereas negative instances correspond to users who have not clicked on any ads in the package that were displayed to them. Collecting a sufficient amount of positive training data for training an accurate user targeting model, however, is by no means trivial. This paper focuses on the development of a method for automatic augmentation of the set of positive training instances. Experimental results on two datasets, including a real-world company dataset, demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method.
In cross-lingual text classification, it is required that task-specific training data in high-resource source languages are available, where the task is identical to that of a low-resource target language. However, collecting such training data can be infeasible because of the labeling cost, task characteristics, and privacy concerns. This paper proposes an alternative solution that uses only task-independent word embeddings of high-resource languages and bilingual dictionaries. First, we construct a dictionary-based heterogeneous graph (DHG) from bilingual dictionaries. This opens the possibility to use graph neural networks for cross-lingual transfer. The remaining challenge is the heterogeneity of DHG because multiple languages are considered. To address this challenge, we propose dictionary-based heterogeneous graph neural network (DHGNet) that effectively handles the heterogeneity of DHG by two-step aggregations, which are word-level and language-level aggregations. Experimental results demonstrate that our method outperforms pretrained models even though it does not access to large corpora. Furthermore, it can perform well even though dictionaries contain many incorrect translations. Its robustness allows the usage of a wider range of dictionaries such as an automatically constructed dictionary and crowdsourced dictionary, which are convenient for real-world applications.
Distantly supervised named entity recognition (DS-NER) efficiently reduces labor costs but meanwhile intrinsically suffers from the label noise due to the strong assumption of distant supervision. Typically, the wrongly labeled instances comprise numbers of incomplete and inaccurate annotations, while most prior denoising works are only concerned with one kind of noise and fail to fully explore useful information in the training set. To address this issue, we propose a robust learning paradigm named Self-Collaborative Denoising Learning (SCDL), which jointly trains two teacher-student networks in a mutually-beneficial manner to iteratively perform noisy label refinery. Each network is designed to exploit reliable labels via self denoising, and two networks communicate with each other to explore unreliable annotations by collaborative denoising. Extensive experimental results on five real-world datasets demonstrate that SCDL is superior to state-of-the-art DS-NER denoising methods.
While powerful pre-trained language models have improved the fluency of text generation models, semantic adequacy -the ability to generate text that is semantically faithful to the input- remains an unsolved issue. In this paper, we introduce a novel automatic evaluation metric, Entity-Based Semantic Adequacy, which can be used to assess to what extent generation models that verbalise RDF (Resource Description Framework) graphs produce text that contains mentions of the entities occurring in the RDF input. This is important as RDF subject and object entities make up 2/3 of the input. We use our metric to compare 25 models from the WebNLG Shared Tasks and we examine correlation with results from human evaluations of semantic adequacy. We show that while our metric correlates with human evaluation scores, this correlation varies with the specifics of the human evaluation setup. This suggests that in order to measure the entity-based adequacy of generated texts, an automatic metric such as the one proposed here might be more reliable, as less subjective and more focused on correct verbalisation of the input, than human evaluation measures.
One of the most challenging aspects of current single-document news summarization is that the summary often contains ‘extrinsic hallucinations’, i.e., facts that are not present in the source document, which are often derived via world knowledge. This causes summarisation systems to act more like open-ended language models tending to hallucinate facts that are erroneous. In this paper, we mitigate this problem with the help of multiple supplementary resource documents assisting the task. We present a new dataset MiraNews and benchmark existing summarisation models. In contrast to multi-document summarization, which addresses multiple events from several source documents, we still aim at generating a summary for a single document. We show via data analysis that it’s not only the models which are to blame: more than 27% of facts mentioned in the gold summaries of MiraNews are better grounded on assisting documents than in the main source articles. An error analysis of generated summaries from pretrained models fine-tuned on MIRANEWS reveals that this has an even bigger effects on models: assisted summarisation reduces 55% of hallucinations when compared to single-document summarisation models trained on the main article only.
We study the problem of multilingual automated reply suggestions (RS) model serving many languages simultaneously. Multilingual models are often challenged by model capacity and severe data distribution skew across languages. While prior works largely focus on monolingual models, we propose Conditional Generative Matching models (CGM), optimized within a Variational Autoencoder framework to address challenges arising from multilingual RS. CGM does so with expressive message conditional priors, mixture densities to enhance multilingual data representation, latent alignment for language discrimination, and effective variational optimization techniques for training multilingual RS. The enhancements result in performance that exceed competitive baselines in relevance (ROUGE score) by more than 10% on average, and 16%for low resource languages. CGM also shows remarkable improvements in diversity (80%) illustrating its expressiveness in representation of multi-lingual data.
Though remarkable efforts have been made in non-parallel text style transfer, the evaluation system is unsatisfactory. It always evaluates over samples from only one checkpoint of the model and compares three metrics, i.e., transfer accuracy, BLEU score, and PPL score. In this paper, we argue the inappropriateness of both existing evaluation metrics and the evaluation method. Specifically, for evaluation metrics, we make a detailed analysis and comparison from three aspects: style transfer, content preservation, and naturalness; for the evaluation method, we reiterate the fallacy of picking one checkpoint for model comparison. As a result, we establish a robust evaluation method by examining the trade-off between style transfer and naturalness, and between content preservation and naturalness. Notably, we elaborate the human evaluation and automatically identify the inaccurate measurement of content preservation computed by the BLEU score. To overcome this issue, we propose a graph-based method to extract attribute content and attribute-independent content from input sentences in the YELP dataset and IMDB dataset. With the modified datasets, we design a new evaluation metric called “attribute hit” and propose an efficient regularization to leverage the attribute-dependent content and attribute-independent content as guiding signals. Experimental results have demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed strategy.
A hyperbole is an intentional and creative exaggeration not to be taken literally. Despite its ubiquity in daily life, the computational explorations of hyperboles are scarce. In this paper, we tackle the under-explored and challenging task: sentence-level hyperbole generation. We start with a representative syntactic pattern for intensification and systematically study the semantic (commonsense and counterfactual) relationships between each component in such hyperboles. We then leverage commonsense and counterfactual inference to generate hyperbole candidates based on our findings from the pattern, and train neural classifiers to rank and select high-quality hyperboles. Automatic and human evaluations show that our generation method is able to generate hyperboles with high success rate, intensity, funniness, and creativity.
We present an actor-critic framework to induce subtopical structures in a news article for news discourse profiling. The model uses multiple critics that act according to known subtopic structures while the actor aims to outperform them. The content structures constitute sentences that represent latent subtopic boundaries. Then, we introduce a hierarchical neural network that uses the identified subtopic boundary sentences to model multi-level interaction between sentences, subtopics, and the document. Experimental results and analyses on the NewsDiscourse corpus show that the actor model learns to effectively segment a document into subtopics and improves the performance of the hierarchical model on the news discourse profiling task.
The ability to detect Out-of-Domain (OOD) inputs has been a critical requirement in many real-world NLP applications. For example, intent classification in dialogue systems. The reason is that the inclusion of unsupported OOD inputs may lead to catastrophic failure of systems. However, it remains an empirical question whether current methods can tackle such problems reliably in a realistic scenario where zero OOD training data is available. In this study, we propose ProtoInfoMax, a new architecture that extends Prototypical Networks to simultaneously process in-domain and OOD sentences via Mutual Information Maximization (InfoMax) objective. Experimental results show that our proposed method can substantially improve performance up to 20% for OOD detection in low resource settings of text classification. We also show that ProtoInfoMax is less prone to typical overconfidence errors of Neural Networks, leading to more reliable prediction results.
In this work, we study the problem of named entity recognition (NER) in a low resource scenario, focusing on few-shot and zero-shot settings. Built upon large-scale pre-trained language models, we propose a novel NER framework, namely SpanNER, which learns from natural language supervision and enables the identification of never-seen entity classes without using in-domain labeled data. We perform extensive experiments on 5 benchmark datasets and evaluate the proposed method in the few-shot learning, domain transfer and zero-shot learning settings. The experimental results show that the proposed method can bring 10%, 23% and 26% improvements in average over the best baselines in few-shot learning, domain transfer and zero-shot learning settings respectively.
Biomedical entity linking is the task of linking entity mentions in a biomedical document to referent entities in a knowledge base. Recently, many BERT-based models have been introduced for the task. While these models achieve competitive results on many datasets, they are computationally expensive and contain about 110M parameters. Little is known about the factors contributing to their impressive performance and whether the over-parameterization is needed. In this work, we shed some light on the inner workings of these large BERT-based models. Through a set of probing experiments, we have found that the entity linking performance only changes slightly when the input word order is shuffled or when the attention scope is limited to a fixed window size. From these observations, we propose an efficient convolutional neural network with residual connections for biomedical entity linking. Because of the sparse connectivity and weight sharing properties, our model has a small number of parameters and is highly efficient. On five public datasets, our model achieves comparable or even better linking accuracy than the state-of-the-art BERT-based models while having about 60 times fewer parameters.
Byte-pair encoding (BPE) is a ubiquitous algorithm in the subword tokenization process of language models as it provides multiple benefits. However, this process is solely based on pre-training data statistics, making it hard for the tokenizer to handle infrequent spellings. On the other hand, though robust to misspellings, pure character-level models often lead to unreasonably long sequences and make it harder for the model to learn meaningful words. To alleviate these challenges, we propose a character-based subword module (char2subword) that learns the subword embedding table in pre-trained models like BERT. Our char2subword module builds representations from characters out of the subword vocabulary, and it can be used as a drop-in replacement of the subword embedding table. The module is robust to character-level alterations such as misspellings, word inflection, casing, and punctuation. We integrate it further with BERT through pre-training while keeping BERT transformer parameters fixed–and thus, providing a practical method. Finally, we show that incorporating our module to mBERT significantly improves the performance on the social media linguistic code-switching evaluation (LinCE) benchmark.
This paper explores the effect of using multitask learning for abstractive summarization in the context of small training corpora. In particular, we incorporate four different tasks (extractive summarization, language modeling, concept detection, and paraphrase detection) both individually and in combination, with the goal of enhancing the target task of abstractive summarization via multitask learning. We show that for many task combinations, a model trained in a multitask setting outperforms a model trained only for abstractive summarization, with no additional summarization data introduced. Additionally, we do a comprehensive search and find that certain tasks (e.g. paraphrase detection) consistently benefit abstractive summarization, not only when combined with other tasks but also when using different architectures and training corpora.
As the Internet grows in size, so does the amount of text based information that exists. For many application spaces it is paramount to isolate and identify texts that relate to a particular topic. While one-class classification would be ideal for such analysis, there is a relative lack of research regarding efficient approaches with high predictive power. By noting that the range of documents we wish to identify can be represented as positive linear combinations of the Vector Space Model representing our text, we propose Conical classification, an approach that allows us to identify if a document is of a particular topic in a computationally efficient manner. We also propose Normal Exclusion, a modified version of Bi-Normal Separation that makes it more suitable within the one-class classification context. We show in our analysis that our approach not only has higher predictive power on our datasets, but is also faster to compute.
While state-of-the-art Dialogue State Tracking (DST) models show promising results, all of them rely on a traditional cross-entropy loss function during the training process, which may not be optimal for improving the joint goal accuracy. Although several approaches recently propose augmenting the training set by copying user utterances and replacing the real slot values with other possible or even similar values, they are not effective at improving the performance of existing DST models. To address these challenges, we propose a Turn-based Loss Function (TLF) that penalises the model if it inaccurately predicts a slot value at the early turns more so than in later turns in order to improve joint goal accuracy. We also propose a simple but effective Sequential Data Augmentation (SDA) algorithm to generate more complex user utterances and system responses to effectively train existing DST models. Experimental results on two standard DST benchmark collections demonstrate that our proposed TLF and SDA techniques significantly improve the effectiveness of the state-of-the-art DST model by approximately 7-8% relative reduction in error and achieves a new state-of-the-art joint goal accuracy with 59.50 and 54.90 on MultiWOZ2.1 and MultiWOZ2.2, respectively.
Human conversations naturally evolve around different topics and fluently move between them. In research on dialog systems, the ability to actively and smoothly transition to new topics is often ignored. In this paper we introduce TIAGE, a new topic-shift aware dialog benchmark constructed utilizing human annotations on topic shifts. Based on TIAGE, we introduce three tasks to investigate different scenarios of topic-shift modeling in dialog settings: topic-shift detection, topic-shift triggered response generation and topic-aware dialog generation. Experiments on these tasks show that the topic-shift signals in TIAGE are useful for topic-shift response generation. On the other hand, dialog systems still struggle to decide when to change topic. This indicates further research is needed in topic-shift aware dialog modeling.
Multimodal program synthesis, which leverages different types of user input to synthesize a desired program, is an attractive way to scale program synthesis to challenging settings; however, it requires integrating noisy signals from the user, like natural language, with hard constraints on the program’s behavior. This paper proposes an optimal neural synthesis approach where the goal is to find a program that satisfies user-provided constraints while also maximizing the program’s score with respect to a neural model. Specifically, we focus on multimodal synthesis tasks in which the user intent is expressed using a combination of natural language (NL) and input-output examples. At the core of our method is a top-down recurrent neural model that places distributions over abstract syntax trees conditioned on the NL input. This model not only allows for efficient search over the space of syntactically valid programs, but it allows us to leverage automated program analysis techniques for pruning the search space based on infeasibility of partial programs with respect to the user’s constraints. The experimental results on a multimodal synthesis dataset (StructuredRegex) show that our method substantially outperforms prior state-of-the-art techniques in terms of accuracy and efficiency, and finds model-optimal programs more frequently.
The rapid growth in published clinical trials makes it difficult to maintain up-to-date systematic reviews, which require finding all relevant trials. This leads to policy and practice decisions based on out-of-date, incomplete, and biased subsets of available clinical evidence. Extracting and then normalising Population, Intervention, Comparator, and Outcome (PICO) information from clinical trial articles may be an effective way to automatically assign trials to systematic reviews and avoid searching and screening—the two most time-consuming systematic review processes. We propose and test a novel approach to PICO span detection. The major difference between our proposed method and previous approaches comes from detecting spans without needing annotated span data and using only crowdsourced sentence-level annotations. Experiments on two datasets show that PICO span detection results achieve much higher results for recall when compared to fully supervised methods with PICO sentence detection at least as good as human annotations. By removing the reliance on expert annotations for span detection, this work could be used in a human-machine pipeline for turning low-quality, crowdsourced, and sentence-level PICO annotations into structured information that can be used to quickly assign trials to relevant systematic reviews.
We introduce Classification with Alternating Normalization (CAN), a non-parametric post-processing step for classification. CAN improves classification accuracy for challenging examples by re-adjusting their predicted class probability distribution using the predicted class distributions of high-confidence validation examples. CAN is easily applicable to any probabilistic classifier, with minimal computation overhead. We analyze the properties of CAN using simulated experiments, and empirically demonstrate its effectiveness across a diverse set of classification tasks.
Thanks to the strong representation learning capability of deep learning, especially pre-training techniques with language model loss, dependency parsing has achieved great performance boost in the in-domain scenario with abundant labeled training data for target domains. However, the parsing community has to face the more realistic setting where the parsing performance drops drastically when labeled data only exists for several fixed out-domains. In this work, we propose a novel model for multi-source cross-domain dependency parsing. The model consists of two components, i.e., a parameter generation network for distinguishing domain-specific features, and an adversarial network for learning domain-invariant representations. Experiments on a recently released NLPCC-2019 dataset for multi-domain dependency parsing show that our model can consistently improve cross-domain parsing performance by about 2 points in averaged labeled attachment accuracy (LAS) over strong BERT-enhanced baselines. Detailed analysis is conducted to gain more insights on contributions of the two components.
When reading a literary piece, readers often make inferences about various characters’ roles, personalities, relationships, intents, actions, etc. While humans can readily draw upon their past experiences to build such a character-centric view of the narrative, understanding characters in narratives can be a challenging task for machines. To encourage research in this field of character-centric narrative understanding, we present LiSCU – a new dataset of literary pieces and their summaries paired with descriptions of characters that appear in them. We also introduce two new tasks on LiSCU: Character Identification and Character Description Generation. Our experiments with several pre-trained language models adapted for these tasks demonstrate that there is a need for better models of narrative comprehension.
Pre-trained language-vision models have shown remarkable performance on the visual question answering (VQA) task. However, most pre-trained models are trained by only considering monolingual learning, especially the resource-rich language like English. Training such models for multilingual setups demand high computing resources and multilingual language-vision dataset which hinders their application in practice. To alleviate these challenges, we propose a knowledge distillation approach to extend an English language-vision model (teacher) into an equally effective multilingual and code-mixed model (student). Unlike the existing knowledge distillation methods, which only use the output from the last layer of the teacher network for distillation, our student model learns and imitates the teacher from multiple intermediate layers (language and vision encoders) with appropriately designed distillation objectives for incremental knowledge extraction. We also create the large-scale multilingual and code-mixed VQA dataset in eleven different language setups considering the multiple Indian and European languages. Experimental results and in-depth analysis show the effectiveness of the proposed VQA model over the pre-trained language-vision models on eleven diverse language setups.
Aspect-based sentiment analysis (ABSA) mainly involves three subtasks: aspect term extraction, opinion term extraction, and aspect-level sentiment classification, which are typically handled in a separate or joint manner. However, previous approaches do not well exploit the interactive relations among three subtasks and do not pertinently leverage the easily available document-level labeled domain/sentiment knowledge, which restricts their performances. To address these issues, we propose a novel Iterative Multi-Knowledge Transfer Network (IMKTN) for end-to-end ABSA. For one thing, through the interactive correlations between the ABSA subtasks, our IMKTN transfers the task-specific knowledge from any two of the three subtasks to another one at the token level by utilizing a well-designed routing algorithm, that is, any two of the three subtasks will help the third one. For another, our IMKTN pertinently transfers the document-level knowledge, i.e., domain-specific and sentiment-related knowledge, to the aspect-level subtasks to further enhance the corresponding performance. Experimental results on three benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and superiority of our approach.
Measuring the similarity score between a pair of sentences in different languages is the essential requisite for multilingual sentence embedding methods. Predicting the similarity score consists of two sub-tasks, which are monolingual similarity evaluation and multilingual sentence retrieval. However, conventional methods have mainly tackled only one of the sub-tasks and therefore showed biased performances. In this paper, we suggest a novel and strong method for multilingual sentence embedding, which shows performance improvement on both sub-tasks, consequently resulting in robust predictions of multilingual similarity scores. The suggested method consists of two parts: to learn semantic similarity of sentences in the pivot language and then to extend the learned semantic structure to different languages. To align semantic structures across different languages, we introduce a teacher-student network. The teacher network distills the knowledge of the pivot language to different languages of the student network. During the distillation, the parameters of the teacher network are updated with the slow-moving average. Together with the distillation and the parameter updating, the semantic structure of the student network can be directly aligned across different languages while preserving the ability to measure the semantic similarity. Thus, the multilingual training method drives performance improvement on multilingual similarity evaluation. The suggested model achieves the state-of-the-art performance on extended STS 2017 multilingual similarity evaluation as well as two sub-tasks, which are extended STS 2017 monolingual similarity evaluation and Tatoeba multilingual retrieval in 14 languages.
Transformer-based models such as BERT, XLNET, and XLM-R have achieved state-of-the-art performance across various NLP tasks including the identification of offensive language and hate speech, an important problem in social media. In this paper, we present fBERT, a BERT model retrained on SOLID, the largest English offensive language identification corpus available with over 1.4 million offensive instances. We evaluate fBERT’s performance on identifying offensive content on multiple English datasets and we test several thresholds for selecting instances from SOLID. The fBERT model will be made freely available to the community.
Biases continue to be prevalent in modern text and media, especially subjective bias – a special type of bias that introduces improper attitudes or presents a statement with the presupposition of truth. To tackle the problem of detecting and further mitigating subjective bias, we introduce a manually annotated parallel corpus WIKIBIAS with more than 4,000 sentence pairs from Wikipedia edits. This corpus contains annotations towards both sentence-level bias types and token-level biased segments. We present systematic analyses of our dataset and results achieved by a set of state-of-the-art baselines in terms of three tasks: bias classification, tagging biased segments, and neutralizing biased text. We find that current models still struggle with detecting multi-span biases despite their reasonable performances, suggesting that our dataset can serve as a useful research benchmark. We also demonstrate that models trained on our dataset can generalize well to multiple domains such as news and political speeches.
Natural language processing (NLP) models often require a massive number of parameters for word embeddings, which limits their application on mobile devices. Researchers have employed many approaches, e.g. adaptive inputs, to reduce the parameters of word embeddings. However, existing methods rarely pay attention to semantic information. In this paper, we propose a novel method called Unique and Class Embeddings (UnClE), which explicitly leverages semantic similarity with weight sharing to reduce the dimensionality of word embeddings. Inspired by the fact that words with similar semantic can share a part of weights, we divide the embeddings of words into two parts: unique embedding and class embedding. The former is one-to-one mapping like traditional embedding, while the latter is many-to-one mapping and learn the representation of class information. Our method is suitable for both word-level and sub-word level models and can be used to reduce both input and output embeddings. Experimental results on the standard WMT 2014 English-German dataset show that our method is able to reduce the parameters of word embeddings by more than 11x, with about 93% performance retaining in BLEU metrics. For language modeling task, our model can reduce word embeddings by 6x or 11x on PTB/WT2 dataset at the cost of a certain degree of performance degradation.
Question answering models struggle to generalize to novel compositions of training patterns. Current end-to-end models learn a flat input embedding which can lose input syntax context. Prior approaches improve generalization by learning permutation invariant models, but these methods do not scale to more complex train-test splits. We propose Grounded Graph Decoding, a method to improve compositional generalization of language representations by grounding structured predictions with an attention mechanism. Grounding enables the model to retain syntax information from the input that significantly improves generalization to complex inputs. By predicting a structured graph containing conjunctions of query clauses, we learn a group invariant representation without making assumptions on the target domain. Our model performs competitively on the Compositional Freebase Questions (CFQ) dataset, a challenging benchmark for compositional generalization in question answering. Especially, our model effectively solves the MCD1 split with 98% accuracy. All source is available at https://github.com/gaiyu0/cfq.
Considering the importance of building a good Visual Dialog (VD) Questioner, many researchers study the topic under a Q-Bot-A-Bot image-guessing game setting, where the Questioner needs to raise a series of questions to collect information of an undisclosed image. Despite progress has been made in Supervised Learning (SL) and Reinforcement Learning (RL), issues still exist. Firstly, previous methods do not provide explicit and effective guidance for Questioner to generate visually related and informative questions. Secondly, the effect of RL is hampered by an incompetent component, i.e., the Guesser, who makes image predictions based on the generated dialogs and assigns rewards accordingly. To enhance VD Questioner: 1) we propose a Related entity enhanced Questioner (ReeQ) that generates questions under the guidance of related entities and learns entity-based questioning strategy from human dialogs; 2) we propose an Augmented Guesser that is strong and is optimized for VD especially. Experimental results on the VisDial v1.0 dataset show that our approach achieves state-of-the-art performance on both image-guessing task and question diversity. Human study further verifies that our model generates more visually related, informative and coherent questions.
Knowledge Base Question Answering (KBQA) is to answer natural language questions posed over knowledge bases (KBs). This paper targets at empowering the IR-based KBQA models with the ability of numerical reasoning for answering ordinal constrained questions. A major challenge is the lack of explicit annotations about numerical properties. To address this challenge, we propose a pretraining numerical reasoning model consisting of NumGNN and NumTransformer, guided by explicit self-supervision signals. The two modules are pretrained to encode the magnitude and ordinal properties of numbers respectively and can serve as model-agnostic plugins for any IR-based KBQA model to enhance its numerical reasoning ability. Extensive experiments on two KBQA benchmarks verify the effectiveness of our method to enhance the numerical reasoning ability for IR-based KBQA models.
Transformer-based pre-trained models, such as BERT, have achieved remarkable results on machine reading comprehension. However, due to the constraint of encoding length (e.g., 512 WordPiece tokens), a long document is usually split into multiple chunks that are independently read. It results in the reading field being limited to individual chunks without information collaboration for long document machine reading comprehension. To address this problem, we propose RoR, a read-over-read method, which expands the reading field from chunk to document. Specifically, RoR includes a chunk reader and a document reader. The former first predicts a set of regional answers for each chunk, which are then compacted into a highly-condensed version of the original document, guaranteeing to be encoded once. The latter further predicts the global answers from this condensed document. Eventually, a voting strategy is utilized to aggregate and rerank the regional and global answers for final prediction. Extensive experiments on two benchmarks QuAC and TriviaQA demonstrate the effectiveness of RoR for long document reading. Notably, RoR ranks 1st place on the QuAC leaderboard (https://quac.ai/) at the time of submission (May 17th, 2021).