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Sequential Learning of Convolutional Features for Effective Text Classification

Aug 30, 2019
Avinash Madasu, Vijjini Anvesh Rao

Text classification has been one of the major problems in natural language processing. With the advent of deep learning, convolutional neural network (CNN) has been a popular solution to this task. However, CNNs which were first proposed for images, face many crucial challenges in the context of text processing, namely in their elementary blocks: convolution filters and max pooling. These challenges have largely been overlooked by the most existing CNN models proposed for text classification. In this paper, we present an experimental study on the fundamental blocks of CNNs in text categorization. Based on this critique, we propose Sequential Convolutional Attentive Recurrent Network (SCARN). The proposed SCARN model utilizes both the advantages of recurrent and convolutional structures efficiently in comparison to previously proposed recurrent convolutional models. We test our model on different text classification datasets across tasks like sentiment analysis and question classification. Extensive experiments establish that SCARN outperforms other recurrent convolutional architectures with significantly less parameters. Furthermore, SCARN achieves better performance compared to equally large various deep CNN and LSTM architectures.

* Accepted Long Paper at EMNLP-IJCNLP 2019, Hong Kong, China 

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Attacking Neural Text Detectors

Feb 19, 2020
Max Wolff

Machine learning based language models have recently made significant progress, which introduces a danger to spread misinformation. To combat this potential danger, several methods have been proposed for detecting text written by these language models. This paper presents two classes of black-box attacks on these detectors, one which randomly replaces characters with homoglyphs, and the other a simple scheme to purposefully misspell words. The homoglyph and misspelling attacks decrease a popular neural text detector's recall on neural text from 97.44% to 0.26% and 22.68%, respectively. Results also indicate that the attacks are transferable to other neural text detectors.


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Parallel Scale-wise Attention Network for Effective Scene Text Recognition

Apr 25, 2021
Usman Sajid, Michael Chow, Jin Zhang, Taejoon Kim, Guanghui Wang

The paper proposes a new text recognition network for scene-text images. Many state-of-the-art methods employ the attention mechanism either in the text encoder or decoder for the text alignment. Although the encoder-based attention yields promising results, these schemes inherit noticeable limitations. They perform the feature extraction (FE) and visual attention (VA) sequentially, which bounds the attention mechanism to rely only on the FE final single-scale output. Moreover, the utilization of the attention process is limited by only applying it directly to the single scale feature-maps. To address these issues, we propose a new multi-scale and encoder-based attention network for text recognition that performs the multi-scale FE and VA in parallel. The multi-scale channels also undergo regular fusion with each other to develop the coordinated knowledge together. Quantitative evaluation and robustness analysis on the standard benchmarks demonstrate that the proposed network outperforms the state-of-the-art in most cases.


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Neural data-to-text generation: A comparison between pipeline and end-to-end architectures

Aug 23, 2019
Thiago Castro Ferreira, Chris van der Lee, Emiel van Miltenburg, Emiel Krahmer

Traditionally, most data-to-text applications have been designed using a modular pipeline architecture, in which non-linguistic input data is converted into natural language through several intermediate transformations. In contrast, recent neural models for data-to-text generation have been proposed as end-to-end approaches, where the non-linguistic input is rendered in natural language with much less explicit intermediate representations in-between. This study introduces a systematic comparison between neural pipeline and end-to-end data-to-text approaches for the generation of text from RDF triples. Both architectures were implemented making use of state-of-the art deep learning methods as the encoder-decoder Gated-Recurrent Units (GRU) and Transformer. Automatic and human evaluations together with a qualitative analysis suggest that having explicit intermediate steps in the generation process results in better texts than the ones generated by end-to-end approaches. Moreover, the pipeline models generalize better to unseen inputs. Data and code are publicly available.

* Preprint version of the EMNLP 2019 article 

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On Metric Learning for Audio-Text Cross-Modal Retrieval

Apr 13, 2022
Xinhao Mei, Xubo Liu, Jianyuan Sun, Mark D. Plumbley, Wenwu Wang

Audio-text retrieval aims at retrieving a target audio clip or caption from a pool of candidates given a query in another modality. Solving such cross-modal retrieval task is challenging because it not only requires learning robust feature representations for both modalities, but also requires capturing the fine-grained alignment between these two modalities. Existing cross-modal retrieval models are mostly optimized by metric learning objectives as both of them attempt to map data to an embedding space, where similar data are close together and dissimilar data are far apart. Unlike other cross-modal retrieval tasks such as image-text and video-text retrievals, audio-text retrieval is still an unexplored task. In this work, we aim to study the impact of different metric learning objectives on the audio-text retrieval task. We present an extensive evaluation of popular metric learning objectives on the AudioCaps and Clotho datasets. We demonstrate that NT-Xent loss adapted from self-supervised learning shows stable performance across different datasets and training settings, and outperforms the popular triplet-based losses.

* 5 pages, submitted to InterSpeech2022 

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Data-Driven Mitigation of Adversarial Text Perturbation

Feb 19, 2022
Rasika Bhalerao, Mohammad Al-Rubaie, Anand Bhaskar, Igor Markov

Social networks have become an indispensable part of our lives, with billions of people producing ever-increasing amounts of text. At such scales, content policies and their enforcement become paramount. To automate moderation, questionable content is detected by Natural Language Processing (NLP) classifiers. However, high-performance classifiers are hampered by misspellings and adversarial text perturbations. In this paper, we classify intentional and unintentional adversarial text perturbation into ten types and propose a deobfuscation pipeline to make NLP models robust to such perturbations. We propose Continuous Word2Vec (CW2V), our data-driven method to learn word embeddings that ensures that perturbations of words have embeddings similar to those of the original words. We show that CW2V embeddings are generally more robust to text perturbations than embeddings based on character ngrams. Our robust classification pipeline combines deobfuscation and classification, using proposed defense methods and word embeddings to classify whether Facebook posts are requesting engagement such as likes. Our pipeline results in engagement bait classification that goes from 0.70 to 0.67 AUC with adversarial text perturbation, while character ngram-based word embedding methods result in downstream classification that goes from 0.76 to 0.64.


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Learning Semantic Similarity for Very Short Texts

Dec 02, 2015
Cedric De Boom, Steven Van Canneyt, Steven Bohez, Thomas Demeester, Bart Dhoedt

Levering data on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, requires information retrieval algorithms to become able to relate very short text fragments to each other. Traditional text similarity methods such as tf-idf cosine-similarity, based on word overlap, mostly fail to produce good results in this case, since word overlap is little or non-existent. Recently, distributed word representations, or word embeddings, have been shown to successfully allow words to match on the semantic level. In order to pair short text fragments - as a concatenation of separate words - an adequate distributed sentence representation is needed, in existing literature often obtained by naively combining the individual word representations. We therefore investigated several text representations as a combination of word embeddings in the context of semantic pair matching. This paper investigates the effectiveness of several such naive techniques, as well as traditional tf-idf similarity, for fragments of different lengths. Our main contribution is a first step towards a hybrid method that combines the strength of dense distributed representations - as opposed to sparse term matching - with the strength of tf-idf based methods to automatically reduce the impact of less informative terms. Our new approach outperforms the existing techniques in a toy experimental set-up, leading to the conclusion that the combination of word embeddings and tf-idf information might lead to a better model for semantic content within very short text fragments.

* 6 pages, 5 figures, 3 tables, ReLSD workshop at ICDM 15 

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Extracting information from free text through unsupervised graph-based clustering: an application to patient incident records

Aug 31, 2019
M. Tarik Altuncu, Eloise Sorin, Joshua D. Symons, Erik Mayer, Sophia N. Yaliraki, Francesca Toni, Mauricio Barahona

The large volume of text in electronic healthcare records often remains underused due to a lack of methodologies to extract interpretable content. Here we present an unsupervised framework for the analysis of free text that combines text-embedding with paragraph vectors and graph-theoretical multiscale community detection. We analyse text from a corpus of patient incident reports from the National Health Service in England to find content-based clusters of reports in an unsupervised manner and at different levels of resolution. Our unsupervised method extracts groups with high intrinsic textual consistency and compares well against categories hand-coded by healthcare personnel. We also show how to use our content-driven clusters to improve the supervised prediction of the degree of harm of the incident based on the text of the report. Finally, we discuss future directions to monitor reports over time, and to detect emerging trends outside pre-existing categories.

* To appear as a book chapter 

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Controllable Artistic Text Style Transfer via Shape-Matching GAN

May 03, 2019
Shuai Yang, Zhangyang Wang, Zhaowen Wang, Ning Xu, Jiaying Liu, Zongming Guo

Artistic text style transfer is the task of migrating the style from a source image to the target text to create artistic typography. Recent style transfer methods have considered texture control to enhance usability. However, controlling the stylistic degree in terms of shape deformation remains an important open challenge. In this paper, we present the first text style transfer network that allows for real-time control of the crucial stylistic degree of the glyph through an adjustable parameter. Our key contribution is a novel bidirectional shape matching framework to establish an effective glyph-style mapping at various deformation levels without paired ground truth. Based on this idea, we propose a scale-controllable module to empower a single network to continuously characterize the multi-scale shape features of the style image and transfer these features to the target text. The proposed method demonstrates its superiority over previous state-of-the-arts in generating diverse, controllable and high-quality stylized text.


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Extracting Formal Models from Normative Texts

Jul 06, 2016
John J. Camilleri, Normunds Gruzitis, Gerardo Schneider

Normative texts are documents based on the deontic notions of obligation, permission, and prohibition. Our goal is to model such texts using the C-O Diagram formalism, making them amenable to formal analysis, in particular verifying that a text satisfies properties concerning causality of actions and timing constraints. We present an experimental, semi-automatic aid to bridge the gap between a normative text and its formal representation. Our approach uses dependency trees combined with our own rules and heuristics for extracting the relevant components. The resulting tabular data can then be converted into a C-O Diagram.

* Natural Language Processing and Information Systems, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 9612, Springer, 2016, pp. 403-408 

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