Knowledge Transfer from Answer Ranking to Answer Generation
Matteo Gabburo | Rik Koncel-Kedziorski | Siddhant Garg | Luca Soldaini | Alessandro Moschitti
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing
Recent studies show that Question Answering (QA) based on Answer Sentence Selection (AS2) can be improved by generating an improved answer from the top-k ranked answer sentences (termed GenQA). This allows for synthesizing the information from multiple candidates into a concise, natural-sounding answer. However, creating large-scale supervised training data for GenQA models is very challenging. In this paper, we propose to train a GenQA model by transferring knowledge from a trained AS2 model, to overcome the aforementioned issue. First, we use an AS2 model to produce a ranking over answer candidates for a set of questions. Then, we use the top ranked candidate as the generation target, and the next k top ranked candidates as context for training a GenQA model. We also propose to use the AS2 model prediction scores for loss weighting and score-conditioned input/output shaping, to aid the knowledge transfer. Our evaluation on three public and one large industrial datasets demonstrates the superiority of our approach over the AS2 baseline, and GenQA trained using supervised data.
Effective Pretraining Objectives for Transformer-based Autoencoders
Luca Di Liello | Matteo Gabburo | Alessandro Moschitti
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022
In this paper, we study trade-offs between efficiency, cost and accuracy when pre-training Transformer encoders with different pre-training objectives. For this purpose, we analyze features of common objectives and combine them to create new effective pre-training approaches. Specifically, we designed light token generators based on a straightforward statistical approach, which can replace ELECTRA computationally heavy generators, thus highly reducing cost. Our experiments also show that (i) there are more efficient alternatives to BERT’s MLM, and (ii) it is possible to efficiently pre-train Transformer-based models using lighter generators without a significant drop in performance.