Lizhen Tan


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Task-driven augmented data evaluation
Olga Golovneva | Pan Wei | Khadige Abboud | Charith Peris | Lizhen Tan | Haiyang Yu
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Natural Language Generation, Evaluation, and Metrics (GEM)

In the area of data augmentation research, the main focus to date has been on the improvement of the generation models, while the examination and improvements to synthetic data evaluation methods remains less explored. In our work, we explore a number of sentence similarity measures in the context of data generation filtering, and evaluate their impact on the performance of the targeted Natural Language Understanding problem on the example of the intent classification and named entity recognition tasks. Our experiments on ATIS dataset show that the right choice of filtering technique can bring up to 33% in sentence accuracy improvement for targeted underrepresented intents.

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Knowledge Distillation Transfer Sets and their Impact on Downstream NLU Tasks
Charith Peris | Lizhen Tan | Thomas Gueudre | Turan Gojayev | Pan Wei | Gokmen Oz
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: Industry Track

Teacher-student knowledge distillation is a popular technique for compressing today’s prevailing large language models into manageable sizes that fit low-latency downstream applications. Both the teacher and the choice of transfer set used for distillation are crucial ingredients in creating a high quality student. Yet, the generic corpora used to pretrain the teacher and the corpora associated with the downstream target domain are often significantly different, which raises a natural question: should the student be distilled over the generic corpora, so as to learn from high-quality teacher predictions, or over the downstream task corpora to align with finetuning? Our study investigates this trade-off using Domain Classification (DC) and Intent Classification/Named Entity Recognition (ICNER) as downstream tasks. We distill several multilingual students from a larger multilingual LM with varying proportions of generic and task-specific datasets, and report their performance after finetuning on DC and ICNER. We observe significant improvements across tasks and test sets when only task-specific corpora is used. We also report on how the impact of adding task-specific data to the transfer set correlates with the similarity between generic and task-specific data. Our results clearly indicate that, while distillation from a generic LM benefits downstream tasks, students learn better using target domain data even if it comes at the price of noisier teacher predictions. In other words, target domain data still trumps teacher knowledge.


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Case-based Reasoning for Natural Language Queries over Knowledge Bases
Rajarshi Das | Manzil Zaheer | Dung Thai | Ameya Godbole | Ethan Perez | Jay Yoon Lee | Lizhen Tan | Lazaros Polymenakos | Andrew McCallum
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

It is often challenging to solve a complex problem from scratch, but much easier if we can access other similar problems with their solutions — a paradigm known as case-based reasoning (CBR). We propose a neuro-symbolic CBR approach (CBR-KBQA) for question answering over large knowledge bases. CBR-KBQA consists of a nonparametric memory that stores cases (question and logical forms) and a parametric model that can generate a logical form for a new question by retrieving cases that are relevant to it. On several KBQA datasets that contain complex questions, CBR-KBQA achieves competitive performance. For example, on the CWQ dataset, CBR-KBQA outperforms the current state of the art by 11% on accuracy. Furthermore, we show that CBR-KBQA is capable of using new cases without any further training: by incorporating a few human-labeled examples in the case memory, CBR-KBQA is able to successfully generate logical forms containing unseen KB entities as well as relations.


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Evaluating Cross-Lingual Transfer Learning Approaches in Multilingual Conversational Agent Models
Lizhen Tan | Olga Golovneva
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Industry Track

With the recent explosion in popularity of voice assistant devices, there is a growing interest in making them available to user populations in additional countries and languages. However, to provide the highest accuracy and best performance for specific user populations, most existing voice assistant models are developed individually for each region or language, which requires linear investment of effort. In this paper, we propose a general multilingual model framework for Natural Language Understanding (NLU) models, which can help bootstrap new language models faster and reduce the amount of effort required to develop each language separately. We explore how different deep learning architectures affect multilingual NLU model performance. Our experimental results show that these multilingual models can reach same or better performance compared to monolingual models across language-specific test data while require less effort in creating features and model maintenance.