This work focuses on combining nonparametric topic models with Auto-Encoding Variational Bayes (AEVB). Specifically, we first propose iTM-VAE, where the topics are treated as trainable parameters and the document-specific topic proportions are obtained by a stick-breaking construction. The inference of iTM-VAE is modeled by neural networks such that it can be computed in a simple feed-forward manner. We also describe how to introduce a hyper-prior into iTM-VAE so as to model the uncertainty of the prior parameter. Actually, the hyper-prior technique is quite general and we show that it can be applied to other AEVB based models to alleviate the {\it collapse-to-prior} problem elegantly. Moreover, we also propose HiTM-VAE, where the document-specific topic distributions are generated in a hierarchical manner. HiTM-VAE is even more flexible and can generate topic distributions with better variability. Experimental results on 20News and Reuters RCV1-V2 datasets show that the proposed models outperform the state-of-the-art baselines significantly. The advantages of the hyper-prior technique and the hierarchical model construction are also confirmed by experiments.

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主题模型,顾名思义,就是对文字中隐含主题的一种建模方法。“苹果”这个词的背后既包含是苹果公司这样一个主题,也包括了水果的主题。   在这里,我们先定义一下主题究竟是什么。主题就是一个概念、一个方面。它表现为一系列相关的词语。比如一个文章如果涉及到“百度”这个主题,那么“中文搜索”、“李彦宏”等词语就会以较高的频率出现,而如果涉及到“IBM”这个主题,那么“笔记本”等就会出现的很频繁。如果用数学来描述一下的话,主题就是词汇表上词语的条件概率分布 。与主题关系越密切的词语,它的条件概率越大,反之则越小。

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Although pretrained Transformers such as BERT achieve high accuracy on in-distribution examples, do they generalize to new distributions? We systematically measure out-of-distribution (OOD) generalization for various NLP tasks by constructing a new robustness benchmark with realistic distribution shifts. We measure the generalization of previous models including bag-of-words models, ConvNets, and LSTMs, and we show that pretrained Transformers' performance declines are substantially smaller. Pretrained transformers are also more effective at detecting anomalous or OOD examples, while many previous models are frequently worse than chance. We examine which factors affect robustness, finding that larger models are not necessarily more robust, distillation can be harmful, and more diverse pretraining data can enhance robustness. Finally, we show where future work can improve OOD robustness.

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Neural waveform models such as the WaveNet are used in many recent text-to-speech systems, but the original WaveNet is quite slow in waveform generation because of its autoregressive (AR) structure. Although faster non-AR models were recently reported, they may be prohibitively complicated due to the use of a distilling training method and the blend of other disparate training criteria. This study proposes a non-AR neural source-filter waveform model that can be directly trained using spectrum-based training criteria and the stochastic gradient descent method. Given the input acoustic features, the proposed model first uses a source module to generate a sine-based excitation signal and then uses a filter module to transform the excitation signal into the output speech waveform. Our experiments demonstrated that the proposed model generated waveforms at least 100 times faster than the AR WaveNet and the quality of its synthetic speech is close to that of speech generated by the AR WaveNet. Ablation test results showed that both the sine-wave excitation signal and the spectrum-based training criteria were essential to the performance of the proposed model.

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A fundamental computation for statistical inference and accurate decision-making is to compute the marginal probabilities or most probable states of task-relevant variables. Probabilistic graphical models can efficiently represent the structure of such complex data, but performing these inferences is generally difficult. Message-passing algorithms, such as belief propagation, are a natural way to disseminate evidence amongst correlated variables while exploiting the graph structure, but these algorithms can struggle when the conditional dependency graphs contain loops. Here we use Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) to learn a message-passing algorithm that solves these inference tasks. We first show that the architecture of GNNs is well-matched to inference tasks. We then demonstrate the efficacy of this inference approach by training GNNs on a collection of graphical models and showing that they substantially outperform belief propagation on loopy graphs. Our message-passing algorithms generalize out of the training set to larger graphs and graphs with different structure.

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Topic models have been widely explored as probabilistic generative models of documents. Traditional inference methods have sought closed-form derivations for updating the models, however as the expressiveness of these models grows, so does the difficulty of performing fast and accurate inference over their parameters. This paper presents alternative neural approaches to topic modelling by providing parameterisable distributions over topics which permit training by backpropagation in the framework of neural variational inference. In addition, with the help of a stick-breaking construction, we propose a recurrent network that is able to discover a notionally unbounded number of topics, analogous to Bayesian non-parametric topic models. Experimental results on the MXM Song Lyrics, 20NewsGroups and Reuters News datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of these neural topic models.

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Metric learning learns a metric function from training data to calculate the similarity or distance between samples. From the perspective of feature learning, metric learning essentially learns a new feature space by feature transformation (e.g., Mahalanobis distance metric). However, traditional metric learning algorithms are shallow, which just learn one metric space (feature transformation). Can we further learn a better metric space from the learnt metric space? In other words, can we learn metric progressively and nonlinearly like deep learning by just using the existing metric learning algorithms? To this end, we present a hierarchical metric learning scheme and implement an online deep metric learning framework, namely ODML. Specifically, we take one online metric learning algorithm as a metric layer, followed by a nonlinear layer (i.e., ReLU), and then stack these layers modelled after the deep learning. The proposed ODML enjoys some nice properties, indeed can learn metric progressively and performs superiorly on some datasets. Various experiments with different settings have been conducted to verify these properties of the proposed ODML.

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Discrete random structures are important tools in Bayesian nonparametrics and the resulting models have proven effective in density estimation, clustering, topic modeling and prediction, among others. In this paper, we consider nested processes and study the dependence structures they induce. Dependence ranges between homogeneity, corresponding to full exchangeability, and maximum heterogeneity, corresponding to (unconditional) independence across samples. The popular nested Dirichlet process is shown to degenerate to the fully exchangeable case when there are ties across samples at the observed or latent level. To overcome this drawback, inherent to nesting general discrete random measures, we introduce a novel class of latent nested processes. These are obtained by adding common and group-specific completely random measures and, then, normalising to yield dependent random probability measures. We provide results on the partition distributions induced by latent nested processes, and develop an Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampler for Bayesian inferences. A test for distributional homogeneity across groups is obtained as a by product. The results and their inferential implications are showcased on synthetic and real data.

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Topic modeling enables exploration and compact representation of a corpus. The CaringBridge (CB) dataset is a massive collection of journals written by patients and caregivers during a health crisis. Topic modeling on the CB dataset, however, is challenging due to the asynchronous nature of multiple authors writing about their health journeys. To overcome this challenge we introduce the Dynamic Author-Persona topic model (DAP), a probabilistic graphical model designed for temporal corpora with multiple authors. The novelty of the DAP model lies in its representation of authors by a persona --- where personas capture the propensity to write about certain topics over time. Further, we present a regularized variational inference algorithm, which we use to encourage the DAP model's personas to be distinct. Our results show significant improvements over competing topic models --- particularly after regularization, and highlight the DAP model's unique ability to capture common journeys shared by different authors.

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We propose a Topic Compositional Neural Language Model (TCNLM), a novel method designed to simultaneously capture both the global semantic meaning and the local word ordering structure in a document. The TCNLM learns the global semantic coherence of a document via a neural topic model, and the probability of each learned latent topic is further used to build a Mixture-of-Experts (MoE) language model, where each expert (corresponding to one topic) is a recurrent neural network (RNN) that accounts for learning the local structure of a word sequence. In order to train the MoE model efficiently, a matrix factorization method is applied, by extending each weight matrix of the RNN to be an ensemble of topic-dependent weight matrices. The degree to which each member of the ensemble is used is tied to the document-dependent probability of the corresponding topics. Experimental results on several corpora show that the proposed approach outperforms both a pure RNN-based model and other topic-guided language models. Further, our model yields sensible topics, and also has the capacity to generate meaningful sentences conditioned on given topics.

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Scientific publications have evolved several features for mitigating vocabulary mismatch when indexing, retrieving, and computing similarity between articles. These mitigation strategies range from simply focusing on high-value article sections, such as titles and abstracts, to assigning keywords, often from controlled vocabularies, either manually or through automatic annotation. Various document representation schemes possess different cost-benefit tradeoffs. In this paper, we propose to model different representations of the same article as translations of each other, all generated from a common latent representation in a multilingual topic model. We start with a methodological overview on latent variable models for parallel document representations that could be used across many information science tasks. We then show how solving the inference problem of mapping diverse representations into a shared topic space allows us to evaluate representations based on how topically similar they are to the original article. In addition, our proposed approach provides means to discover where different concept vocabularies require improvement.

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In this paper, we develop the continuous time dynamic topic model (cDTM). The cDTM is a dynamic topic model that uses Brownian motion to model the latent topics through a sequential collection of documents, where a "topic" is a pattern of word use that we expect to evolve over the course of the collection. We derive an efficient variational approximate inference algorithm that takes advantage of the sparsity of observations in text, a property that lets us easily handle many time points. In contrast to the cDTM, the original discrete-time dynamic topic model (dDTM) requires that time be discretized. Moreover, the complexity of variational inference for the dDTM grows quickly as time granularity increases, a drawback which limits fine-grained discretization. We demonstrate the cDTM on two news corpora, reporting both predictive perplexity and the novel task of time stamp prediction.

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