Semantic parsing plays a key role in digital voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant by mapping natural language to structured meaning representations. When we want to improve the capabilities of a voice assistant by adding a new domain, the underlying semantic parsing model needs to be retrained using thousands of annotated examples from the new domain, which is time-consuming and expensive. In this work, we present an architecture to perform such domain adaptation automatically, with only a small amount of metadata about the new domain and without any new training data (zero-shot) or with very few examples (few-shot). We use a base seq2seq (sequence-to-sequence) architecture and augment it with a concept encoder that encodes intent and slot tags from the new domain. We also introduce a novel decoder-focused approach to pretrain seq2seq models to be concept aware using Wikidata and use it to help our model learn important concepts and perform well in low-resource settings. We report few-shot and zero-shot results for compositional semantic parsing on the TOPv2 dataset and show that our model outperforms prior approaches in few-shot settings for the TOPv2 and SNIPS datasets.
For over thirty years, researchers have developed and analyzed methods for latent tree induction as an approach for unsupervised syntactic parsing. Nonetheless, modern systems still do not perform well enough compared to their supervised counterparts to have any practical use as structural annotation of text. In this work, we present a technique that uses distant supervision in the form of span constraints (i.e. phrase bracketing) to improve performance in unsupervised constituency parsing. Using a relatively small number of span constraints we can substantially improve the output from DIORA, an already competitive unsupervised parsing system. Compared with full parse tree annotation, span constraints can be acquired with minimal effort, such as with a lexicon derived from Wikipedia, to find exact text matches. Our experiments show span constraints based on entities improves constituency parsing on English WSJ Penn Treebank by more than 5 F1. Furthermore, our method extends to any domain where span constraints are easily attainable, and as a case study we demonstrate its effectiveness by parsing biomedical text from the CRAFT dataset.
The deep inside-outside recursive autoencoder (DIORA; Drozdov et al. 2019) is a self-supervised neural model that learns to induce syntactic tree structures for input sentences *without access to labeled training data*. In this paper, we discover that while DIORA exhaustively encodes all possible binary trees of a sentence with a soft dynamic program, its vector averaging approach is locally greedy and cannot recover from errors when computing the highest scoring parse tree in bottom-up chart parsing. To fix this issue, we introduce S-DIORA, an improved variant of DIORA that encodes a single tree rather than a softly-weighted mixture of trees by employing a hard argmax operation and a beam at each cell in the chart. Our experiments show that through *fine-tuning* a pre-trained DIORA with our new algorithm, we improve the state of the art in *unsupervised* constituency parsing on the English WSJ Penn Treebank by 2.2-6% F1, depending on the data used for fine-tuning.
The current state-of-the-art task-oriented semantic parsing models use BERT or RoBERTa as pretrained encoders; these models have huge memory footprints. This poses a challenge to their deployment for voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on edge devices with limited memory budgets. We propose to learn compositional code embeddings to greatly reduce the sizes of BERT-base and RoBERTa-base. We also apply the technique to DistilBERT, ALBERT-base, and ALBERT-large, three already compressed BERT variants which attain similar state-of-the-art performances on semantic parsing with much smaller model sizes. We observe 95.15% 98.46% embedding compression rates and 20.47% 34.22% encoder compression rates, while preserving >97.5% semantic parsing performances. We provide the recipe for training and analyze the trade-off between code embedding sizes and downstream performances.