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Multi-source Neural Topic Modeling in Multi-view Embedding Spaces

Apr 17, 2021
Pankaj Gupta, Yatin Chaudhary, Hinrich Schütze

Though word embeddings and topics are complementary representations, several past works have only used pretrained word embeddings in (neural) topic modeling to address data sparsity in short-text or small collection of documents. This work presents a novel neural topic modeling framework using multi-view embedding spaces: (1) pretrained topic-embeddings, and (2) pretrained word-embeddings (context insensitive from Glove and context-sensitive from BERT models) jointly from one or many sources to improve topic quality and better deal with polysemy. In doing so, we first build respective pools of pretrained topic (i.e., TopicPool) and word embeddings (i.e., WordPool). We then identify one or more relevant source domain(s) and transfer knowledge to guide meaningful learning in the sparse target domain. Within neural topic modeling, we quantify the quality of topics and document representations via generalization (perplexity), interpretability (topic coherence) and information retrieval (IR) using short-text, long-text, small and large document collections from news and medical domains. Introducing the multi-source multi-view embedding spaces, we have shown state-of-the-art neural topic modeling using 6 source (high-resource) and 5 target (low-resource) corpora.

* NAACL2021, 13 pages, 14 tables, 2 figures. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1909.06563 

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Supporting verification of news articles with automated search for semantically similar articles

Mar 29, 2021
Vishwani Gupta, Katharina Beckh, Sven Giesselbach, Dennis Wegener, Tim Wirtz

Fake information poses one of the major threats for society in the 21st century. Identifying misinformation has become a key challenge due to the amount of fake news that is published daily. Yet, no approach is established that addresses the dynamics and versatility of fake news editorials. Instead of classifying content, we propose an evidence retrieval approach to handle fake news. The learning task is formulated as an unsupervised machine learning problem. For validation purpose, we provide the user with a set of news articles from reliable news sources supporting the hypothesis of the news article in query and the final decision is left to the user. Technically we propose a two-step process: (i) Aggregation-step: With information extracted from the given text we query for similar content from reliable news sources. (ii) Refining-step: We narrow the supporting evidence down by measuring the semantic distance of the text with the collection from step (i). The distance is calculated based on Word2Vec and the Word Mover's Distance. In our experiments, only content that is below a certain distance threshold is considered as supporting evidence. We find that our approach is agnostic to concept drifts, i.e. the machine learning task is independent of the hypotheses in a text. This makes it highly adaptable in times where fake news is as diverse as classical news is. Our pipeline offers the possibility for further analysis in the future, such as investigating bias and differences in news reporting.

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Detecting and Exorcising Statistical Demons from Language Models with Anti-Models of Negative Data

Oct 22, 2020
Michael L. Wick, Kate Silverstein, Jean-Baptiste Tristan, Adam Pocock, Mark Johnson

It's been said that "Language Models are Unsupervised Multitask Learners." Indeed, self-supervised language models trained on "positive" examples of English text generalize in desirable ways to many natural language tasks. But if such models can stray so far from an initial self-supervision objective, a wayward model might generalize in undesirable ways too, say to nonsensical "negative" examples of unnatural language. A key question in this work is: do language models trained on (positive) training data also generalize to (negative) test data? We use this question as a contrivance to assess the extent to which language models learn undesirable properties of text, such as n-grams, that might interfere with the learning of more desirable properties of text, such as syntax. We find that within a model family, as the number of parameters, training epochs, and data set size increase, so does a model's ability to generalize to negative n-gram data, indicating standard self-supervision generalizes too far. We propose a form of inductive bias that attenuates such undesirable signals with negative data distributions automatically learned from positive data. We apply the method to remove n-gram signals from LSTMs and find that doing so causes them to favor syntactic signals, as demonstrated by large error reductions (up to 46% on the hardest cases) on a syntactic subject-verb agreement task.

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Reflective Decoding: Unsupervised Paraphrasing and Abductive Reasoning

Oct 16, 2020
Peter West, Ximing Lu, Ari Holtzman, Chandra Bhagavatula, Jena Hwang, Yejin Choi

Pretrained Language Models (LMs) generate text with remarkable quality, novelty,and coherence. Yet applying LMs to the problems of paraphrasing and infilling currently requires direct supervision, since these tasks break the left-to-right generation setup of pretrained LMs. We present Reflective Decoding, a novel unsupervised approach to apply the capabilities of pretrained LMs to non-sequential tasks. Our approach is general and applicable to two distant tasks - paraphrasing and abductive reasoning. It requires no supervision or parallel corpora, only two pretrained language models: forward and backward. Reflective Decoding operates in two intuitive steps. In the contextualization step, we use LMs to generate many left and right contexts which collectively capture the meaning of the input sentence. Then, in the reflection step we decode in the semantic neighborhood of the input, conditioning on an ensemble of generated contexts with the reverse direction LM. We reflect through the generated contexts, effectively using them as an intermediate meaning representation to generate conditional output. Empirical results demonstrate that Reflective Decoding outperforms strong unsupervised baselines on both paraphrasing and abductive text infilling, significantly narrowing the gap between unsupervised and supervised methods.Reflective Decoding introduces the concept of using generated contexts to represent meaning, opening up new possibilities for unsupervised conditional text generation.

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Simultaneous Semantic Alignment Network for Heterogeneous Domain Adaptation

Aug 05, 2020
Shuang Li, Binhui Xie, Jiashu Wu, Ying Zhao, Chi Harold Liu, Zhengming Ding

Heterogeneous domain adaptation (HDA) transfers knowledge across source and target domains that present heterogeneities e.g., distinct domain distributions and difference in feature type or dimension. Most previous HDA methods tackle this problem through learning a domain-invariant feature subspace to reduce the discrepancy between domains. However, the intrinsic semantic properties contained in data are under-explored in such alignment strategy, which is also indispensable to achieve promising adaptability. In this paper, we propose a Simultaneous Semantic Alignment Network (SSAN) to simultaneously exploit correlations among categories and align the centroids for each category across domains. In particular, we propose an implicit semantic correlation loss to transfer the correlation knowledge of source categorical prediction distributions to target domain. Meanwhile, by leveraging target pseudo-labels, a robust triplet-centroid alignment mechanism is explicitly applied to align feature representations for each category. Notably, a pseudo-label refinement procedure with geometric similarity involved is introduced to enhance the target pseudo-label assignment accuracy. Comprehensive experiments on various HDA tasks across text-to-image, image-to-image and text-to-text successfully validate the superiority of our SSAN against state-of-the-art HDA methods. The code is publicly available at

* Accepted at ACM MM 2020 

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Hybrid Attention-Based Transformer Block Model for Distant Supervision Relation Extraction

Mar 26, 2020
Yan Xiao, Yaochu Jin, Ran Cheng, Kuangrong Hao

With an exponential explosive growth of various digital text information, it is challenging to efficiently obtain specific knowledge from massive unstructured text information. As one basic task for natural language processing (NLP), relation extraction aims to extract the semantic relation between entity pairs based on the given text. To avoid manual labeling of datasets, distant supervision relation extraction (DSRE) has been widely used, aiming to utilize knowledge base to automatically annotate datasets. Unfortunately, this method heavily suffers from wrong labelling due to the underlying strong assumptions. To address this issue, we propose a new framework using hybrid attention-based Transformer block with multi-instance learning to perform the DSRE task. More specifically, the Transformer block is firstly used as the sentence encoder to capture syntactic information of sentences, which mainly utilizes multi-head self-attention to extract features from word level. Then, a more concise sentence-level attention mechanism is adopted to constitute the bag representation, aiming to incorporate valid information of each sentence to effectively represent the bag. Experimental results on the public dataset New York Times (NYT) demonstrate that the proposed approach can outperform the state-of-the-art algorithms on the evaluation dataset, which verifies the effectiveness of our model for the DSRE task.

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From Topic Networks to Distributed Cognitive Maps: Zipfian Topic Universes in the Area of Volunteered Geographic Information

Feb 04, 2020
Alexander Mehler, Rüdiger Gleim, Regina Gaitsch, Wahed Hemati, Tolga Uslu

Are nearby places (e.g. cities) described by related words? In this article we transfer this research question in the field of lexical encoding of geographic information onto the level of intertextuality. To this end, we explore Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI) to model texts addressing places at the level of cities or regions with the help of so-called topic networks. This is done to examine how language encodes and networks geographic information on the aboutness level of texts. Our hypothesis is that the networked thematizations of places are similar - regardless of their distances and the underlying communities of authors. To investigate this we introduce Multiplex Topic Networks (MTN), which we automatically derive from Linguistic Multilayer Networks (LMN) as a novel model, especially of thematic networking in text corpora. Our study shows a Zipfian organization of the thematic universe in which geographical places (especially cities) are located in online communication. We interpret this finding in the context of cognitive maps, a notion which we extend by so-called thematic maps. According to our interpretation of this finding, the organization of thematic maps as part of cognitive maps results from a tendency of authors to generate shareable content that ensures the continued existence of the underlying media. We test our hypothesis by example of special wikis and extracts of Wikipedia. In this way we come to the conclusion: Places, whether close to each other or not, are located in neighboring places that span similar subnetworks in the topic universe.

* 65 pages, 27 figures 

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Telephonetic: Making Neural Language Models Robust to ASR and Semantic Noise

Jun 13, 2019
Chris Larson, Tarek Lahlou, Diana Mingels, Zachary Kulis, Erik Mueller

Speech processing systems rely on robust feature extraction to handle phonetic and semantic variations found in natural language. While techniques exist for desensitizing features to common noise patterns produced by Speech-to-Text (STT) and Text-to-Speech (TTS) systems, the question remains how to best leverage state-of-the-art language models (which capture rich semantic features, but are trained on only written text) on inputs with ASR errors. In this paper, we present Telephonetic, a data augmentation framework that helps robustify language model features to ASR corrupted inputs. To capture phonetic alterations, we employ a character-level language model trained using probabilistic masking. Phonetic augmentations are generated in two stages: a TTS encoder (Tacotron 2, WaveGlow) and a STT decoder (DeepSpeech). Similarly, semantic perturbations are produced by sampling from nearby words in an embedding space, which is computed using the BERT language model. Words are selected for augmentation according to a hierarchical grammar sampling strategy. Telephonetic is evaluated on the Penn Treebank (PTB) corpus, and demonstrates its effectiveness as a bootstrapping technique for transferring neural language models to the speech domain. Notably, our language model achieves a test perplexity of 37.49 on PTB, which to our knowledge is state-of-the-art among models trained only on PTB.

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Beyond Zipf's law: Modeling the structure of human language

Feb 03, 2009
M. Angeles Serrano, Alessandro Flammini, Filippo Menczer

Human language, the most powerful communication system in history, is closely associated with cognition. Written text is one of the fundamental manifestations of language, and the study of its universal regularities can give clues about how our brains process information and how we, as a society, organize and share it. Still, only classical patterns such as Zipf's law have been explored in depth. In contrast, other basic properties like the existence of bursts of rare words in specific documents, the topical organization of collections, or the sublinear growth of vocabulary size with the length of a document, have only been studied one by one and mainly applying heuristic methodologies rather than basic principles and general mechanisms. As a consequence, there is a lack of understanding of linguistic processes as complex emergent phenomena. Beyond Zipf's law for word frequencies, here we focus on Heaps' law, burstiness, and the topicality of document collections, which encode correlations within and across documents absent in random null models. We introduce and validate a generative model that explains the simultaneous emergence of all these patterns from simple rules. As a result, we find a connection between the bursty nature of rare words and the topical organization of texts and identify dynamic word ranking and memory across documents as key mechanisms explaining the non trivial organization of written text. Our research can have broad implications and practical applications in computer science, cognitive science, and linguistics.

* 9 pages, 4 figures 

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Cross-speaker Style Transfer with Prosody Bottleneck in Neural Speech Synthesis

Jul 27, 2021
Shifeng Pan, Lei He

Cross-speaker style transfer is crucial to the applications of multi-style and expressive speech synthesis at scale. It does not require the target speakers to be experts in expressing all styles and to collect corresponding recordings for model training. However, the performances of existing style transfer methods are still far behind real application needs. The root causes are mainly twofold. Firstly, the style embedding extracted from single reference speech can hardly provide fine-grained and appropriate prosody information for arbitrary text to synthesize. Secondly, in these models the content/text, prosody, and speaker timbre are usually highly entangled, it's therefore not realistic to expect a satisfied result when freely combining these components, such as to transfer speaking style between speakers. In this paper, we propose a cross-speaker style transfer text-to-speech (TTS) model with explicit prosody bottleneck. The prosody bottleneck builds up the kernels accounting for speaking style robustly, and disentangles the prosody from content and speaker timbre, therefore guarantees high quality cross-speaker style transfer. Evaluation result shows the proposed method even achieves on-par performance with source speaker's speaker-dependent (SD) model in objective measurement of prosody, and significantly outperforms the cycle consistency and GMVAE-based baselines in objective and subjective evaluations.

* in Proceedings of INTERSPEECH 2021 

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