NLP models often degrade in performance when real world data distributions differ markedly from training data. However, existing dataset drift metrics in NLP have generally not considered specific dimensions of linguistic drift that affect model performance, and they have not been validated in their ability to predict model performance at the individual example level, where such metrics are often used in practice. In this paper, we propose three dimensions of linguistic dataset drift: vocabulary, structural, and semantic drift. These dimensions correspond to content word frequency divergences, syntactic divergences, and meaning changes not captured by word frequencies (e.g. lexical semantic change). We propose interpretable metrics for all three drift dimensions, and we modify past performance prediction methods to predict model performance at both the example and dataset level for English sentiment classification and natural language inference. We find that our drift metrics are more effective than previous metrics at predicting out-of-domain model accuracies (mean 16.8% root mean square error decrease), particularly when compared to popular fine-tuned embedding distances (mean 47.7% error decrease). Fine-tuned embedding distances are much more effective at ranking individual examples by expected performance, but decomposing into vocabulary, structural, and semantic drift produces the best example rankings of all considered model-agnostic drift metrics (mean 6.7% ROC AUC increase).
We explore how weak supervision on abundant unlabeled data can be leveraged to improve few-shot performance in aspect-based sentiment analysis (ABSA) tasks. We propose a pipeline approach to construct a noisy ABSA dataset, and we use it to adapt a pre-trained sequence-to-sequence model to the ABSA tasks. We test the resulting model on three widely used ABSA datasets, before and after fine-tuning. Our proposed method preserves the full fine-tuning performance while showing significant improvements (15.84% absolute F1) in the few-shot learning scenario for the harder tasks. In zero-shot (i.e., without fine-tuning), our method outperforms the previous state of the art on the aspect extraction sentiment classification (AESC) task and is, additionally, capable of performing the harder aspect sentiment triplet extraction (ASTE) task.
Current state-of-the-art approaches to text classification typically leverage BERT-style Transformer models with a softmax classifier, jointly fine-tuned to predict class labels of a target task. In this paper, we instead propose an alternative training objective in which we learn task-specific embeddings of text: our proposed objective learns embeddings such that all texts that share the same target class label should be close together in the embedding space, while all others should be far apart. This allows us to replace the softmax classifier with a more interpretable k-nearest-neighbor classification approach. In a series of experiments, we show that this yields a number of interesting benefits: (1) The resulting order induced by distances in the embedding space can be used to directly explain classification decisions. (2) This facilitates qualitative inspection of the training data, helping us to better understand the problem space and identify labelling quality issues. (3) The learned distances to some degree generalize to unseen classes, allowing us to incrementally add new classes without retraining the model. We present extensive experiments which show that the benefits of ante-hoc explainability and incremental learning come at no cost in overall classification accuracy, thus pointing to practical applicability of our proposed approach.
Ensuring safety of the products offered to the customers is of paramount importance to any e- commerce platform. Despite stringent quality and safety checking of products listed on these platforms, occasionally customers might receive a product that can pose a safety issue arising out of its use. In this paper, we present an innovative mechanism of how a large scale multinational e-commerce platform, Zalando, uses Natural Language Processing techniques to assist timely investigation of the potentially unsafe products mined directly from customer written claims in unstructured plain text. We systematically describe the types of safety issues that concern Zalando customers. We demonstrate how we map this core business problem into a supervised text classification problem with highly imbalanced, noisy, multilingual data in a AI-in-the-loop setup with a focus on Key Performance Indicator (KPI) driven evaluation. Finally, we present detailed ablation studies to show a comprehensive comparison between different classification techniques. We conclude the work with how this NLP model was deployed.
Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis (ABSA) is a fine-grained sentiment analysis task which involves four elements from user-generated texts: aspect term, aspect category, opinion term, and sentiment polarity. Most computational approaches focus on some of the ABSA sub-tasks such as tuple (aspect term, sentiment polarity) or triplet (aspect term, opinion term, sentiment polarity) extraction using either pipeline or joint modeling approaches. Recently, generative approaches have been proposed to extract all four elements as (one or more) quadruplets from text as a single task. In this work, we take a step further and propose a unified framework for solving ABSA, and the associated sub-tasks to improve the performance in few-shot scenarios. To this end, we fine-tune a T5 model with instructional prompts in a multi-task learning fashion covering all the sub-tasks, as well as the entire quadruple prediction task. In experiments with multiple benchmark data sets, we show that the proposed multi-task prompting approach brings performance boost (by absolute $6.75$ F1) in the few-shot learning setting.
Users issue queries to Search Engines, and try to find the desired information in the results produced. They repeat this process if their information need is not met at the first place. It is crucial to identify the important words in a query that depict the actual information need of the user and will determine the course of a search session. To this end, we propose a sequence-to-sequence based neural architecture that leverages the set of past queries issued by users, and results that were explored by them. Firstly, we employ our model for predicting the words in the current query that are important and would be retained in the next query. Additionally, as a downstream application of our model, we evaluate it on the widely popular task of next query suggestion. We show that our intuitive strategy of capturing information need can yield superior performance at these tasks on two large real-world search log datasets.
Analysing sentiment of tweets is important as it helps to determine the users' opinion. Knowing people's opinion is crucial for several purposes starting from gathering knowledge about customer base, e-governance, campaigning and many more. In this report, we aim to develop a system to detect the sentiment from tweets. We employ several linguistic features along with some other external sources of information to detect the sentiment of a tweet. We show that augmenting the 140 character-long tweet with information harvested from external urls shared in the tweet as well as Social Media features enhances the sentiment prediction accuracy significantly.