Chengyuan Ma


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Self-Aware Feedback-Based Self-Learning in Large-Scale Conversational AI
Pragaash Ponnusamy | Clint Solomon Mathialagan | Gustavo Aguilar | Chengyuan Ma | Chenlei Guo
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Industry Track

Self-learning paradigms in large-scale conversational AI agents tend to leverage user feedback in bridging between what they say and what they mean. However, such learning, particularly in Markov-based query rewriting systems have far from addressed the impact of these models on future training where successive feedback is inevitably contingent on the rewrite itself, especially in a continually updating environment. In this paper, we explore the consequences of this inherent lack of self-awareness towards impairing the model performance, ultimately resulting in both Type I and II errors over time. To that end, we propose augmenting the Markov Graph construction with a superposition-based adjacency matrix. Here, our method leverages an induced stochasticity to reactively learn a locally-adaptive decision boundary based on the performance of the individual rewrites in a bi-variate beta setting. We also surface a data augmentation strategy that leverages template-based generation in abridging complex conversation hierarchies of dialogs so as to simplify the learning process. All in all, we demonstrate that our self-aware model improves the overall PR-AUC by 27.45%, achieves a relative defect reduction of up to 31.22%, and is able to adapt quicker to changes in global preferences across a large number of customers.

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A Vocabulary-Free Multilingual Neural Tokenizer for End-to-End Task Learning
Md Mofijul Islam | Gustavo Aguilar | Pragaash Ponnusamy | Clint Solomon Mathialagan | Chengyuan Ma | Chenlei Guo
Proceedings of the 7th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP

Subword tokenization is a commonly used input pre-processing step in most recent NLP models. However, it limits the models’ ability to leverage end-to-end task learning. Its frequency-based vocabulary creation compromises tokenization in low-resource languages, leading models to produce suboptimal representations. Additionally, the dependency on a fixed vocabulary limits the subword models’ adaptability across languages and domains. In this work, we propose a vocabulary-free neural tokenizer by distilling segmentation information from heuristic-based subword tokenization. We pre-train our character-based tokenizer by processing unique words from multilingual corpus, thereby extensively increasing word diversity across languages. Unlike the predefined and fixed vocabularies in subword methods, our tokenizer allows end-to-end task learning, resulting in optimal task-specific tokenization. The experimental results show that replacing the subword tokenizer with our neural tokenizer consistently improves performance on multilingual (NLI) and code-switching (sentiment analysis) tasks, with larger gains in low-resource languages. Additionally, our neural tokenizer exhibits a robust performance on downstream tasks when adversarial noise is present (typos and misspelling), further increasing the initial improvements over statistical subword tokenizers.