Jia Li


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ConTinTin: Continual Learning from Task Instructions
Wenpeng Yin | Jia Li | Caiming Xiong
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The mainstream machine learning paradigms for NLP often work with two underlying presumptions. First, the target task is predefined and static; a system merely needs to learn to solve it exclusively. Second, the supervision of a task mainly comes from a set of labeled examples. A question arises: how to build a system that can keep learning new tasks from their instructions?This work defines a new learning paradigm ConTinTin (Continual Learning from Task Instructions), in which a system should learn a sequence of new tasks one by one, each task is explained by a piece of textual instruction. The system is required to (i) generate the expected outputs of a new task by learning from its instruction, (ii) transfer the knowledge acquired from upstream tasks to help solve downstream tasks (i.e., forward-transfer), and (iii) retain or even improve the performance on earlier tasks after learning new tasks (i.e., backward-transfer). This new problem is studied on a stream of more than 60 tasks, each equipped with an instruction. Technically, our method InstructionSpeak contains two strategies that make full use of task instructions to improve forward-transfer and backward-transfer: one is to learn from negative outputs, the other is to re-visit instructions of previous tasks. To our knowledge, this is the first time to study ConTinTin in NLP. In addition to the problem formulation and our promising approach, this work also contributes to providing rich analyses for the community to better understand this novel learning problem.


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Sampling Matters! An Empirical Study of Negative Sampling Strategies for Learning of Matching Models in Retrieval-based Dialogue Systems
Jia Li | Chongyang Tao | Wei Wu | Yansong Feng | Dongyan Zhao | Rui Yan
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

We study how to sample negative examples to automatically construct a training set for effective model learning in retrieval-based dialogue systems. Following an idea of dynamically adapting negative examples to matching models in learning, we consider four strategies including minimum sampling, maximum sampling, semi-hard sampling, and decay-hard sampling. Empirical studies on two benchmarks with three matching models indicate that compared with the widely used random sampling strategy, although the first two strategies lead to performance drop, the latter two ones can bring consistent improvement to the performance of all the models on both benchmarks.


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AirDialogue: An Environment for Goal-Oriented Dialogue Research
Wei Wei | Quoc Le | Andrew Dai | Jia Li
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent progress in dialogue generation has inspired a number of studies on dialogue systems that are capable of accomplishing tasks through natural language interactions. A promising direction among these studies is the use of reinforcement learning techniques, such as self-play, for training dialogue agents. However, current datasets are limited in size, and the environment for training agents and evaluating progress is relatively unsophisticated. We present AirDialogue, a large dataset that contains 301,427 goal-oriented conversations. To collect this dataset, we create a context-generator which provides travel and flight restrictions. We then ask human annotators to play the role of a customer or an agent and interact with the goal of successfully booking a trip given the restrictions. Key to our environment is the ease of evaluating the success of the dialogue, which is achieved by using ground-truth states (e.g., the flight being booked) generated by the restrictions. Any dialogue agent that does not generate the correct states is considered to fail. Our experimental results indicate that state-of-the-art dialogue models can only achieve a score of 0.17 while humans can reach a score of 0.91, which suggests significant opportunities for future improvement.


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Determining Gains Acquired from Word Embedding Quantitatively Using Discrete Distribution Clustering
Jianbo Ye | Yanran Li | Zhaohui Wu | James Z. Wang | Wenjie Li | Jia Li
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Word embeddings have become widely-used in document analysis. While a large number of models for mapping words to vector spaces have been developed, it remains undetermined how much net gain can be achieved over traditional approaches based on bag-of-words. In this paper, we propose a new document clustering approach by combining any word embedding with a state-of-the-art algorithm for clustering empirical distributions. By using the Wasserstein distance between distributions, the word-to-word semantic relationship is taken into account in a principled way. The new clustering method is easy to use and consistently outperforms other methods on a variety of data sets. More importantly, the method provides an effective framework for determining when and how much word embeddings contribute to document analysis. Experimental results with multiple embedding models are reported.


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Proposition méthodologique pour la détection automatique de Community Manager. Étude multilingue sur un corpus relatif à la Junk Food
Johan Ferguth | Aurélie Jouannet | Asma Zamiti | Yunhe Wu | Jia Li | Antonina Bondarenko | Damien Nouvel | Mathieu Valette
Actes de la 22e conférence sur le Traitement Automatique des Langues Naturelles. Articles courts

Dans cet article, nous présentons une méthodologie pour l’identification de messages suspectés d’être produits par des Community Managers à des fins commerciales déguisées dans des documents du Web 2.0. Le champ d’application est la malbouffe (junkfood) et le corpus est multilingue (anglais, chinois, français). Nous exposons dans un premier temps la stratégie de constitution et d’annotation de nos corpus, en explicitant notamment notre guide d’annotation, puis nous développons la méthode adoptée, basée sur la combinaison d’une analyse textométrique et d’un apprentissage supervisé.


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Towards Identifying Unresolved Discussions in Student Online Forums
Jihie Kim | Jia Li | Taehwan Kim
Proceedings of the NAACL HLT 2010 Fifth Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications