Total reduplication is common in natural language phonology and morphology. However, formally as copying on reduplicants of unbounded size, unrestricted total reduplication requires computational power beyond context-free, while other phonological and morphological patterns are regular, or even sub-regular. Thus, existing language classes characterizing reduplicated strings inevitably include typologically unattested context-free patterns, such as reversals. This paper extends regular languages to incorporate reduplication by introducing a new computational device: finite state buffered machine (FSBMs). We give its mathematical definitions and discuss some closure properties of the corresponding set of languages. As a result, the class of regular languages and languages derived from them through a copying mechanism is characterized. Suggested by previous literature, this class of languages should approach the characterization of natural language word sets.
While diverse question answering (QA) datasets have been proposed and contributed significantly to the development of deep learning models for QA tasks, the existing datasets fall short in two aspects. First, we lack QA datasets covering complex questions that involve answers as well as the reasoning processes to get them. As a result, the state-of-the-art QA research on numerical reasoning still focuses on simple calculations and does not provide the mathematical expressions or evidence justifying the answers. Second, the QA community has contributed a lot of effort to improve the interpretability of QA models. However, they fail to explicitly show the reasoning process, such as the evidence order for reasoning and the interactions between different pieces of evidence. To address the above shortcoming, we introduce NOAHQA, a conversational and bilingual QA dataset with questions requiring numerical reasoning with compound mathematical expressions. With NOAHQA, we develop an interpretable reasoning graph as well as the appropriate evaluation metric to measure the answer quality. We evaluate the state-of-the-art QA models trained using existing QA datasets on NOAHQA and show that the best among them can only achieve 55.5 exact match scores, while the human performance is 89.7. We also present a new QA model for generating a reasoning graph where the reasoning graph metric still has a large gap compared with that of humans, eg, 28 scores.
This paper is concerned with dialogue state tracking (DST) in a task-oriented dialogue system. Building a DST module that is highly effective is still a challenging issue, although significant progresses have been made recently. This paper proposes a new approach to dialogue state tracking, referred to as Seq2Seq-DU, which formalizes DST as a sequence-to-sequence problem. Seq2Seq-DU employs two BERT-based encoders to respectively encode the utterances in the dialogue and the descriptions of schemas, an attender to calculate attentions between the utterance embeddings and the schema embeddings, and a decoder to generate pointers to represent the current state of dialogue. Seq2Seq-DU has the following advantages. It can jointly model intents, slots, and slot values; it can leverage the rich representations of utterances and schemas based on BERT; it can effectively deal with categorical and non-categorical slots, and unseen schemas. In addition, Seq2Seq-DU can also be used in the NLU (natural language understanding) module of a dialogue system. Experimental results on benchmark datasets in different settings (SGD, MultiWOZ2.2, MultiWOZ2.1, WOZ2.0, DSTC2, M2M, SNIPS, and ATIS) show that Seq2Seq-DU outperforms the existing methods.
BERT is a cutting-edge language representation model pre-trained by a large corpus, which achieves superior performances on various natural language understanding tasks. However, a major blocking issue of applying BERT to online services is that it is memory-intensive and leads to unsatisfactory latency of user requests, raising the necessity of model compression. Existing solutions leverage the knowledge distillation framework to learn a smaller model that imitates the behaviors of BERT. However, the training procedure of knowledge distillation is expensive itself as it requires sufficient training data to imitate the teacher model. In this paper, we address this issue by proposing a tailored solution named LadaBERT (Lightweight adaptation of BERT through hybrid model compression), which combines the advantages of different model compression methods, including weight pruning, matrix factorization and knowledge distillation. LadaBERT achieves state-of-the-art accuracy on various public datasets while the training overheads can be reduced by an order of magnitude.
Embeddings are a fundamental component of many modern machine learning and natural language processing models. Understanding them and visualizing them is essential for gathering insights about the information they capture and the behavior of the models. In this paper, we introduce Parallax, a tool explicitly designed for this task. Parallax allows the user to use both state-of-the-art embedding analysis methods (PCA and t-SNE) and a simple yet effective task-oriented approach where users can explicitly define the axes of the projection through algebraic formulae. %consists in projecting them in two-dimensional planes without any interpretable semantics associated to the axes of the projection, which makes detailed analyses and comparison among multiple sets of embeddings challenging. In this approach, embeddings are projected into a semantically meaningful subspace, which enhances interpretability and allows for more fine-grained analysis. We demonstrate the power of the tool and the proposed methodology through a series of case studies and a user study.
It has been shown that Chinese poems can be successfully generated by sequence-to-sequence neural models, particularly with the attention mechanism. A potential problem of this approach, however, is that neural models can only learn abstract rules, while poem generation is a highly creative process that involves not only rules but also innovations for which pure statistical models are not appropriate in principle. This work proposes a memory augmented neural model for Chinese poem generation, where the neural model and the augmented memory work together to balance the requirements of linguistic accordance and aesthetic innovation, leading to innovative generations that are still rule-compliant. In addition, it is found that the memory mechanism provides interesting flexibility that can be used to generate poems with different styles.
We present the first prototype of the SUMMA Platform: an integrated platform for multilingual media monitoring. The platform contains a rich suite of low-level and high-level natural language processing technologies: automatic speech recognition of broadcast media, machine translation, automated tagging and classification of named entities, semantic parsing to detect relationships between entities, and automatic construction / augmentation of factual knowledge bases. Implemented on the Docker platform, it can easily be deployed, customised, and scaled to large volumes of incoming media streams.