Tingting Ma


2022

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On the Effectiveness of Sentence Encoding for Intent Detection Meta-Learning
Tingting Ma | Qianhui Wu | Zhiwei Yu | Tiejun Zhao | Chin-Yew Lin
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recent studies on few-shot intent detection have attempted to formulate the task as a meta-learning problem, where a meta-learning model is trained with a certain capability to quickly adapt to newly specified few-shot tasks with potentially unseen intent categories. Prototypical networks have been commonly used in this setting, with the hope that good prototypical representations could be learned to capture the semantic similarity between the query and a few labeled instances. This intuition naturally leaves a question of whether or not a good sentence representation scheme could suffice for the task without further domain-specific adaptation. In this paper, we conduct empirical studies on a number of general-purpose sentence embedding schemes, showing that good sentence embeddings without any fine-tuning on intent detection data could produce a non-trivially strong performance. Inspired by the results from our qualitative analysis, we propose a frustratingly easy modification, which leads to consistent improvements over all sentence encoding schemes, including those from the state-of-the-art prototypical network variants with task-specific fine-tuning.

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Decomposed Meta-Learning for Few-Shot Named Entity Recognition
Tingting Ma | Huiqiang Jiang | Qianhui Wu | Tiejun Zhao | Chin-Yew Lin
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Few-shot named entity recognition (NER) systems aim at recognizing novel-class named entities based on only a few labeled examples. In this paper, we present a decomposed meta-learning approach which addresses the problem of few-shot NER by sequentially tackling few-shot span detection and few-shot entity typing using meta-learning. In particular, we take the few-shot span detection as a sequence labeling problem and train the span detector by introducing the model-agnostic meta-learning (MAML) algorithm to find a good model parameter initialization that could fast adapt to new entity classes. For few-shot entity typing, we propose MAML-ProtoNet, i.e., MAML-enhanced prototypical networks to find a good embedding space that can better distinguish text span representations from different entity classes. Extensive experiments on various benchmarks show that our approach achieves superior performance over prior methods.

2021

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Issues with Entailment-based Zero-shot Text Classification
Tingting Ma | Jin-Ge Yao | Chin-Yew Lin | Tiejun Zhao
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

The general format of natural language inference (NLI) makes it tempting to be used for zero-shot text classification by casting any target label into a sentence of hypothesis and verifying whether or not it could be entailed by the input, aiming at generic classification applicable on any specified label space. In this opinion piece, we point out a few overlooked issues that are yet to be discussed in this line of work. We observe huge variance across different classification datasets amongst standard BERT-based NLI models and surprisingly find that pre-trained BERT without any fine-tuning can yield competitive performance against BERT fine-tuned for NLI. With the concern that these models heavily rely on spurious lexical patterns for prediction, we also experiment with preliminary approaches for more robust NLI, but the results are in general negative. Our observations reveal implicit but challenging difficulties in entailment-based zero-shot text classification.