As a fundamental task in natural language processing, named entity recognition (NER) aims to locate and classify named entities in unstructured text. However, named entities are always the minority among all tokens in the text. This data imbalance problem presents a challenge to machine learning models as their learning objective is usually dominated by the majority of non-entity tokens. To alleviate data imbalance, we propose a set of sentence-level resampling methods where the importance of each training sentence is computed based on its tokens and entities. We study the generalizability of these resampling methods on a wide variety of NER models (CRF, Bi-LSTM, and BERT) across corpora from diverse domains (general, social, and medical texts). Extensive experiments show that the proposed methods improve span-level macro F1-scores of the evaluated NER models on multiple corpora, frequently outperforming sub-sentence-level resampling, data augmentation, and special loss functions such as focal and Dice loss.
Automated software debugging is a crucial task for improving the productivity of software developers. Many neural-based techniques have been proven effective for debugging-related tasks such as bug localization and program repair (or bug fixing). However, these techniques often focus only on either one of them or approach them in a stage-wise manner, ignoring the mutual benefits between them. In this work, we propose a novel unified Detect-Localize-Repair framework based on a pretrained programming language model CodeT5 to seamlessly address these tasks, named CodeT5-DLR. Specifically, we propose three objectives to adapt the generic CodeT5 for debugging: a bug detection objective to determine whether a given code snippet is buggy or not, a bug localization objective to identify the buggy lines, and a program repair objective to translate the buggy code to its fixed version. We evaluate it on each of these tasks and their combined setting on two newly collected line-level debugging datasets in Java and Python. Extensive results show that our model significantly outperforms existing baselines from both NLP and software engineering domains.
With a knowledge graph and a set of if-then rules, can we reason about the conclusions given a set of observations? In this work, we formalize this question as the cognitive inference problem, and introduce the Cognitive Knowledge Graph (CogKG) that unifies two representations of heterogeneous symbolic knowledge: expert rules and relational facts. We propose a general framework in which the unified knowledge representations can perform both learning and reasoning. Specifically, we implement the above framework in two settings, depending on the availability of labeled data. When no labeled data are available for training, the framework can directly utilize symbolic knowledge as the decision basis and perform reasoning. When labeled data become available, the framework casts symbolic knowledge as a trainable neural architecture and optimizes the connection weights among neurons through gradient descent. Empirical study on two clinical diagnosis benchmarks demonstrates the superiority of the proposed method over time-tested knowledge-driven and data-driven methods, showing the great potential of the proposed method in unifying heterogeneous symbolic knowledge, i.e., expert rules and relational facts, as the substrate of machine learning and reasoning models.
Weakly-supervised text classification aims to train a classifier using only class descriptions and unlabeled data. Recent research shows that keyword-driven methods can achieve state-of-the-art performance on various tasks. However, these methods not only rely on carefully-crafted class descriptions to obtain class-specific keywords but also require substantial amount of unlabeled data and takes a long time to train. This paper proposes FastClass, an efficient weakly-supervised classification approach. It uses dense text representation to retrieve class-relevant documents from external unlabeled corpus and selects an optimal subset to train a classifier. Compared to keyword-driven methods, our approach is less reliant on initial class descriptions as it no longer needs to expand each class description into a set of class-specific keywords.Experiments on a wide range of classification tasks show that the proposed approach frequently outperforms keyword-driven models in terms of classification accuracy and often enjoys orders-of-magnitude faster training speed.
Pre-trained models for Natural Languages (NL) like BERT and GPT have been recently shown to transfer well to Programming Languages (PL) and largely benefit a broad set of code-related tasks. Despite their success, most current methods either rely on an encoder-only (or decoder-only) pre-training that is suboptimal for generation (resp. understanding) tasks or process the code snippet in the same way as NL, neglecting the special characteristics of PL such as token types. We present CodeT5, a unified pre-trained encoder-decoder Transformer model that better leverages the code semantics conveyed from the developer-assigned identifiers. Our model employs a unified framework to seamlessly support both code understanding and generation tasks and allows for multi-task learning. Besides, we propose a novel identifier-aware pre-training task that enables the model to distinguish which code tokens are identifiers and to recover them when they are masked. Furthermore, we propose to exploit the user-written code comments with a bimodal dual generation task for better NL-PL alignment. Comprehensive experiments show that CodeT5 significantly outperforms prior methods on understanding tasks such as code defect detection and clone detection, and generation tasks across various directions including PL-NL, NL-PL, and PL-PL. Further analysis reveals that our model can better capture semantic information from code. Our code and pre-trained models are released at https://github.com/salesforce/CodeT5.
One key ingredient of neural machine translation is the use of large datasets from different domains and resources (e.g. Europarl, TED talks). These datasets contain documents translated by professional translators using different but consistent translation styles. Despite that, the model is usually trained in a way that neither explicitly captures the variety of translation styles present in the data nor translates new data in different and controllable styles. In this work, we investigate methods to augment the state of the art Transformer model with translator information that is available in part of the training data. We show that our style-augmented translation models are able to capture the style variations of translators and to generate translations with different styles on new data. Indeed, the generated variations differ significantly, up to +4.5 BLEU score difference. Despite that, human evaluation confirms that the translations are of the same quality.
Extracting relational triples from unstructured text is crucial for large-scale knowledge graph construction. However, few existing works excel in solving the overlapping triple problem where multiple relational triples in the same sentence share the same entities. In this work, we introduce a fresh perspective to revisit the relational triple extraction task and propose a novel cascade binary tagging framework (CasRel) derived from a principled problem formulation. Instead of treating relations as discrete labels as in previous works, our new framework models relations as functions that map subjects to objects in a sentence, which naturally handles the overlapping problem. Experiments show that the CasRel framework already outperforms state-of-the-art methods even when its encoder module uses a randomly initialized BERT encoder, showing the power of the new tagging framework. It enjoys further performance boost when employing a pre-trained BERT encoder, outperforming the strongest baseline by 17.5 and 30.2 absolute gain in F1-score on two public datasets NYT and WebNLG, respectively. In-depth analysis on different scenarios of overlapping triples shows that the method delivers consistent performance gain across all these scenarios. The source code and data are released online.
Product attribute values are essential in many e-commerce scenarios, such as customer service robots, product recommendations, and product retrieval. While in the real world, the attribute values of a product are usually incomplete and vary over time, which greatly hinders the practical applications. In this paper, we propose a multimodal method to jointly predict product attributes and extract values from textual product descriptions with the help of the product images. We argue that product attributes and values are highly correlated, e.g., it will be easier to extract the values on condition that the product attributes are given. Thus, we jointly model the attribute prediction and value extraction tasks from multiple aspects towards the interactions between attributes and values. Moreover, product images have distinct effects on our tasks for different product attributes and values. Thus, we selectively draw useful visual information from product images to enhance our model. We annotate a multimodal product attribute value dataset that contains 87,194 instances, and the experimental results on this dataset demonstrate that explicitly modeling the relationship between attributes and values facilitates our method to establish the correspondence between them, and selectively utilizing visual product information is necessary for the task. Our code and dataset are available at https://github.com/jd-aig/JAVE.
Social media produces large amounts of contents every day. To help users quickly capture what they need, keyphrase prediction is receiving a growing attention. Nevertheless, most prior efforts focus on text modeling, largely ignoring the rich features embedded in the matching images. In this work, we explore the joint effects of texts and images in predicting the keyphrases for a multimedia post. To better align social media style texts and images, we propose: (1) a novel Multi-Modality MultiHead Attention (M3H-Att) to capture the intricate cross-media interactions; (2) image wordings, in forms of optical characters and image attributes, to bridge the two modalities. Moreover, we design a unified framework to leverage the outputs of keyphrase classification and generation and couple their advantages. Extensive experiments on a large-scale dataset newly collected from Twitter show that our model significantly outperforms the previous state of the art based on traditional attention mechanisms. Further analyses show that our multi-head attention is able to attend information from various aspects and boost classification or generation in diverse scenarios.
Visual dialog is a challenging vision-language task, where a dialog agent needs to answer a series of questions through reasoning on the image content and dialog history. Prior work has mostly focused on various attention mechanisms to model such intricate interactions. By contrast, in this work, we propose VD-BERT, a simple yet effective framework of unified vision-dialog Transformer that leverages the pretrained BERT language models for Visual Dialog tasks. The model is unified in that (1) it captures all the interactions between the image and the multi-turn dialog using a single-stream Transformer encoder, and (2) it supports both answer ranking and answer generation seamlessly through the same architecture. More crucially, we adapt BERT for the effective fusion of vision and dialog contents via visually grounded training. Without the need of pretraining on external vision-language data, our model yields new state of the art, achieving the top position in both single-model and ensemble settings (74.54 and 75.35 NDCG scores) on the visual dialog leaderboard. Our code and pretrained models are released at https://github.com/salesforce/VD-BERT.
Automatic hashtag annotation plays an important role in content understanding for microblog posts. To date, progress made in this field has been restricted to phrase selection from limited candidates, or word-level hashtag discovery using topic models. Different from previous work considering hashtags to be inseparable, our work is the first effort to annotate hashtags with a novel sequence generation framework via viewing the hashtag as a short sequence of words. Moreover, to address the data sparsity issue in processing short microblog posts, we propose to jointly model the target posts and the conversation contexts initiated by them with bidirectional attention. Extensive experimental results on two large-scale datasets, newly collected from English Twitter and Chinese Weibo, show that our model significantly outperforms state-of-the-art models based on classification. Further studies demonstrate our ability to effectively generate rare and even unseen hashtags, which is however not possible for most existing methods.
When developing topic classifiers for real-world applications, we begin by defining a set of meaningful topic labels. Ideally, an intelligent classifier can understand these labels right away and start classifying documents. Indeed, a human can confidently tell if an article is about science, politics, sports, or none of the above, after knowing just the class labels. We study the problem of training an initial topic classifier using only class labels. We investigate existing techniques for solving this problem and propose a simple but effective approach. Experiments on a variety of topic classification data sets show that learning from class labels can save significant initial labeling effort, essentially providing a ”free” warm start to the topic classifier.
A huge volume of user-generated content is daily produced on social media. To facilitate automatic language understanding, we study keyphrase prediction, distilling salient information from massive posts. While most existing methods extract words from source posts to form keyphrases, we propose a sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) based neural keyphrase generation framework, enabling absent keyphrases to be created. Moreover, our model, being topic-aware, allows joint modeling of corpus-level latent topic representations, which helps alleviate data sparsity widely exhibited in social media language. Experiments on three datasets collected from English and Chinese social media platforms show that our model significantly outperforms both extraction and generation models without exploiting latent topics. Further discussions show that our model learns meaningful topics, which interprets its superiority in social media keyphrase generation.
In this paper, we study the problem of question answering over knowledge base. We identify that the primary bottleneck in this problem is the difficulty in accurately predicting the relations connecting the subject entity to the object entities. We advocate a new model architecture, APVA, which includes a verification mechanism responsible for checking the correctness of predicted relations. The APVA framework naturally supports a well-principled iterative training procedure, which we call turbo training. We demonstrate via experiments that the APVA-TUBRO approach drastically improves the question answering performance.