Pre-training large language models has become a standard in the natural language processing community. Such models are pre-trained on generic data (e.g. BookCorpus and English Wikipedia) and often fine-tuned on tasks in the same domain. However, in order to achieve state-of-the-art performance on out of domain tasks such as clinical named entity recognition and relation extraction, additional in domain pre-training is required. In practice, staged multi-domain pre-training presents performance deterioration in the form of catastrophic forgetting (CF) when evaluated on a generic benchmark such as GLUE. In this paper we conduct an empirical investigation into known methods to mitigate CF. We find that elastic weight consolidation provides best overall scores yielding only a 0.33% drop in performance across seven generic tasks while remaining competitive in bio-medical tasks. Furthermore, we explore gradient and latent clustering based data selection techniques to improve coverage when using elastic weight consolidation and experience replay methods.
Highlighting is a powerful tool to pick out important content and emphasize. Creating summary highlights at the sub-sentence level is particularly desirable, because sub-sentences are more concise than whole sentences. They are also better suited than individual words and phrases that can potentially lead to disfluent, fragmented summaries. In this paper we seek to generate summary highlights by annotating summary-worthy sub-sentences and teaching classifiers to do the same. We frame the task as jointly selecting important sentences and identifying a single most informative textual unit from each sentence. This formulation dramatically reduces the task complexity involved in sentence compression. Our study provides new benchmarks and baselines for generating highlights at the sub-sentence level.
Highlighting while reading is a natural behavior for people to track salient content of a document. It would be desirable to teach an extractive summarizer to do the same. However, a major obstacle to the development of a supervised summarizer is the lack of ground-truth. Manual annotation of extraction units is cost-prohibitive, whereas acquiring labels by automatically aligning human abstracts and source documents can yield inferior results. In this paper we describe a novel framework to guide a supervised, extractive summarization system with question-answering rewards. We argue that quality summaries should serve as document surrogates to answer important questions, and such question-answer pairs can be conveniently obtained from human abstracts. The system learns to promote summaries that are informative, fluent, and perform competitively on question-answering. Our results compare favorably with those reported by strong summarization baselines as evaluated by automatic metrics and human assessors.
We investigate a new training paradigm for extractive summarization. Traditionally, human abstracts are used to derive goldstandard labels for extraction units. However, the labels are often inaccurate, because human abstracts and source documents cannot be easily aligned at the word level. In this paper we convert human abstracts to a set of Cloze-style comprehension questions. System summaries are encouraged to preserve salient source content useful for answering questions and share common words with the abstracts. We use reinforcement learning to explore the space of possible extractive summaries and introduce a question-focused reward function to promote concise, fluent, and informative summaries. Our experiments show that the proposed method is effective. It surpasses state-of-the-art systems on the standard summarization dataset.