Sheng-Chieh Lin


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In-Batch Negatives for Knowledge Distillation with Tightly-Coupled Teachers for Dense Retrieval
Sheng-Chieh Lin | Jheng-Hong Yang | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2021)

We present an efficient training approach to text retrieval with dense representations that applies knowledge distillation using the ColBERT late-interaction ranking model. Specifically, we propose to transfer the knowledge from a bi-encoder teacher to a student by distilling knowledge from ColBERT’s expressive MaxSim operator into a simple dot product. The advantage of the bi-encoder teacher–student setup is that we can efficiently add in-batch negatives during knowledge distillation, enabling richer interactions between teacher and student models. In addition, using ColBERT as the teacher reduces training cost compared to a full cross-encoder. Experiments on the MS MARCO passage and document ranking tasks and data from the TREC 2019 Deep Learning Track demonstrate that our approach helps models learn robust representations for dense retrieval effectively and efficiently.

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Contextualized Query Embeddings for Conversational Search
Sheng-Chieh Lin | Jheng-Hong Yang | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

This paper describes a compact and effective model for low-latency passage retrieval in conversational search based on learned dense representations. Prior to our work, the state-of-the-art approach uses a multi-stage pipeline comprising conversational query reformulation and information retrieval modules. Despite its effectiveness, such a pipeline often includes multiple neural models that require long inference times. In addition, independently optimizing each module ignores dependencies among them. To address these shortcomings, we propose to integrate conversational query reformulation directly into a dense retrieval model. To aid in this goal, we create a dataset with pseudo-relevance labels for conversational search to overcome the lack of training data and to explore different training strategies. We demonstrate that our model effectively rewrites conversational queries as dense representations in conversational search and open-domain question answering datasets. Finally, after observing that our model learns to adjust the L2 norm of query token embeddings, we leverage this property for hybrid retrieval and to support error analysis.


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Designing Templates for Eliciting Commonsense Knowledge from Pretrained Sequence-to-Sequence Models
Jheng-Hong Yang | Sheng-Chieh Lin | Rodrigo Nogueira | Ming-Feng Tsai | Chuan-Ju Wang | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

While internalized “implicit knowledge” in pretrained transformers has led to fruitful progress in many natural language understanding tasks, how to most effectively elicit such knowledge remains an open question. Based on the text-to-text transfer transformer (T5) model, this work explores a template-based approach to extract implicit knowledge for commonsense reasoning on multiple-choice (MC) question answering tasks. Experiments on three representative MC datasets show the surprisingly good performance of our simple template, coupled with a logit normalization technique for disambiguation. Furthermore, we verify that our proposed template can be easily extended to other MC tasks with contexts such as supporting facts in open-book question answering settings. Starting from the MC task, this work initiates further research to find generic natural language templates that can effectively leverage stored knowledge in pretrained models.