Pre-trained language models (PLMs) have been shown effective for zero-shot (0shot) text classification. 0shot models based on natural language inference (NLI) and next sentence prediction (NSP) employ cross-encoder architecture and infer by making a forward pass through the model for each label-text pair separately. This increases the computational cost to make inferences linearly in the number of labels. In this work, we improve the efficiency of such cross-encoder-based 0shot models by restricting the number of likely labels using another fast base classifier-based conformal predictor (CP) calibrated on samples labeled by the 0shot model. Since a CP generates prediction sets with coverage guarantees, it reduces the number of target labels without excluding the most probable label based on the 0shot model. We experiment with three intent and two topic classification datasets. With a suitable CP for each dataset, we reduce the average inference time for NLI- and NSP-based models by 25.6% and 22.2% respectively, without dropping performance below the predefined error rate of 1%.
Few-shot abstractive summarization has become a challenging task in natural language generation. To support it, we developed a novel soft prompts architecture coupled with a prompt pre-training plus prompt fine-tuning paradigm, which is effective and tunes only extremely light parameters. To meet the structure of the generation models, the soft prompts comprise continuous input embeddings across an encoder and a decoder. Importantly, a new inner-prompt placed in the text is introduced to capture document-level information. The aim is to devote attention to understanding the document that better prompts the model to generate document-related content. In the training process, the prompt pre-training with self-supervised pseudo-data firstly teaches the model basic summarizing capability. Then, with few-shot examples, only the designed lightweight soft prompts are fine-tuned. Experimental results on the CNN/DailyMail and XSum datasets show that our method, with only 0.1% of the parameters, outperforms full-model tuning where all model parameters are tuned. It also surpasses Prompt Tuning by a large margin and delivers competitive results against Prefix-Tuning with 3% of the parameters.
Parallel cross-lingual summarization data is scarce, requiring models to better use the limited available cross-lingual resources. Existing methods to do so often adopt sequence-to-sequence networks with multi-task frameworks. Such approaches apply multiple decoders, each of which is utilized for a specific task. However, these independent decoders share no parameters, hence fail to capture the relationships between the discrete phrases of summaries in different languages, breaking the connections in order to transfer the knowledge of the high-resource languages to low-resource languages. To bridge these connections, we propose a novel Multi-Task framework for Cross-Lingual Abstractive Summarization (MCLAS) in a low-resource setting. Employing one unified decoder to generate the sequential concatenation of monolingual and cross-lingual summaries, MCLAS makes the monolingual summarization task a prerequisite of the CLS task. In this way, the shared decoder learns interactions involving alignments and summary patterns across languages, which encourages attaining knowledge transfer. Experiments on two CLS datasets demonstrate that our model significantly outperforms three baseline models in both low-resource and full-dataset scenarios. Moreover, in-depth analysis on the generated summaries and attention heads verifies that interactions are learned well using MCLAS, which benefits the CLS task under limited parallel resources.