QA models based on pretrained language models have achieved remarkable performance on various benchmark datasets. However, QA models do not generalize well to unseen data that falls outside the training distribution, due to distributional shifts. Data augmentation (DA) techniques which drop/replace words have shown to be effective in regularizing the model from overfitting to the training data. Yet, they may adversely affect the QA tasks since they incur semantic changes that may lead to wrong answers for the QA task. To tackle this problem, we propose a simple yet effective DA method based on a stochastic noise generator, which learns to perturb the word embedding of the input questions and context without changing their semantics. We validate the performance of the QA models trained with our word embedding perturbation on a single source dataset, on five different target domains. The results show that our method significantly outperforms the baseline DA methods. Notably, the model trained with ours outperforms the model trained with more than 240K artificially generated QA pairs.
We propose a method to automatically generate a domain- and task-adaptive maskings of the given text for self-supervised pre-training, such that we can effectively adapt the language model to a particular target task (e.g. question answering). Specifically, we present a novel reinforcement learning-based framework which learns the masking policy, such that using the generated masks for further pre-training of the target language model helps improve task performance on unseen texts. We use off-policy actor-critic with entropy regularization and experience replay for reinforcement learning, and propose a Transformer-based policy network that can consider the relative importance of words in a given text. We validate our Neural Mask Generator (NMG) on several question answering and text classification datasets using BERT and DistilBERT as the language models, on which it outperforms rule-based masking strategies, by automatically learning optimal adaptive maskings.
We consider a novel question answering (QA) task where the machine needs to read from large streaming data (long documents or videos) without knowing when the questions will be given, which is difficult to solve with existing QA methods due to their lack of scalability. To tackle this problem, we propose a novel end-to-end deep network model for reading comprehension, which we refer to as Episodic Memory Reader (EMR) that sequentially reads the input contexts into an external memory, while replacing memories that are less important for answering unseen questions. Specifically, we train an RL agent to replace a memory entry when the memory is full, in order to maximize its QA accuracy at a future timepoint, while encoding the external memory using either the GRU or the Transformer architecture to learn representations that considers relative importance between the memory entries. We validate our model on a synthetic dataset (bAbI) as well as real-world large-scale textual QA (TriviaQA) and video QA (TVQA) datasets, on which it achieves significant improvements over rule based memory scheduling policies or an RL based baseline that independently learns the query-specific importance of each memory.