Automatic identification of clinical trials for which a patient is eligible is complicated by the fact that trial eligibility is stated in natural language. A potential solution to this problem is to employ text classification methods for common types of eligibility criteria. In this study, we focus on seven common exclusion criteria in cancer trials: prior malignancy, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, psychiatric illness, drug/substance abuse, and autoimmune illness. Our dataset consists of 764 phase III cancer trials with these exclusions annotated at the trial level. We experiment with common transformer models as well as a new pre-trained clinical trial BERT model. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of automatically classifying common exclusion criteria. Additionally, we demonstrate the value of a pre-trained language model specifically for clinical trials, which yields the highest average performance across all criteria.
Meta learning have achieved promising performance in low-resource text classification which aims to identify target classes with knowledge transferred from source classes with sets of small tasks named episodes. However, due to the limited training data in the meta-learning scenario and the inherent properties of parameterized neural networks, poor generalization performance has become a pressing problem that needs to be addressed. To deal with this issue, we propose a meta-learning based method called Retrieval-Augmented Meta Learning(RAML). It not only uses parameterization for inference but also retrieves non-parametric knowledge from an external corpus to make inferences, which greatly alleviates the problem of poor generalization performance caused by the lack of diverse training data in meta-learning. This method differs from previous models that solely rely on parameters, as it explicitly emphasizes the importance of non-parametric knowledge, aiming to strike a balance between parameterized neural networks and non-parametric knowledge. The model is required to determine which knowledge to access and utilize during inference. Additionally, our multi-view passages fusion network module can effectively and efficiently integrate the retrieved information into low-resource classification task. The extensive experiments demonstrate that RAML significantly outperforms current SOTA low-resource text classification models.
We study semantic compression for text where meanings contained in the text are conveyed to a source decoder, e.g., for classification. The main motivator to move to such an approach of recovering the meaning without requiring exact reconstruction is the potential resource savings, both in storage and in conveying the information to another node. Towards this end, we propose semantic quantization and compression approaches for text where we utilize sentence embeddings and the semantic distortion metric to preserve the meaning. Our results demonstrate that the proposed semantic approaches result in substantial (orders of magnitude) savings in the required number of bits for message representation at the expense of very modest accuracy loss compared to the semantic agnostic baseline. We compare the results of proposed approaches and observe that resource savings enabled by semantic quantization can be further amplified by semantic clustering. Importantly, we observe the generalizability of the proposed methodology which produces excellent results on many benchmark text classification datasets with a diverse array of contexts.
Sentiment analysis is a pivotal task in the domain of natural language processing. It encompasses both text-level sentiment polarity classification and word-level Part of Speech(POS) sentiment polarity determination. Such analysis challenges models to understand text holistically while also extracting nuanced information. With the rise of Large Language Models(LLMs), new avenues for sentiment analysis have opened. This paper proposes enhancing performance by leveraging the Mutual Reinforcement Effect(MRE) between individual words and the overall text. It delves into how word polarity influences the overarching sentiment of a passage. To support our research, we annotated four novel Sentiment Text Classification and Part of Speech(SCPOS) datasets, building upon existing sentiment classification datasets. Furthermore, we developed a Universal Sentiment Analysis(USA) model, with a 7-billion parameter size. Experimental results revealed that our model surpassed the performance of gpt-3.5-turbo across all four datasets, underscoring the significance of MRE in sentiment analysis.
With the ever-increasing potential of AI to perform personalised tasks, it is becoming essential to develop new machine learning techniques which are data-efficient and do not require hundreds or thousands of training data. In this paper, we explore an Inductive Logic Programming approach for one-shot text classification. In particular, we explore the framework of Meta-Interpretive Learning (MIL), along with using common-sense background knowledge extracted from ConceptNet. Results indicate that MIL can learn text classification rules from a small number of training examples. Moreover, the higher complexity of chosen examples, the higher accuracy of the outcome.
In-context learning (ICL) using large language models for tasks with many labels is challenging due to the limited context window, which makes it difficult to fit a sufficient number of examples in the prompt. In this paper, we use a pre-trained dense retrieval model to bypass this limitation, giving the model only a partial view of the full label space for each inference call. Testing with recent open-source LLMs (OPT, LLaMA), we set new state of the art performance in few-shot settings for three common intent classification datasets, with no finetuning. We also surpass fine-tuned performance on fine-grained sentiment classification in certain cases. We analyze the performance across number of in-context examples and different model scales, showing that larger models are necessary to effectively and consistently make use of larger context lengths for ICL. By running several ablations, we analyze the model's use of: a) the similarity of the in-context examples to the current input, b) the semantic content of the class names, and c) the correct correspondence between examples and labels. We demonstrate that all three are needed to varying degrees depending on the domain, contrary to certain recent works.
Text classification is one of the most imperative tasks in natural language processing (NLP). Recent advances with pre-trained language models (PLMs) have shown remarkable success on this task. However, the satisfying results obtained by PLMs heavily depend on the large amounts of task-specific labeled data, which may not be feasible in many application scenarios due to data access and privacy constraints. The recently-proposed prompt-based fine-tuning paradigm improves the performance of PLMs for few-shot text classification with task-specific templates. Yet, it is unclear how the prompting knowledge can be transferred across tasks, for the purpose of mutual reinforcement. We propose TransPrompt v2, a novel transferable prompting framework for few-shot learning across similar or distant text classification tasks. For learning across similar tasks, we employ a multi-task meta-knowledge acquisition (MMA) procedure to train a meta-learner that captures the cross-task transferable knowledge. For learning across distant tasks, we further inject the task type descriptions into the prompt, and capture the intra-type and inter-type prompt embeddings among multiple distant tasks. Additionally, two de-biasing techniques are further designed to make the trained meta-learner more task-agnostic and unbiased towards any tasks. After that, the meta-learner can be adapted to each specific task with better parameters initialization. Extensive experiments show that TransPrompt v2 outperforms single-task and cross-task strong baselines over multiple NLP tasks and datasets. We further show that the meta-learner can effectively improve the performance of PLMs on previously unseen tasks. In addition, TransPrompt v2 also outperforms strong fine-tuning baselines when learning with full training sets.
Prompt Tuning is emerging as a scalable and cost-effective method to fine-tune Pretrained Language Models (PLMs). This study benchmarks the performance and computational efficiency of Prompt Tuning and baseline methods on a multi-label text classification task. This is applied to the use case of classifying companies into an investment firm's proprietary industry taxonomy, supporting their thematic investment strategy. Text-to-text classification with PLMs is frequently reported to outperform classification with a classification head, but has several limitations when applied to a multi-label classification problem where each label consists of multiple tokens: (a) Generated labels may not match any label in the industry taxonomy; (b) During fine-tuning, multiple labels must be provided in an arbitrary order; (c) The model provides a binary decision for each label, rather than an appropriate confidence score. Limitation (a) is addressed by applying constrained decoding using Trie Search, which slightly improves classification performance. All limitations (a), (b), and (c) are addressed by replacing the PLM's language head with a classification head. This improves performance significantly, while also reducing computational costs during inference. The results indicate the continuing need to adapt state-of-the-art methods to domain-specific tasks, even in the era of PLMs with strong generalization abilities.