Learning distributed sentence representations is one of the key challenges in natural language processing. Previous work demonstrated that a recurrent neural network (RNNs) based sentence encoder trained on a large collection of annotated natural language inference data, is efficient in the transfer learning to facilitate other related tasks. In this paper, we show that joint learning of multiple tasks results in better generalizable sentence representations by conducting extensive experiments and analysis comparing the multi-task and single-task learned sentence encoders. The quantitative analysis using auxiliary tasks show that multi-task learning helps to embed better semantic information in the sentence representations compared to single-task learning. In addition, we compare multi-task sentence encoders with contextualized word representations and show that combining both of them can further boost the performance of transfer learning.
In this paper, we introduce the prior knowledge, multi-scale structure, into self-attention modules. We propose a Multi-Scale Transformer which uses multi-scale multi-head self-attention to capture features from different scales. Based on the linguistic perspective and the analysis of pre-trained Transformer (BERT) on a huge corpus, we further design a strategy to control the scale distribution for each layer. Results of three different kinds of tasks (21 datasets) show our Multi-Scale Transformer outperforms the standard Transformer consistently and significantly on small and moderate size datasets.
Named entity recognition (NER) models are typically based on the architecture of Bi-directional LSTM (BiLSTM). The constraints of sequential nature and the modeling of single input prevent the full utilization of global information from larger scope, not only in the entire sentence, but also in the entire document (dataset). In this paper, we address these two deficiencies and propose a model augmented with hierarchical contextualized representation: sentence-level representation and document-level representation. In sentence-level, we take different contributions of words in a single sentence into consideration to enhance the sentence representation learned from an independent BiLSTM via label embedding attention mechanism. In document-level, the key-value memory network is adopted to record the document-aware information for each unique word which is sensitive to similarity of context information. Our two-level hierarchical contextualized representations are fused with each input token embedding and corresponding hidden state of BiLSTM, respectively. The experimental results on three benchmark NER datasets (CoNLL-2003 and Ontonotes 5.0 English datasets, CoNLL-2002 Spanish dataset) show that we establish new state-of-the-art results.
For many computer vision applications such as image captioning, visual question answering, and person search, learning discriminative feature representations at both image and text level is an essential yet challenging problem. Its challenges originate from the large word variance in the text domain as well as the difficulty of accurately measuring the distance between the features of the two modalities. Most prior work focuses on the latter challenge, by introducing loss functions that help the network learn better feature representations but fail to account for the complexity of the textual input. With that in mind, we introduce TIMAM: a Text-Image Modality Adversarial Matching approach that learns modality-invariant feature representations using adversarial and cross-modal matching objectives. In addition, we demonstrate that BERT, a publicly-available language model that extracts word embeddings, can successfully be applied in the text-to-image matching domain. The proposed approach achieves state-of-the-art cross-modal matching performance on four widely-used publicly-available datasets resulting in absolute improvements ranging from 2% to 5% in terms of rank-1 accuracy.
Most existing approaches to disfluency detection heavily rely on human-annotated data, which is expensive to obtain in practice. To tackle the training data bottleneck, we investigate methods for combining multiple self-supervised tasks-i.e., supervised tasks where data can be collected without manual labeling. First, we construct large-scale pseudo training data by randomly adding or deleting words from unlabeled news data, and propose two self-supervised pre-training tasks: (i) tagging task to detect the added noisy words. (ii) sentence classification to distinguish original sentences from grammatically-incorrect sentences. We then combine these two tasks to jointly train a network. The pre-trained network is then fine-tuned using human-annotated disfluency detection training data. Experimental results on the commonly used English Switchboard test set show that our approach can achieve competitive performance compared to the previous systems (trained using the full dataset) by using less than 1% (1000 sentences) of the training data. Our method trained on the full dataset significantly outperforms previous methods, reducing the error by 21% on English Switchboard.
Neural language representation models such as BERT pre-trained on large-scale corpora can well capture rich semantic patterns from plain text, and be fine-tuned to consistently improve the performance of various NLP tasks. However, the existing pre-trained language models rarely consider incorporating knowledge graphs (KGs), which can provide rich structured knowledge facts for better language understanding. We argue that informative entities in KGs can enhance language representation with external knowledge. In this paper, we utilize both large-scale textual corpora and KGs to train an enhanced language representation model (ERNIE), which can take full advantage of lexical, syntactic, and knowledge information simultaneously. The experimental results have demonstrated that ERNIE achieves significant improvements on various knowledge-driven tasks, and meanwhile is comparable with the state-of-the-art model BERT on other common NLP tasks. The source code of this paper can be obtained from https://github.com/thunlp/ERNIE.
Intent classification and slot filling are two essential tasks for natural language understanding. They often suffer from small-scale human-labeled training data, resulting in poor generalization capability, especially for rare words. Recently a new language representation model, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), facilitates pre-training deep bidirectional representations on large-scale unlabeled corpora, and has created state-of-the-art models for a wide variety of natural language processing tasks after simple fine-tuning. However, there has not been much effort on exploring BERT for natural language understanding. In this work, we propose a joint intent classification and slot filling model based on BERT. Experimental results demonstrate that our proposed model achieves significant improvement on intent classification accuracy, slot filling F1, and sentence-level semantic frame accuracy on several public benchmark datasets, compared to the attention-based recurrent neural network models and slot-gated models.
One of the main challenges in ranking is embedding the query and document pairs into a joint feature space, which can then be fed to a learning-to-rank algorithm. To achieve this representation, the conventional state of the art approaches perform extensive feature engineering that encode the similarity of the query-answer pair. Recently, deep-learning solutions have shown that it is possible to achieve comparable performance, in some settings, by learning the similarity representation directly from data. Unfortunately, previous models perform poorly on longer texts, or on texts with significant portion of irrelevant information, or which are grammatically incorrect. To overcome these limitations, we propose a novel ranking algorithm for question answering, QARAT, which uses an attention mechanism to learn on which words and phrases to focus when building the mutual representation. We demonstrate superior ranking performance on several real-world question-answer ranking datasets, and provide visualization of the attention mechanism to otter more insights into how our models of attention could benefit ranking for difficult question answering challenges.
Sentence representations can capture a wide range of information that cannot be captured by local features based on character or word N-grams. This paper examines the usefulness of universal sentence representations for evaluating the quality of machine translation. Although it is difficult to train sentence representations using small-scale translation datasets with manual evaluation, sentence representations trained from large-scale data in other tasks can improve the automatic evaluation of machine translation. Experimental results of the WMT-2016 dataset show that the proposed method achieves state-of-the-art performance with sentence representation features only.
We combine multi-task learning and semi-supervised learning by inducing a joint embedding space between disparate label spaces and learning transfer functions between label embeddings, enabling us to jointly leverage unlabelled data and auxiliary, annotated datasets. We evaluate our approach on a variety of sequence classification tasks with disparate label spaces. We outperform strong single and multi-task baselines and achieve a new state-of-the-art for topic-based sentiment analysis.
In multi-task learning, a learner is given a collection of prediction tasks and needs to solve all of them. In contrast to previous work, which required that annotated training data is available for all tasks, we consider a new setting, in which for some tasks, potentially most of them, only unlabeled training data is provided. Consequently, to solve all tasks, information must be transferred between tasks with labels and tasks without labels. Focusing on an instance-based transfer method we analyze two variants of this setting: when the set of labeled tasks is fixed, and when it can be actively selected by the learner. We state and prove a generalization bound that covers both scenarios and derive from it an algorithm for making the choice of labeled tasks (in the active case) and for transferring information between the tasks in a principled way. We also illustrate the effectiveness of the algorithm by experiments on synthetic and real data.