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A Consolidated System for Robust Multi-Document Entity Risk Extraction and Taxonomy Augmentation

Sep 23, 2019
Berk Ekmekci, Eleanor Hagerman, Blake Howald

We introduce a hybrid human-automated system that provides scalable entity-risk relation extractions across large data sets. Given an expert-defined keyword taxonomy, entities, and data sources, the system returns text extractions based on bidirectional token distances between entities and keywords and expands taxonomy coverage with word vector encodings. Our system represents a more simplified architecture compared to alerting focused systems - motivated by high coverage use cases in the risk mining space such as due diligence activities and intelligence gathering. We provide an overview of the system and expert evaluations for a range of token distances. We demonstrate that single and multi-sentence distance groups significantly outperform baseline extractions with shorter, single sentences being preferred by analysts. As the taxonomy expands, the amount of relevant information increases and multi-sentence extractions become more preferred, but this is tempered against entity-risk relations become more indirect. We discuss the implications of these observations on users, management of ambiguity and taxonomy expansion, and future system modifications.

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Fine-Tuning Language Models from Human Preferences

Sep 18, 2019
Daniel M. Ziegler, Nisan Stiennon, Jeffrey Wu, Tom B. Brown, Alec Radford, Dario Amodei, Paul Christiano, Geoffrey Irving

Reward learning enables the application of reinforcement learning (RL) to tasks where reward is defined by human judgment, building a model of reward by asking humans questions. Most work on reward learning has used simulated environments, but complex information about values is often expressed in natural language, and we believe reward learning for language is a key to making RL practical and safe for real-world tasks. In this paper, we build on advances in generative pretraining of language models to apply reward learning to four natural language tasks: continuing text with positive sentiment or physically descriptive language, and summarization tasks on the TL;DR and CNN/Daily Mail datasets. For stylistic continuation we achieve good results with only 5,000 comparisons evaluated by humans. For summarization, models trained with 60,000 comparisons copy whole sentences from the input but skip irrelevant preamble; this leads to reasonable ROUGE scores and very good performance according to our human labelers, but may be exploiting the fact that labelers rely on simple heuristics.

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Jointly embedding the local and global relations of heterogeneous graph for rumor detection

Sep 11, 2019
Chunyuan Yuan, Qianwen Ma, Wei Zhou, Jizhong Han, Songlin Hu

The development of social media has revolutionized the way people communicate, share information and make decisions, but it also provides an ideal platform for publishing and spreading rumors. Existing rumor detection methods focus on finding clues from text content, user profiles, and propagation patterns. However, the local semantic relation and global structural information in the message propagation graph have not been well utilized by previous works. In this paper, we present a novel global-local attention network (GLAN) for rumor detection, which jointly encodes the local semantic and global structural information. We first generate a better integrated representation for each source tweet by fusing the semantic information of related retweets with the attention mechanism. Then, we model the global relationships among all source tweets, retweets, and users as a heterogeneous graph to capture the rich structural information for rumor detection. We conduct experiments on three real-world datasets, and the results demonstrate that GLAN significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art models in both rumor detection and early detection scenarios.

* 10 pages, Accepted to the IEEE International Conference on Data Mining 2019 

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Kite: Automatic speech recognition for unmanned aerial vehicles

Jul 02, 2019
Dan Oneata, Horia Cucu

This paper addresses the problem of building a speech recognition system attuned to the control of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Even though UAVs are becoming widespread, the task of creating voice interfaces for them is largely unaddressed. To this end, we introduce a multi-modal evaluation dataset for UAV control, consisting of spoken commands and associated images, which represent the visual context of what the UAV "sees" when the pilot utters the command. We provide baseline results and address two research directions: (i) how robust the language models are, given an incomplete list of commands at train time; (ii) how to incorporate visual information in the language model. We find that recurrent neural networks (RNNs) are a solution to both tasks: they can be successfully adapted using a small number of commands and they can be extended to use visual cues. Our results show that the image-based RNN outperforms its text-only counterpart even if the command-image training associations are automatically generated and inherently imperfect. The dataset and our code are available at

* 5 pages, accepted at Interspeech 2019 

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Interconnected Question Generation with Coreference Alignment and Conversation Flow Modeling

Jun 17, 2019
Yifan Gao, Piji Li, Irwin King, Michael R. Lyu

We study the problem of generating interconnected questions in question-answering style conversations. Compared with previous works which generate questions based on a single sentence (or paragraph), this setting is different in two major aspects: (1) Questions are highly conversational. Almost half of them refer back to conversation history using coreferences. (2) In a coherent conversation, questions have smooth transitions between turns. We propose an end-to-end neural model with coreference alignment and conversation flow modeling. The coreference alignment modeling explicitly aligns coreferent mentions in conversation history with corresponding pronominal references in generated questions, which makes generated questions interconnected to conversation history. The conversation flow modeling builds a coherent conversation by starting questioning on the first few sentences in a text passage and smoothly shifting the focus to later parts. Extensive experiments show that our system outperforms several baselines and can generate highly conversational questions. The code implementation is released at

* ACL 2019 

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Representation Learning for Words and Entities

Jun 12, 2019
Pushpendre Rastogi

This thesis presents new methods for unsupervised learning of distributed representations of words and entities from text and knowledge bases. The first algorithm presented in the thesis is a multi-view algorithm for learning representations of words called Multiview Latent Semantic Analysis (MVLSA). By incorporating up to 46 different types of co-occurrence statistics for the same vocabulary of english words, I show that MVLSA outperforms other state-of-the-art word embedding models. Next, I focus on learning entity representations for search and recommendation and present the second method of this thesis, Neural Variational Set Expansion (NVSE). NVSE is also an unsupervised learning method, but it is based on the Variational Autoencoder framework. Evaluations with human annotators show that NVSE can facilitate better search and recommendation of information gathered from noisy, automatic annotation of unstructured natural language corpora. Finally, I move from unstructured data and focus on structured knowledge graphs. I present novel approaches for learning embeddings of vertices and edges in a knowledge graph that obey logical constraints.

* phd thesis, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing, Representation Learning, Knowledge Graphs, Entities, Word Embeddings, Entity Embeddings 

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Cross-Lingual Training for Automatic Question Generation

Jun 06, 2019
Vishwajeet Kumar, Nitish Joshi, Arijit Mukherjee, Ganesh Ramakrishnan, Preethi Jyothi

Automatic question generation (QG) is a challenging problem in natural language understanding. QG systems are typically built assuming access to a large number of training instances where each instance is a question and its corresponding answer. For a new language, such training instances are hard to obtain making the QG problem even more challenging. Using this as our motivation, we study the reuse of an available large QG dataset in a secondary language (e.g. English) to learn a QG model for a primary language (e.g. Hindi) of interest. For the primary language, we assume access to a large amount of monolingual text but only a small QG dataset. We propose a cross-lingual QG model which uses the following training regime: (i) Unsupervised pretraining of language models in both primary and secondary languages and (ii) joint supervised training for QG in both languages. We demonstrate the efficacy of our proposed approach using two different primary languages, Hindi and Chinese. We also create and release a new question answering dataset for Hindi consisting of 6555 sentences.

* ACL 2019 

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Transforming Complex Sentences into a Semantic Hierarchy

Jun 03, 2019
Christina Niklaus, Matthias Cetto, Andre Freitas, Siegfried Handschuh

We present an approach for recursively splitting and rephrasing complex English sentences into a novel semantic hierarchy of simplified sentences, with each of them presenting a more regular structure that may facilitate a wide variety of artificial intelligence tasks, such as machine translation (MT) or information extraction (IE). Using a set of hand-crafted transformation rules, input sentences are recursively transformed into a two-layered hierarchical representation in the form of core sentences and accompanying contexts that are linked via rhetorical relations. In this way, the semantic relationship of the decomposed constituents is preserved in the output, maintaining its interpretability for downstream applications. Both a thorough manual analysis and automatic evaluation across three datasets from two different domains demonstrate that the proposed syntactic simplification approach outperforms the state of the art in structural text simplification. Moreover, an extrinsic evaluation shows that when applying our framework as a preprocessing step the performance of state-of-the-art Open IE systems can be improved by up to 346% in precision and 52% in recall. To enable reproducible research, all code is provided online.

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Conversion Prediction Using Multi-task Conditional Attention Networks to Support the Creation of Effective Ad Creative

May 17, 2019
Shunsuke Kitada, Hitoshi Iyatomi, Yoshifumi Seki

Accurately predicting conversions in advertisements is generally a challenging task, because such conversions do not occur frequently. In this paper, we propose a new framework to support creating high-performing ad creatives, including the accurate prediction of ad creative text conversions before delivering to the consumer. The proposed framework includes three key ideas: multi-task learning, conditional attention, and attention highlighting. Multi-task learning is an idea for improving the prediction accuracy of conversion, which predicts clicks and conversions simultaneously, to solve the difficulty of data imbalance. Furthermore, conditional attention focuses attention of each ad creative with the consideration of its genre and target gender, thus improving conversion prediction accuracy. Attention highlighting visualizes important words and/or phrases based on conditional attention. We evaluated the proposed framework with actual delivery history data (14,000 creatives displayed more than a certain number of times from Gunosy Inc.), and confirmed that these ideas improve the prediction performance of conversions, and visualize noteworthy words according to the creatives' attributes.

* 9 pages, 6 figures. Accepted at The 25th ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (KDD 2019) as an applied data science paper 

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Multimodal Speech Emotion Recognition and Ambiguity Resolution

Apr 12, 2019
Gaurav Sahu

Identifying emotion from speech is a non-trivial task pertaining to the ambiguous definition of emotion itself. In this work, we adopt a feature-engineering based approach to tackle the task of speech emotion recognition. Formalizing our problem as a multi-class classification problem, we compare the performance of two categories of models. For both, we extract eight hand-crafted features from the audio signal. In the first approach, the extracted features are used to train six traditional machine learning classifiers, whereas the second approach is based on deep learning wherein a baseline feed-forward neural network and an LSTM-based classifier are trained over the same features. In order to resolve ambiguity in communication, we also include features from the text domain. We report accuracy, f-score, precision, and recall for the different experiment settings we evaluated our models in. Overall, we show that lighter machine learning based models trained over a few hand-crafted features are able to achieve performance comparable to the current deep learning based state-of-the-art method for emotion recognition.

* 9 pages 

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