Andreas Stephan


2022

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WeaNF”:" Weak Supervision with Normalizing Flows
Andreas Stephan | Benjamin Roth
Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP

A popular approach to decrease the need for costly manual annotation of large data sets is weak supervision, which introduces problems of noisy labels, coverage and bias. Methods for overcoming these problems have either relied on discriminative models, trained with cost functions specific to weak supervision, and more recently, generative models, trying to model the output of the automatic annotation process. In this work, we explore a novel direction of generative modeling for weak supervision”:" Instead of modeling the output of the annotation process (the labeling function matches), we generatively model the input-side data distributions (the feature space) covered by labeling functions. Specifically, we estimate a density for each weak labeling source, or labeling function, by using normalizing flows. An integral part of our method is the flow-based modeling of multiple simultaneously matching labeling functions, and therefore phenomena such as labeling function overlap and correlations are captured. We analyze the effectiveness and modeling capabilities on various commonly used weak supervision data sets, and show that weakly supervised normalizing flows compare favorably to standard weak supervision baselines.

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SepLL: Separating Latent Class Labels from Weak Supervision Noise
Andreas Stephan | Vasiliki Kougia | Benjamin Roth
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

In the weakly supervised learning paradigm, labeling functions automatically assign heuristic, often noisy, labels to data samples. In this work, we provide a method for learning from weak labels by separating two types of complementary information associated with the labeling functions: information related to the target label and information specific to one labeling function only. Both types of information are reflected to different degrees by all labeled instances. In contrast to previous works that aimed at correcting or removing wrongly labeled instances, we learn a branched deep model that uses all data as-is, but splits the labeling function information in the latent space. Specifically, we propose the end-to-end model SepLL which extends a transformer classifier by introducing a latent space for labeling function specific and task-specific information. The learning signal is only given by the labeling functions matches, no pre-processing or label model is required for our method. Notably, the task prediction is made from the latent layer without any direct task signal. Experiments on Wrench text classification tasks show that our model is competitive with the state-of-the-art, and yields a new best average performance.

2021

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Knodle: Modular Weakly Supervised Learning with PyTorch
Anastasiia Sedova | Andreas Stephan | Marina Speranskaya | Benjamin Roth
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2021)

Strategies for improving the training and prediction quality of weakly supervised machine learning models vary in how much they are tailored to a specific task or integrated with a specific model architecture. In this work, we introduce Knodle, a software framework that treats weak data annotations, deep learning models, and methods for improving weakly supervised training as separate, modular components. This modularization gives the training process access to fine-grained information such as data set characteristics, matches of heuristic rules, or elements of the deep learning model ultimately used for prediction. Hence, our framework can encompass a wide range of training methods for improving weak supervision, ranging from methods that only look at correlations of rules and output classes (independently of the machine learning model trained with the resulting labels), to those that harness the interplay of neural networks and weakly labeled data. We illustrate the benchmarking potential of the framework with a performance comparison of several reference implementations on a selection of datasets that are already available in Knodle.