In this study, we investigate robustness against covariate drift in spoken language understanding (SLU). Covariate drift can occur in SLUwhen there is a drift between training and testing regarding what users request or how they request it. To study this we propose a method that exploits natural variations in data to create a covariate drift in SLU datasets. Experiments show that a state-of-the-art BERT-based model suffers performance loss under this drift. To mitigate the performance loss, we investigate distributionally robust optimization (DRO) for finetuning BERT-based models. We discuss some recent DRO methods, propose two new variants and empirically show that DRO improves robustness under drift.
This paper provides the first experimental study on the impact of using domain-specific representations on a BERT-based multi-task spoken language understanding (SLU) model for multi-domain applications. Our results on a real-world dataset covering three languages indicate that by using domain-specific representations learned adversarially, model performance can be improved across all of the three SLU subtasks domain classification, intent classification and slot filling. Gains are particularly large for domains with limited training data.
This paper addresses the question as to what degree a BERT-based multilingual Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) model can transfer knowledge across languages. Through experiments we will show that, although it works substantially well even on distant language groups, there is still a gap to the ideal multilingual performance. In addition, we propose a novel BERT-based adversarial model architecture to learn language-shared and language-specific representations for multilingual SLU. Our experimental results prove that the proposed model is capable of narrowing the gap to the ideal multilingual performance.
A typical cross-lingual transfer learning approach boosting model performance on a language is to pre-train the model on all available supervised data from another language. However, in large-scale systems this leads to high training times and computational requirements. In addition, characteristic differences between the source and target languages raise a natural question of whether source data selection can improve the knowledge transfer. In this paper, we address this question and propose a simple but effective language model based source-language data selection method for cross-lingual transfer learning in large-scale spoken language understanding. The experimental results show that with data selection i) source data and hence training speed is reduced significantly and ii) model performance is improved.