In this paper, we introduce CheXOFA, a new pre-trained vision-language model (VLM) for the chest X-ray domain. Our model is initially pre-trained on various multimodal datasets within the general domain before being transferred to the chest X-ray domain. Following a prominent VLM, we unify various domain-specific tasks into a simple sequence-to-sequence schema. It enables the model to effectively learn the required knowledge and skills from limited resources in the domain. Demonstrating superior performance on the benchmark datasets provided by the BioNLP shared task, our model benefits from its training across multiple tasks and domains. With subtle techniques including ensemble and factual calibration, our system achieves first place on the RadSum23 leaderboard for the hidden test set.
Intent classification (IC) plays an important role in task-oriented dialogue systems as it identifies user intents from given utterances. However, models trained on limited annotations for IC often suffer from a lack of generalization to unseen intent classes. We propose a novel pre-training method for text encoders that uses contrastive learning with intent psuedo-labels to produce embeddings that are well-suited for IC tasks. By applying this pre-training strategy, we also introduce the pre-trained intent-aware encoder (PIE). Specifically, we first train a tagger to identify key phrases within utterances that are crucial for interpreting intents. We then use these extracted phrases to create examples for pre-training a text encoder in a contrastive manner. As a result, our PIE model achieves up to 5.4% and 4.0% higher accuracy than the previous state-of-the-art pre-trained sentence encoder for the N-way zero- and one-shot settings on four IC datasets.
Dense retrieval uses a contrastive learning framework to learn dense representations of queries and contexts. Trained encoders are directly used for each test query, but they often fail to accurately represent out-of-domain queries. In this paper, we introduce a framework that refines instance-level query representations at test time, with only the signals coming from the intermediate retrieval results. We optimize the query representation based on the retrieval result similar to pseudo relevance feedback (PRF) in information retrieval. Specifically, we adopt a cross-encoder labeler to provide pseudo labels over the retrieval result and iteratively refine the query representation with a gradient descent method, treating each test query as a single data point to train on. Our theoretical analysis reveals that our framework can be viewed as a generalization of the classical Rocchio's algorithm for PRF, which leads us to propose interesting variants of our method. We show that our test-time query refinement strategy improves the performance of phrase retrieval (+8.1% Acc@1) and passage retrieval (+3.7% Acc@20) for open-domain QA with large improvements on out-of-domain queries.
In biomedical natural language processing, named entity recognition (NER) and named entity normalization (NEN) are key tasks that enable the automatic extraction of biomedical entities (e.g., diseases and chemicals) from the ever-growing biomedical literature. In this paper, we present BERN2 (Advanced Biomedical Entity Recognition and Normalization), a tool that improves the previous neural network-based NER tool (Kim et al., 2019) by employing a multi-task NER model and neural network-based NEN models to achieve much faster and more accurate inference. We hope that our tool can help annotate large-scale biomedical texts more accurately for various tasks such as biomedical knowledge graph construction.
This paper is a technical report on our system submitted to the chemical identification task of the BioCreative VII Track 2 challenge. The main feature of this challenge is that the data consists of full-text articles, while current datasets usually consist of only titles and abstracts. To effectively address the problem, we aim to improve tagging consistency and entity coverage using various methods such as majority voting within the same articles for named entity recognition (NER) and a hybrid approach that combines a dictionary and a neural model for normalization. In the experiments on the NLM-Chem dataset, we show that our methods improve models' performance, particularly in terms of recall. Finally, in the official evaluation of the challenge, our system was ranked 1st in NER by significantly outperforming the baseline model and more than 80 submissions from 16 teams.
Pre-trained language models (LMs) have become ubiquitous in solving various natural language processing (NLP) tasks. There has been increasing interest in what knowledge these LMs contain and how we can extract that knowledge, treating LMs as knowledge bases (KBs). While there has been much work on probing LMs in the general domain, there has been little attention to whether these powerful LMs can be used as domain-specific KBs. To this end, we create the BioLAMA benchmark, which is comprised of 49K biomedical factual knowledge triples for probing biomedical LMs. We find that biomedical LMs with recently proposed probing methods can achieve up to 18.51% Acc@5 on retrieving biomedical knowledge. Although this seems promising given the task difficulty, our detailed analyses reveal that most predictions are highly correlated with prompt templates without any subjects, hence producing similar results on each relation and hindering their capabilities to be used as domain-specific KBs. We hope that BioLAMA can serve as a challenging benchmark for biomedical factual probing.
Open-domain question answering can be reformulated as a phrase retrieval problem, without the need for processing documents on-demand during inference (Seo et al., 2019). However, current phrase retrieval models heavily depend on their sparse representations while still underperforming retriever-reader approaches. In this work, we show for the first time that we can learn dense phrase representations alone that achieve much stronger performance in open-domain QA. Our approach includes (1) learning query-agnostic phrase representations via question generation and distillation; (2) novel negative-sampling methods for global normalization; (3) query-side fine-tuning for transfer learning. On five popular QA datasets, our model DensePhrases improves previous phrase retrieval models by 15%-25% absolute accuracy and matches the performance of state-of-the-art retriever-reader models. Our model is easy to parallelize due to pure dense representations and processes more than 10 questions per second on CPUs. Finally, we directly use our pre-indexed dense phrase representations for two slot filling tasks, showing the promise of utilizing DensePhrases as a dense knowledge base for downstream tasks.
Biomedical question answering (QA) is a challenging problem due to the scarcity of data and the requirement of domain expertise. Growing interests of using pre-trained language models with transfer learning address the issue to some extent. Recently, learning linguistic knowledge of entailment in sentence pairs enhances the performance in general domain QA by leveraging such transferability between the two tasks. In this paper, we focus on facilitating the transferability by unifying the experimental setup from natural language inference (NLI) to biomedical QA. We observe that transferring from entailment data shows effective performance on Yes/No (+5.59%), Factoid (+0.53%), List (+13.58%) type questions compared to previous challenge reports (BioASQ 7B Phase B). We also observe that our method generally performs well in the 8th BioASQ Challenge (Phase B). For sequential transfer learning, the order of how tasks are fine-tuned is important. In factoid- and list-type questions, we thoroughly analyze an intrinsic limitation of the extractive QA setting when these questions are converted to the same format of the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD).