Jiong Zhang


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Semi-supervised Meta-learning for Cross-domain Few-shot Intent Classification
Yue Li | Jiong Zhang
Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Meta Learning and Its Applications to Natural Language Processing

Meta learning aims to optimize the model’s capability to generalize to new tasks and domains. Lacking a data-efficient way to create meta training tasks has prevented the application of meta-learning to the real-world few shot learning scenarios. Recent studies have proposed unsupervised approaches to create meta-training tasks from unlabeled data for free, e.g., the SMLMT method (Bansal et al., 2020a) constructs unsupervised multi-class classification tasks from the unlabeled text by randomly masking words in the sentence and let the meta learner choose which word to fill in the blank. This study proposes a semi-supervised meta-learning approach that incorporates both the representation power of large pre-trained language models and the generalization capability of prototypical networks enhanced by SMLMT. The semi-supervised meta training approach avoids overfitting prototypical networks on a small number of labeled training examples and quickly learns cross-domain task-specific representation only from a few supporting examples. By incorporating SMLMT with prototypical networks, the meta learner generalizes better to unseen domains and gains higher accuracy on out-of-scope examples without the heavy lifting of pre-training. We observe significant improvement in few-shot generalization after training only a few epochs on the intent classification tasks evaluated in a multi-domain setting.