BERT is inefficient for sentence-pair tasks such as clustering or semantic search as it needs to evaluate combinatorially many sentence pairs which is very time-consuming. Sentence BERT (SBERT) attempted to solve this challenge by learning semantically meaningful representations of single sentences, such that similarity comparison can be easily accessed. However, SBERT is trained on corpus with high-quality labeled sentence pairs, which limits its application to tasks where labeled data is extremely scarce. In this paper, we propose a lightweight extension on top of BERT and a novel self-supervised learning objective based on mutual information maximization strategies to derive meaningful sentence embeddings in an unsupervised manner. Unlike SBERT, our method is not restricted by the availability of labeled data, such that it can be applied on different domain-specific corpus. Experimental results show that the proposed method significantly outperforms other unsupervised sentence embedding baselines on common semantic textual similarity (STS) tasks and downstream supervised tasks. It also outperforms SBERT in a setting where in-domain labeled data is not available, and achieves performance competitive with supervised methods on various tasks.
Knowing the location of a social media user and their posts is important for various purposes, such as the recommendation of location-based items/services, and locality detection of crisis/disasters. This paper describes our submission to the shared task “Geolocation Prediction in Twitter” of the 2nd Workshop on Noisy User-generated Text. In this shared task, we propose an algorithm to predict the location of Twitter users and tweets using a multinomial Naive Bayes classifier trained on Location Indicative Words and various textual features (such as city/country names, #hashtags and @mentions). We compared our approach against various baselines based on Location Indicative Words, city/country names, #hashtags and @mentions as individual feature sets, and experimental results show that our approach outperforms these baselines in terms of classification accuracy, mean and median error distance.