Large Language Models (LLM) have revolutionized Natural Language Processing (NLP), improving state-of-the-art on many existing tasks and exhibiting emergent capabilities. However, LLMs have not yet been successfully applied on semi-structured document information extraction, which is at the core of many document processing workflows and consists of extracting key entities from a visually rich document (VRD) given a predefined target schema. The main obstacles to LLM adoption in that task have been the absence of layout encoding within LLMs, critical for a high quality extraction, and the lack of a grounding mechanism ensuring the answer is not hallucinated. In this paper, we introduce Language Model-based Document Information Extraction and Localization (LMDX), a methodology to adapt arbitrary LLMs for document information extraction. LMDX can do extraction of singular, repeated, and hierarchical entities, both with and without training data, while providing grounding guarantees and localizing the entities within the document. In particular, we apply LMDX to the PaLM 2-S LLM and evaluate it on VRDU and CORD benchmarks, setting a new state-of-the-art and showing how LMDX enables the creation of high quality, data-efficient parsers.
The recent advent of self-supervised pre-training techniques has led to a surge in the use of multimodal learning in form document understanding. However, existing approaches that extend the mask language modeling to other modalities require careful multi-task tuning, complex reconstruction target designs, or additional pre-training data. In FormNetV2, we introduce a centralized multimodal graph contrastive learning strategy to unify self-supervised pre-training for all modalities in one loss. The graph contrastive objective maximizes the agreement of multimodal representations, providing a natural interplay for all modalities without special customization. In addition, we extract image features within the bounding box that joins a pair of tokens connected by a graph edge, capturing more targeted visual cues without loading a sophisticated and separately pre-trained image embedder. FormNetV2 establishes new state-of-the-art performance on FUNSD, CORD, SROIE and Payment benchmarks with a more compact model size.
Zero-shot transfer learning for document understanding is a crucial yet under-investigated scenario to help reduce the high cost involved in annotating document entities. We present a novel query-based framework, QueryForm, that extracts entity values from form-like documents in a zero-shot fashion. QueryForm contains a dual prompting mechanism that composes both the document schema and a specific entity type into a query, which is used to prompt a Transformer model to perform a single entity extraction task. Furthermore, we propose to leverage large-scale query-entity pairs generated from form-like webpages with weak HTML annotations to pre-train QueryForm. By unifying pre-training and fine-tuning into the same query-based framework, QueryForm enables models to learn from structured documents containing various entities and layouts, leading to better generalization to target document types without the need for target-specific training data. QueryForm sets new state-of-the-art average F1 score on both the XFUND (+4.6%~10.1%) and the Payment (+3.2%~9.5%) zero-shot benchmark, with a smaller model size and no additional image input.
Continual learning aims to enable a single model to learn a sequence of tasks without catastrophic forgetting. Top-performing methods usually require a rehearsal buffer to store past pristine examples for experience replay, which, however, limits their practical value due to privacy and memory constraints. In this work, we present a simple yet effective framework, DualPrompt, which learns a tiny set of parameters, called prompts, to properly instruct a pre-trained model to learn tasks arriving sequentially without buffering past examples. DualPrompt presents a novel approach to attach complementary prompts to the pre-trained backbone, and then formulates the objective as learning task-invariant and task-specific "instructions". With extensive experimental validation, DualPrompt consistently sets state-of-the-art performance under the challenging class-incremental setting. In particular, DualPrompt outperforms recent advanced continual learning methods with relatively large buffer sizes. We also introduce a more challenging benchmark, Split ImageNet-R, to help generalize rehearsal-free continual learning research. Source code is available at https://github.com/google-research/l2p.
Sequence modeling has demonstrated state-of-the-art performance on natural language and document understanding tasks. However, it is challenging to correctly serialize tokens in form-like documents in practice due to their variety of layout patterns. We propose FormNet, a structure-aware sequence model to mitigate the suboptimal serialization of forms. First, we design Rich Attention that leverages the spatial relationship between tokens in a form for more precise attention score calculation. Second, we construct Super-Tokens for each word by embedding representations from their neighboring tokens through graph convolutions. FormNet therefore explicitly recovers local syntactic information that may have been lost during serialization. In experiments, FormNet outperforms existing methods with a more compact model size and less pre-training data, establishing new state-of-the-art performance on CORD, FUNSD and Payment benchmarks.
The mainstream paradigm behind continual learning has been to adapt the model parameters to non-stationary data distributions, where catastrophic forgetting is the central challenge. Typical methods rely on a rehearsal buffer or known task identity at test time to retrieve learned knowledge and address forgetting, while this work presents a new paradigm for continual learning that aims to train a more succinct memory system without accessing task identity at test time. Our method learns to dynamically prompt (L2P) a pre-trained model to learn tasks sequentially under different task transitions. In our proposed framework, prompts are small learnable parameters, which are maintained in a memory space. The objective is to optimize prompts to instruct the model prediction and explicitly manage task-invariant and task-specific knowledge while maintaining model plasticity. We conduct comprehensive experiments under popular image classification benchmarks with different challenging continual learning settings, where L2P consistently outperforms prior state-of-the-art methods. Surprisingly, L2P achieves competitive results against rehearsal-based methods even without a rehearsal buffer and is directly applicable to challenging task-agnostic continual learning. Source code is available at https://github.com/google-research/l2p.
As a contribution to interpretable machine learning research, we develop a novel optimization framework for learning accurate and sparse two-level Boolean rules. We consider rules in both conjunctive normal form (AND-of-ORs) and disjunctive normal form (OR-of-ANDs). A principled objective function is proposed to trade classification accuracy and interpretability, where we use Hamming loss to characterize accuracy and sparsity to characterize interpretability. We propose efficient procedures to optimize these objectives based on linear programming (LP) relaxation, block coordinate descent, and alternating minimization. Experiments show that our new algorithms provide very good tradeoffs between accuracy and interpretability.