Yotam Perlitz


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Active Learning for Natural Language Generation
Yotam Perlitz | Ariel Gera | Michal Shmueli-Scheuer | Dafna Sheinwald | Noam Slonim | Liat Ein-Dor
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The field of Natural Language Generation (NLG) suffers from a severe shortage of labeled data due to the extremely expensive and time-consuming process involved in manual annotation. A natural approach for coping with this problem is active learning (AL), a well-known machine learning technique for improving annotation efficiency by selectively choosing the most informative examples to label. However, while AL has been well-researched in the context of text classification, its application to NLG remains largely unexplored. In this paper, we present a first systematic study of active learning for NLG, considering a diverse set of tasks and multiple leading selection strategies, and harnessing a strong instruction-tuned model. Our results indicate that the performance of existing AL strategies is inconsistent, surpassing the baseline of random example selection in some cases but not in others. We highlight some notable differences between the classification and generation scenarios, and analyze the selection behaviors of existing AL strategies. Our findings motivate exploring novel approaches for applying AL to generation tasks.


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Zero-Shot Text Classification with Self-Training
Ariel Gera | Alon Halfon | Eyal Shnarch | Yotam Perlitz | Liat Ein-Dor | Noam Slonim
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent advances in large pretrained language models have increased attention to zero-shot text classification. In particular, models finetuned on natural language inference datasets have been widely adopted as zero-shot classifiers due to their promising results and off-the-shelf availability. However, the fact that such models are unfamiliar with the target task can lead to instability and performance issues. We propose a plug-and-play method to bridge this gap using a simple self-training approach, requiring only the class names along with an unlabeled dataset, and without the need for domain expertise or trial and error. We show that fine-tuning the zero-shot classifier on its most confident predictions leads to significant performance gains across a wide range of text classification tasks, presumably since self-training adapts the zero-shot model to the task at hand.