Collecting high quality conversational data can be very expensive for most applications and infeasible for others due to privacy, ethical, or similar concerns. A promising direction to tackle this problem is to generate synthetic dialogues by prompting large language models. In this work, we use a small set of expert-written conversations as in-context examples to synthesize a social conversation dataset using prompting. We perform several thorough evaluations of our synthetic conversations compared to human-collected conversations. This includes various dimensions of conversation quality with human evaluation directly on the synthesized conversations, and interactive human evaluation of chatbots fine-tuned on the synthetically generated dataset. We additionally demonstrate that this prompting approach is generalizable to multi-party conversations, providing potential to create new synthetic data for multi-party tasks. Our synthetic multi-party conversations were rated more favorably across all measured dimensions compared to conversation excerpts sampled from a human-collected multi-party dataset.
Natural language often exhibits inherent hierarchical structure ingrained with complex syntax and semantics. However, most state-of-the-art deep generative models learn embeddings only in Euclidean vector space, without accounting for this structural property of language. In this paper, we investigate text generation in a hyperbolic latent space to learn continuous hierarchical representations. An Adversarial Poincare Variational Autoencoder (APo-VAE) is presented, where both the prior and variational posterior of latent variables are defined over a Poincare ball via wrapped normal distributions. By adopting the primal-dual formulation of Kullback-Leibler divergence, an adversarial learning procedure is introduced to empower robust model training. Extensive experiments in language modeling, unaligned style transfer, and dialog-response generation demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed APo-VAE model over VAEs in Euclidean latent space, thanks to its superb capabilities in capturing latent language hierarchies in hyperbolic space.
Although pre-trained big models (e.g., BERT, ERNIE, XLNet, GPT3 etc.) have delivered top performance in Seq2seq modeling, their deployments in real-world applications are often hindered by the excessive computations and memory demand involved. For many applications, including named entity recognition (NER), matching the state-of-the-art result under budget has attracted considerable attention. Drawing power from the recent advance in knowledge distillation (KD), this work presents a novel distillation scheme to efficiently transfer the knowledge learned from big models to their more affordable counterpart. Our solution highlights the construction of surrogate labels through the k-best Viterbi algorithm to distill knowledge from the teacher model. To maximally assimilate knowledge into the student model, we propose a multi-grained distillation scheme, which integrates cross entropy involved in conditional random field (CRF) and fuzzy learning.To validate the effectiveness of our proposal, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation on five NER benchmarks, reporting cross-the-board performance gains relative to competing prior-arts. We further discuss ablation results to dissect our gains.
Neural language models are often trained with maximum likelihood estimation (MLE), where the next word is generated conditioned on the ground-truth word tokens. During testing, however, the model is instead conditioned on previously generated tokens, resulting in what is termed exposure bias. To reduce this gap between training and testing, we propose using optimal transport (OT) to match the sequences generated in these two modes. We examine the necessity of adding Student-Forcing scheme during training with an imitation learning interpretation. An extension is further proposed to improve the OT learning for long sequences, based on the structural and contextual information of the text sequences. The effectiveness of the proposed method is validated on machine translation, text summarization, and text generation tasks.
Constituting highly informative network embeddings is an essential tool for network analysis. It encodes network topology, along with other useful side information, into low dimensional node-based feature representations that can be exploited by statistical modeling. This work focuses on learning context-aware network embeddings augmented with text data. We reformulate the network embedding problem, and present two novel strategies to improve over traditional attention mechanisms: (i) a content-aware sparse attention module based on optimal transport; and (ii) a high-level attention parsing module. Our approach yields naturally sparse and self-normalized relational inference. It can capture long-term interactions between sequences, thus addressing the challenges faced by existing textual network embedding schemes. Extensive experiments are conducted to demonstrate our model can consistently outperform alternative state-of-the-art methods.