For users to trust model predictions, they need to understand model outputs, particularly their confidence — calibration aims to adjust (calibrate) models’ confidence to match expected accuracy. We argue that the traditional calibration evaluation does not promote effective calibrations: for example, it can encourage always assigning a mediocre confidence score to all predictions, which does not help users distinguish correct predictions from wrong ones. Building on those observations, we propose a new calibration metric, MacroCE, that better captures whether the model assigns low confidence to wrong predictions and high confidence to correct predictions. Focusing on the practical application of open-domain question answering, we examine conventional calibration methods applied on the widely-used retriever-reader pipeline, all of which do not bring significant gains under our new MacroCE metric. Toward better calibration, we propose a new calibration method (ConsCal) that uses not just final model predictions but whether multiple model checkpoints make consistent predictions. Altogether, we provide an alternative view of calibration along with a new metric, re-evaluation of existing calibration methods on our metric, and proposal of a more effective calibration method.
A flaw in QA evaluation is that annotations often only provide one gold answer. Thus, model predictions semantically equivalent to the answer but superficially different are considered incorrect. This work explores mining alias entities from knowledge bases and using them as additional gold answers (i.e., equivalent answers). We incorporate answers for two settings: evaluation with additional answers and model training with equivalent answers. We analyse three QA benchmarks: Natural Questions, TriviaQA, and SQuAD. Answer expansion increases the exact match score on all datasets for evaluation, while incorporating it helps model training over real-world datasets. We ensure the additional answers are valid through a human post hoc evaluation.
Adversarial training (AT) as a regularization method has proved its effectiveness on various tasks. Though there are successful applications of AT on some NLP tasks, the distinguishing characteristics of NLP tasks have not been exploited. In this paper, we aim to apply AT on machine reading comprehension (MRC) tasks. Furthermore, we adapt AT for MRC tasks by proposing a novel adversarial training method called PQAT that perturbs the embedding matrix instead of word vectors. To differentiate the roles of passages and questions, PQAT uses additional virtual P/Q-embedding matrices to gather the global perturbations of words from passages and questions separately. We test the method on a wide range of MRC tasks, including span-based extractive RC and multiple-choice RC. The results show that adversarial training is effective universally, and PQAT further improves the performance.
Most pre-trained language models (PLMs) construct word representations at subword level with Byte-Pair Encoding (BPE) or its variations, by which OOV (out-of-vocab) words are almost avoidable. However, those methods split a word into subword units and make the representation incomplete and fragile.In this paper, we propose a character-aware pre-trained language model named CharBERT improving on the previous methods (such as BERT, RoBERTa) to tackle these problems. We first construct the contextual word embedding for each token from the sequential character representations, then fuse the representations of characters and the subword representations by a novel heterogeneous interaction module. We also propose a new pre-training task named NLM (Noisy LM) for unsupervised character representation learning. We evaluate our method on question answering, sequence labeling, and text classification tasks, both on the original datasets and adversarial misspelling test sets. The experimental results show that our method can significantly improve the performance and robustness of PLMs simultaneously.
Datasets are integral artifacts of empirical scientific research. However, due to natural language variation, their recognition can be difficult and even when identified, can often be inconsistently referred across and within publications. We report our approach to the Coleridge Initiative’s Rich Context Competition, which tasks participants with identifying dataset surface forms (dataset mention extraction) and associating the extracted mention to its referred dataset (dataset classification). In this work, we propose various neural baselines and evaluate these model on one-plus and zero-shot classification scenarios. We further explore various joint learning approaches - exploring the synergy between the tasks - and report the issues with such techniques.
Sentiment ambiguous lexicons refer to words where their polarity depends strongly on con- text. As such, when the context is absent, their translations or their embedded sentence ends up (incorrectly) being dependent on the training data. While neural machine translation (NMT) has achieved great progress in recent years, most systems aim to produce one single correct translation for a given source sentence. We investigate the translation variation in two sentiment scenarios. We perform experiments to study the preservation of sentiment during translation with three different methods that we propose. We conducted tests with both sentiment and non-sentiment bearing contexts to examine the effectiveness of our methods. We show that NMT can generate both positive- and negative-valent translations of a source sentence, based on a given input sentiment label. Empirical evaluations show that our valence-sensitive embedding (VSE) method significantly outperforms a sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) baseline, both in terms of BLEU score and ambiguous word translation accuracy in test, given non-sentiment bearing contexts.