Dense retrieval (DR) methods conduct text retrieval by first encoding texts in the embedding space and then matching them by nearest neighbor search. This requires strong locality properties from the representation space, e.g., close allocations of each small group of relevant texts, which are hard to generalize to domains without sufficient training data. In this paper, we aim to improve the generalization ability of DR models from source training domains with rich supervision signals to target domains without any relevance label, in the zero-shot setting. To achieve that, we propose Momentum adversarial Domain Invariant Representation learning (MoDIR), which introduces a momentum method to train a domain classifier that distinguishes source versus target domains, and then adversarially updates the DR encoder to learn domain invariant representations. Our experiments show that MoDIR robustly outperforms its baselines on 10+ ranking datasets collected in the BEIR benchmark in the zero-shot setup, with more than 10% relative gains on datasets with enough sensitivity for DR models’ evaluation. Source code is available at https://github.com/ji-xin/modir.
This paper presents an empirical study to efficiently build named entity recognition (NER) systems when a small amount of in-domain labeled data is available. Based upon recent Transformer-based self-supervised pre-trained language models (PLMs), we investigate three orthogonal schemes to improve model generalization ability in few-shot settings: (1) meta-learning to construct prototypes for different entity types, (2) task-specific supervised pre-training on noisy web data to extract entity-related representations and (3) self-training to leverage unlabeled in-domain data. On 10 public NER datasets, we perform extensive empirical comparisons over the proposed schemes and their combinations with various proportions of labeled data, our experiments show that (i)in the few-shot learning setting, the proposed NER schemes significantly improve or outperform the commonly used baseline, a PLM-based linear classifier fine-tuned using domain labels. (ii) We create new state-of-the-art results on both few-shot and training-free settings compared with existing methods.