For text classification tasks, finetuned language models perform remarkably well. Yet, they tend to rely on spurious patterns in training data, thus limiting their performance on out-of-distribution (OOD) test data. Among recent models aiming to avoid this spurious pattern problem, adding extra counterfactual samples to the training data has proven to be very effective. Yet, counterfactual data generation is costly since it relies on human annotation. Thus, we propose a novel solution that only requires annotation of a small fraction (e.g., 1%) of the original training data, and uses automatic generation of extra counterfactuals in an encoding vector space. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach in sentiment classification, using IMDb data for training and other sets for OOD tests (i.e., Amazon, SemEval and Yelp). We achieve noticeable accuracy improvements by adding only 1% manual counterfactuals: +3% compared to adding +100% in-distribution training samples, +1.3% compared to alternate counterfactual approaches.
Powerful sentence encoders trained for multiple languages are on the rise. These systems are capable of embedding a wide range of linguistic properties into vector representations. While explicit probing tasks can be used to verify the presence of specific linguistic properties, it is unclear whether the vector representations can be manipulated to indirectly steer such properties. For efficient learning, we investigate the use of a geometric mapping in embedding space to transform linguistic properties, without any tuning of the pre-trained sentence encoder or decoder. We validate our approach on three linguistic properties using a pre-trained multilingual autoencoder and analyze the results in both monolingual and cross-lingual settings.
In this paper, we investigate the challenges of using reinforcement learning agents for question-answering over knowledge graphs for real-world applications. We examine the performance metrics used by state-of-the-art systems and determine that they are inadequate for such settings. More specifically, they do not evaluate the systems correctly for situations when there is no answer available and thus agents optimized for these metrics are poor at modeling confidence. We introduce a simple new performance metric for evaluating question-answering agents that is more representative of practical usage conditions, and optimize for this metric by extending the binary reward structure used in prior work to a ternary reward structure which also rewards an agent for not answering a question rather than giving an incorrect answer. We show that this can drastically improve the precision of answered questions while only not answering a limited number of previously correctly answered questions. Employing a supervised learning strategy using depth-first-search paths to bootstrap the reinforcement learning algorithm further improves performance.
Character-level features are currently used in different neural network-based natural language processing algorithms. However, little is known about the character-level patterns those models learn. Moreover, models are often compared only quantitatively while a qualitative analysis is missing. In this paper, we investigate which character-level patterns neural networks learn and if those patterns coincide with manually-defined word segmentations and annotations. To that end, we extend the contextual decomposition technique (Murdoch et al. 2018) to convolutional neural networks which allows us to compare convolutional neural networks and bidirectional long short-term memory networks. We evaluate and compare these models for the task of morphological tagging on three morphologically different languages and show that these models implicitly discover understandable linguistic rules.
Inducing sparseness while training neural networks has been shown to yield models with a lower memory footprint but similar effectiveness to dense models. However, sparseness is typically induced starting from a dense model, and thus this advantage does not hold during training. We propose techniques to enforce sparseness upfront in recurrent sequence models for NLP applications, to also benefit training. First, in language modeling, we show how to increase hidden state sizes in recurrent layers without increasing the number of parameters, leading to more expressive models. Second, for sequence labeling, we show that word embeddings with predefined sparseness lead to similar performance as dense embeddings, at a fraction of the number of trainable parameters.
In this paper, we introduce the novel concept of densely connected layers into recurrent neural networks. We evaluate our proposed architecture on the Penn Treebank language modeling task. We show that we can obtain similar perplexity scores with six times fewer parameters compared to a standard stacked 2-layer LSTM model trained with dropout (Zaremba et al., 2014). In contrast with the current usage of skip connections, we show that densely connecting only a few stacked layers with skip connections already yields significant perplexity reductions.