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.
Increasing model size when pretraining natural language representations often results in improved performance on downstream tasks. However, at some point further model increases become harder due to GPU/TPU memory limitations, longer training times, and unexpected model degradation. To address these problems, we present two parameter-reduction techniques to lower memory consumption and increase the training speed of BERT. Comprehensive empirical evidence shows that our proposed methods lead to models that scale much better compared to the original BERT. We also use a self-supervised loss that focuses on modeling inter-sentence coherence, and show it consistently helps downstream tasks with multi-sentence inputs. As a result, our best model establishes new state-of-the-art results on the GLUE, RACE, and SQuAD benchmarks while having fewer parameters compared to BERT-large.
The latest work on language representations carefully integrates contextualized features into language model training, which enables a series of success especially in various machine reading comprehension and natural language inference tasks. However, the existing language representation models including ELMo, GPT and BERT only exploit plain context-sensitive features such as character or word embeddings. They rarely consider incorporating structured semantic information which can provide rich semantics for language representation. To promote natural language understanding, we propose to incorporate explicit contextual semantics from pre-trained semantic role labeling, and introduce an improved language representation model, Semantics-aware BERT (SemBERT), which is capable of explicitly absorbing contextual semantics over a BERT backbone. SemBERT keeps the convenient usability of its BERT precursor in a light fine-tuning way without substantial task-specific modifications. Compared with BERT, semantics-aware BERT is as simple in concept but more powerful. It obtains new state-of-the-art or substantially improves results on ten reading comprehension and language inference tasks.
We present, to our knowledge, the first application of BERT to document classification. A few characteristics of the task might lead one to think that BERT is not the most appropriate model: syntactic structures matter less for content categories, documents can often be longer than typical BERT input, and documents often have multiple labels. Nevertheless, we show that a straightforward classification model using BERT is able to achieve the state of the art across four popular datasets. To address the computational expense associated with BERT inference, we distill knowledge from BERT-large to small bidirectional LSTMs, reaching BERT-base parity on multiple datasets using 30x fewer parameters. The primary contribution of our paper is improved baselines that can provide the foundation for future work.
Entity and relation extraction is the necessary step in structuring medical text. However, the feature extraction ability of the bidirectional long short term memory network in the existing model does not achieve the best effect. At the same time, the language model has achieved excellent results in more and more natural language processing tasks. In this paper, we present a focused attention model for the joint entity and relation extraction task. Our model integrates well-known BERT language model into joint learning through dynamic range attention mechanism, thus improving the feature representation ability of shared parameter layer. Experimental results on coronary angiography texts collected from Shuguang Hospital show that the F1-score of named entity recognition and relation classification tasks reach 96.89% and 88.51%, which are better than state-of-the-art methods 1.65% and 1.22%, respectively.
Language model pre-training has proven to be useful in learning universal language representations. As a state-of-the-art language model pre-training model, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) has achieved amazing results in many language understanding tasks. In this paper, we conduct exhaustive experiments to investigate different fine-tuning methods of BERT on text classification task and provide a general solution for BERT fine-tuning. Finally, the proposed solution obtains new state-of-the-art results on eight widely-studied text classification datasets.
Chinese word segmentation and dependency parsing are two fundamental tasks for Chinese natural language processing. The dependency parsing is defined on word-level, therefore word segmentation is the precondition of dependency parsing, which makes dependency parsing suffers from error propagation. In this paper, we propose a unified model to integrate Chinese word segmentation and dependency parsing. Different from previous joint models, our proposed model is a graph-based model and more concise, which results in fewer efforts of feature engineering. Our joint model achieves better performance than previous joint models. Our joint model achieves the state-of-the-art results in both Chinese word segmentation and dependency parsing.
Pre-trained language model representations have been successful in a wide range of language understanding tasks. In this paper, we examine different strategies to integrate pre-trained representations into sequence to sequence models and apply it to neural machine translation and abstractive summarization. We find that pre-trained representations are most effective when added to the encoder network which slows inference by only 14%. Our experiments in machine translation show gains of up to 5.3 BLEU in a simulated resource-poor setup. While returns diminish with more labeled data, we still observe improvements when millions of sentence-pairs are available. Finally, on abstractive summarization we achieve a new state of the art on the full text version of CNN/DailyMail.
We introduce a new language representation model called BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. Unlike recent language representation models, BERT is designed to pre-train deep bidirectional representations by jointly conditioning on both left and right context in all layers. As a result, the pre-trained BERT representations can be fine-tuned with just one additional output layer to create state-of-the-art models for a wide range of tasks, such as question answering and language inference, without substantial task-specific architecture modifications. BERT is conceptually simple and empirically powerful. It obtains new state-of-the-art results on eleven natural language processing tasks, including pushing the GLUE benchmark to 80.4% (7.6% absolute improvement), MultiNLI accuracy to 86.7 (5.6% absolute improvement) and the SQuAD v1.1 question answering Test F1 to 93.2 (1.5% absolute improvement), outperforming human performance by 2.0%.
Inductive transfer learning has greatly impacted computer vision, but existing approaches in NLP still require task-specific modifications and training from scratch. We propose Universal Language Model Fine-tuning (ULMFiT), an effective transfer learning method that can be applied to any task in NLP, and introduce techniques that are key for fine-tuning a language model. Our method significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art on six text classification tasks, reducing the error by 18-24% on the majority of datasets. Furthermore, with only 100 labeled examples, it matches the performance of training from scratch on 100x more data. We open-source our pretrained models and code.
Despite the effectiveness of recurrent neural network language models, their maximum likelihood estimation suffers from two limitations. It treats all sentences that do not match the ground truth as equally poor, ignoring the structure of the output space. Second, it suffers from "exposure bias": during training tokens are predicted given ground-truth sequences, while at test time prediction is conditioned on generated output sequences. To overcome these limitations we build upon the recent reward augmented maximum likelihood approach \ie sequence-level smoothing that encourages the model to predict sentences close to the ground truth according to a given performance metric. We extend this approach to token-level loss smoothing, and propose improvements to the sequence-level smoothing approach. Our experiments on two different tasks, image captioning and machine translation, show that token-level and sequence-level loss smoothing are complementary, and significantly improve results.