Trapit Bansal


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Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2021)
Anna Rogers | Iacer Calixto | Ivan Vulić | Naomi Saphra | Nora Kassner | Oana-Maria Camburu | Trapit Bansal | Vered Shwartz
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2021)

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Simultaneously Self-Attending to Text and Entities for Knowledge-Informed Text Representations
Dung Thai | Raghuveer Thirukovalluru | Trapit Bansal | Andrew McCallum
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2021)

Pre-trained language models have emerged as highly successful methods for learning good text representations. However, the amount of structured knowledge retained in such models, and how (if at all) it can be extracted, remains an open question. In this work, we aim at directly learning text representations which leverage structured knowledge about entities mentioned in the text. This can be particularly beneficial for downstream tasks which are knowledge-intensive. Our approach utilizes self-attention between words in the text and knowledge graph (KG) entities mentioned in the text. While existing methods require entity-linked data for pre-training, we train using a mention-span masking objective and a candidate ranking objective – which doesn’t require any entity-links and only assumes access to an alias table for retrieving candidates, enabling large-scale pre-training. We show that the proposed model learns knowledge-informed text representations that yield improvements on the downstream tasks over existing methods.

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Diverse Distributions of Self-Supervised Tasks for Meta-Learning in NLP
Trapit Bansal | Karthick Prasad Gunasekaran | Tong Wang | Tsendsuren Munkhdalai | Andrew McCallum
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Meta-learning considers the problem of learning an efficient learning process that can leverage its past experience to accurately solve new tasks. However, the efficacy of meta-learning crucially depends on the distribution of tasks available for training, and this is often assumed to be known a priori or constructed from limited supervised datasets. In this work, we aim to provide task distributions for meta-learning by considering self-supervised tasks automatically proposed from unlabeled text, to enable large-scale meta-learning in NLP. We design multiple distributions of self-supervised tasks by considering important aspects of task diversity, difficulty, type, domain, and curriculum, and investigate how they affect meta-learning performance. Our analysis shows that all these factors meaningfully alter the task distribution, some inducing significant improvements in downstream few-shot accuracy of the meta-learned models. Empirically, results on 20 downstream tasks show significant improvements in few-shot learning – adding up to +4.2% absolute accuracy (on average) to the previous unsupervised meta-learning method, and perform comparably to supervised methods on the FewRel 2.0 benchmark.


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Self-Supervised Meta-Learning for Few-Shot Natural Language Classification Tasks
Trapit Bansal | Rishikesh Jha | Tsendsuren Munkhdalai | Andrew McCallum
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Self-supervised pre-training of transformer models has revolutionized NLP applications. Such pre-training with language modeling objectives provides a useful initial point for parameters that generalize well to new tasks with fine-tuning. However, fine-tuning is still data inefficient — when there are few labeled examples, accuracy can be low. Data efficiency can be improved by optimizing pre-training directly for future fine-tuning with few examples; this can be treated as a meta-learning problem. However, standard meta-learning techniques require many training tasks in order to generalize; unfortunately, finding a diverse set of such supervised tasks is usually difficult. This paper proposes a self-supervised approach to generate a large, rich, meta-learning task distribution from unlabeled text. This is achieved using a cloze-style objective, but creating separate multi-class classification tasks by gathering tokens-to-be blanked from among only a handful of vocabulary terms. This yields as many unique meta-training tasks as the number of subsets of vocabulary terms. We meta-train a transformer model on this distribution of tasks using a recent meta-learning framework. On 17 NLP tasks, we show that this meta-training leads to better few-shot generalization than language-model pre-training followed by finetuning. Furthermore, we show how the self-supervised tasks can be combined with supervised tasks for meta-learning, providing substantial accuracy gains over previous supervised meta-learning.

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Learning to Few-Shot Learn Across Diverse Natural Language Classification Tasks
Trapit Bansal | Rishikesh Jha | Andrew McCallum
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Pre-trained transformer models have shown enormous success in improving performance on several downstream tasks. However, fine-tuning on a new task still requires large amounts of task-specific labeled data to achieve good performance. We consider this problem of learning to generalize to new tasks, with a few examples, as a meta-learning problem. While meta-learning has shown tremendous progress in recent years, its application is still limited to simulated problems or problems with limited diversity across tasks. We develop a novel method, LEOPARD, which enables optimization-based meta-learning across tasks with a different number of classes, and evaluate different methods on generalization to diverse NLP classification tasks. LEOPARD is trained with the state-of-the-art transformer architecture and shows better generalization to tasks not seen at all during training, with as few as 4 examples per label. Across 17 NLP tasks, including diverse domains of entity typing, natural language inference, sentiment analysis, and several other text classification tasks, we show that LEOPARD learns better initial parameters for few-shot learning than self-supervised pre-training or multi-task training, outperforming many strong baselines, for example, yielding 14.6% average relative gain in accuracy on unseen tasks with only 4 examples per label.


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A2N: Attending to Neighbors for Knowledge Graph Inference
Trapit Bansal | Da-Cheng Juan | Sujith Ravi | Andrew McCallum
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

State-of-the-art models for knowledge graph completion aim at learning a fixed embedding representation of entities in a multi-relational graph which can generalize to infer unseen entity relationships at test time. This can be sub-optimal as it requires memorizing and generalizing to all possible entity relationships using these fixed representations. We thus propose a novel attention-based method to learn query-dependent representation of entities which adaptively combines the relevant graph neighborhood of an entity leading to more accurate KG completion. The proposed method is evaluated on two benchmark datasets for knowledge graph completion, and experimental results show that the proposed model performs competitively or better than existing state-of-the-art, including recent methods for explicit multi-hop reasoning. Qualitative probing offers insight into how the model can reason about facts involving multiple hops in the knowledge graph, through the use of neighborhood attention.


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Marginal Likelihood Training of BiLSTM-CRF for Biomedical Named Entity Recognition from Disjoint Label Sets
Nathan Greenberg | Trapit Bansal | Patrick Verga | Andrew McCallum
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Extracting typed entity mentions from text is a fundamental component to language understanding and reasoning. While there exist substantial labeled text datasets for multiple subsets of biomedical entity types—such as genes and proteins, or chemicals and diseases—it is rare to find large labeled datasets containing labels for all desired entity types together. This paper presents a method for training a single CRF extractor from multiple datasets with disjoint or partially overlapping sets of entity types. Our approach employs marginal likelihood training to insist on labels that are present in the data, while filling in “missing labels”. This allows us to leverage all the available data within a single model. In experimental results on the Biocreative V CDR (chemicals/diseases), Biocreative VI ChemProt (chemicals/proteins) and MedMentions (19 entity types) datasets, we show that joint training on multiple datasets improves NER F1 over training in isolation, and our methods achieve state-of-the-art results.