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"Topic": models, code, and papers

A 'Gibbs-Newton' Technique for Enhanced Inference of Multivariate Polya Parameters and Topic Models

Feb 27, 2016
Osama Khalifa, David Wolfe Corne, Mike Chantler

Hyper-parameters play a major role in the learning and inference process of latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA). In order to begin the LDA latent variables learning process, these hyper-parameters values need to be pre-determined. We propose an extension for LDA that we call 'Latent Dirichlet allocation Gibbs Newton' (LDA-GN), which places non-informative priors over these hyper-parameters and uses Gibbs sampling to learn appropriate values for them. At the heart of LDA-GN is our proposed 'Gibbs-Newton' algorithm, which is a new technique for learning the parameters of multivariate Polya distributions. We report Gibbs-Newton performance results compared with two prominent existing approaches to the latter task: Minka's fixed-point iteration method and the Moments method. We then evaluate LDA-GN in two ways: (i) by comparing it with standard LDA in terms of the ability of the resulting topic models to generalize to unseen documents; (ii) by comparing it with standard LDA in its performance on a binary classification task.

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Estimating Confusions in the ASR Channel for Improved Topic-based Language Model Adaptation

Mar 21, 2013
Damianos Karakos, Mark Dredze, Sanjeev Khudanpur

Human language is a combination of elemental languages/domains/styles that change across and sometimes within discourses. Language models, which play a crucial role in speech recognizers and machine translation systems, are particularly sensitive to such changes, unless some form of adaptation takes place. One approach to speech language model adaptation is self-training, in which a language model's parameters are tuned based on automatically transcribed audio. However, transcription errors can misguide self-training, particularly in challenging settings such as conversational speech. In this work, we propose a model that considers the confusions (errors) of the ASR channel. By modeling the likely confusions in the ASR output instead of using just the 1-best, we improve self-training efficacy by obtaining a more reliable reference transcription estimate. We demonstrate improved topic-based language modeling adaptation results over both 1-best and lattice self-training using our ASR channel confusion estimates on telephone conversations.

* Technical Report 8, Human Language Technology Center of Excellence, Johns Hopkins University 

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Efficiently Teaching an Effective Dense Retriever with Balanced Topic Aware Sampling

Apr 14, 2021
Sebastian Hofstätter, Sheng-Chieh Lin, Jheng-Hong Yang, Jimmy Lin, Allan Hanbury

A vital step towards the widespread adoption of neural retrieval models is their resource efficiency throughout the training, indexing and query workflows. The neural IR community made great advancements in training effective dual-encoder dense retrieval (DR) models recently. A dense text retrieval model uses a single vector representation per query and passage to score a match, which enables low-latency first stage retrieval with a nearest neighbor search. Increasingly common, training approaches require enormous compute power, as they either conduct negative passage sampling out of a continuously updating refreshing index or require very large batch sizes for in-batch negative sampling. Instead of relying on more compute capability, we introduce an efficient topic-aware query and balanced margin sampling technique, called TAS-Balanced. We cluster queries once before training and sample queries out of a cluster per batch. We train our lightweight 6-layer DR model with a novel dual-teacher supervision that combines pairwise and in-batch negative teachers. Our method is trainable on a single consumer-grade GPU in under 48 hours (as opposed to a common configuration of 8x V100s). We show that our TAS-Balanced training method achieves state-of-the-art low-latency (64ms per query) results on two TREC Deep Learning Track query sets. Evaluated on [email protected], we outperform BM25 by 44%, a plainly trained DR by 19%, docT5query by 11%, and the previous best DR model by 5%. Additionally, TAS-Balanced produces the first dense retriever that outperforms every other method on recall at any cutoff on TREC-DL and allows more resource intensive re-ranking models to operate on fewer passages to improve results further.

* Accepted at SIGIR 2021 (Full Paper track) 

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Learning beyond Predefined Label Space via Bayesian Nonparametric Topic Modelling

Oct 10, 2019
Changying Du, Fuzhen Zhuang, Jia He, Qing He, Guoping Long

In real world machine learning applications, testing data may contain some meaningful new categories that have not been seen in labeled training data. To simultaneously recognize new data categories and assign most appropriate category labels to the data actually from known categories, existing models assume the number of unknown new categories is pre-specified, though it is difficult to determine in advance. In this paper, we propose a Bayesian nonparametric topic model to automatically infer this number, based on the hierarchical Dirichlet process and the notion of latent Dirichlet allocation. Exact inference in our model is intractable, so we provide an efficient collapsed Gibbs sampling algorithm for approximate posterior inference. Extensive experiments on various text data sets show that: (a) compared with parametric approaches that use pre-specified true number of new categories, the proposed nonparametric approach can yield comparable performance; and (b) when the exact number of new categories is unavailable, i.e. the parametric approaches only have a rough idea about the new categories, our approach has evident performance advantages.

* Learning beyond predefined labels; Generalized zero-shot learning; Semi-supervised learning; Generative model; Nonparametric Bayesian learning; Hierarchical Dirichlet process; Topic modelling; Collapsed Gibbs sampling 

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KazakhTTS2: Extending the Open-Source Kazakh TTS Corpus With More Data, Speakers, and Topics

Jan 15, 2022
Saida Mussakhojayeva, Yerbolat Khassanov, Huseyin Atakan Varol

We present an expanded version of our previously released Kazakh text-to-speech (KazakhTTS) synthesis corpus. In the new KazakhTTS2 corpus, the overall size is increased from 93 hours to 271 hours, the number of speakers has risen from two to five (three females and two males), and the topic coverage is diversified with the help of new sources, including a book and Wikipedia articles. This corpus is necessary for building high-quality TTS systems for Kazakh, a Central Asian agglutinative language from the Turkic family, which presents several linguistic challenges. We describe the corpus construction process and provide the details of the training and evaluation procedures for the TTS system. Our experimental results indicate that the constructed corpus is sufficient to build robust TTS models for real-world applications, with a subjective mean opinion score of above 4.0 for all the five speakers. We believe that our corpus will facilitate speech and language research for Kazakh and other Turkic languages, which are widely considered to be low-resource due to the limited availability of free linguistic data. The constructed corpus, code, and pretrained models are publicly available in our GitHub repository.

* 8 pages, 2 figures, 5 tables 

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Transformer over Pre-trained Transformer for Neural Text Segmentation with Enhanced Topic Coherence

Oct 14, 2021
Kelvin Lo, Yuan Jin, Weicong Tan, Ming Liu, Lan Du, Wray Buntine

This paper proposes a transformer over transformer framework, called Transformer$^2$, to perform neural text segmentation. It consists of two components: bottom-level sentence encoders using pre-trained transformers, and an upper-level transformer-based segmentation model based on the sentence embeddings. The bottom-level component transfers the pre-trained knowledge learned from large external corpora under both single and pair-wise supervised NLP tasks to model the sentence embeddings for the documents. Given the sentence embeddings, the upper-level transformer is trained to recover the segmentation boundaries as well as the topic labels of each sentence. Equipped with a multi-task loss and the pre-trained knowledge, Transformer$^2$ can better capture the semantic coherence within the same segments. Our experiments show that (1) Transformer$^2$ manages to surpass state-of-the-art text segmentation models in terms of a commonly-used semantic coherence measure; (2) in most cases, both single and pair-wise pre-trained knowledge contribute to the model performance; (3) bottom-level sentence encoders pre-trained on specific languages yield better performance than those pre-trained on specific domains.

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Joint Topic Modeling and Factor Analysis of Textual Information and Graded Response Data

May 10, 2013
Andrew S. Lan, Christoph Studer, Andrew E. Waters, Richard G. Baraniuk

Modern machine learning methods are critical to the development of large-scale personalized learning systems that cater directly to the needs of individual learners. The recently developed SPARse Factor Analysis (SPARFA) framework provides a new statistical model and algorithms for machine learning-based learning analytics, which estimate a learner's knowledge of the latent concepts underlying a domain, and content analytics, which estimate the relationships among a collection of questions and the latent concepts. SPARFA estimates these quantities given only the binary-valued graded responses to a collection of questions. In order to better interpret the estimated latent concepts, SPARFA relies on a post-processing step that utilizes user-defined tags (e.g., topics or keywords) available for each question. In this paper, we relax the need for user-defined tags by extending SPARFA to jointly process both graded learner responses and the text of each question and its associated answer(s) or other feedback. Our purely data-driven approach (i) enhances the interpretability of the estimated latent concepts without the need of explicitly generating a set of tags or performing a post-processing step, (ii) improves the prediction performance of SPARFA, and (iii) scales to large test/assessments where human annotation would prove burdensome. We demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed approach on two real educational datasets.

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Leveraging Topics and Audio Features with Multimodal Attention for Audio Visual Scene-Aware Dialog

Dec 20, 2019
Shachi H Kumar, Eda Okur, Saurav Sahay, Jonathan Huang, Lama Nachman

With the recent advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA) such as Alexa, Google Home, etc., have become a ubiquitous part of many homes. Currently, such IVAs are mostly audio-based, but going forward, we are witnessing a confluence of vision, speech and dialog system technologies that are enabling the IVAs to learn audio-visual groundings of utterances. This will enable agents to have conversations with users about the objects, activities and events surrounding them. In this work, we present three main architectural explorations for the Audio Visual Scene-Aware Dialog (AVSD): 1) investigating `topics' of the dialog as an important contextual feature for the conversation, 2) exploring several multimodal attention mechanisms during response generation, 3) incorporating an end-to-end audio classification ConvNet, AclNet, into our architecture. We discuss detailed analysis of the experimental results and show that our model variations outperform the baseline system presented for the AVSD task.

* Presented at the 3rd Visually Grounded Interaction and Language (ViGIL) Workshop, NeurIPS 2019, Vancouver, Canada. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1812.08407 

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Personalized, Health-Aware Recipe Recommendation: An Ensemble Topic Modeling Based Approach

Jul 31, 2019
Mansura A. Khan, Ellen Rushe, Barry Smyth, David Coyle

Food choices are personal and complex and have a significant impact on our long-term health and quality of life. By helping users to make informed and satisfying decisions, Recommender Systems (RS) have the potential to support users in making healthier food choices. Intelligent users-modeling is a key challenge in achieving this potential. This paper investigates Ensemble Topic Modelling (EnsTM) based Feature Identification techniques for efficient user-modeling and recipe recommendation. It builds on findings in EnsTM to propose a reduced data representation format and a smart user-modeling strategy that makes capturing user-preference fast, efficient and interactive. This approach enables personalization, even in a cold-start scenario. This paper proposes two different EnsTM based and one Hybrid EnsTM based recommenders. We compared all three EnsTM based variations through a user study with 48 participants, using a large-scale,real-world corpus of 230,876 recipes, and compare against a conventional Content Based (CB) approach. EnsTM based recommenders performed significantly better than the CB approach. Besides acknowledging multi-domain contents such as taste, demographics and cost, our proposed approach also considers user's nutritional preference and assists them finding recipes under diverse nutritional categories. Furthermore, it provides excellent coverage and enables implicit understanding of user's food practices. Subsequent analysis also exposed correlation between certain features and a healthier lifestyle.

* This is a pre-print version of the accepted full-paper in HealthRecsys2019 workshop ( The final version of the article would be published in the workshop preceding 

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Identifying Structures in Social Conversations in NSCLC Patients through the Semi-Automatic extraction of Topical Taxonomies

Feb 12, 2016
Giancarlo Crocetti, Amir A. Delay, Fatemeh Seyedmendhi

The exploration of social conversations for addressing patient's needs is an important analytical task in which many scholarly publications are contributing to fill the knowledge gap in this area. The main difficulty remains the inability to turn such contributions into pragmatic processes the pharmaceutical industry can leverage in order to generate insight from social media data, which can be considered as one of the most challenging source of information available today due to its sheer volume and noise. This study is based on the work by Scott Spangler and Jeffrey Kreulen and applies it to identify structure in social media through the extraction of a topical taxonomy able to capture the latent knowledge in social conversations in health-related sites. The mechanism for automatically identifying and generating a taxonomy from social conversations is developed and pressured tested using public data from media sites focused on the needs of cancer patients and their families. Moreover, a novel method for generating the category's label and the determination of an optimal number of categories is presented which extends Scott and Jeffrey's research in a meaningful way. We assume the reader is familiar with taxonomies, what they are and how they are used.

* Journal of Engineering Research and Applications, Vol. 6, Issue 1, January 2016, pp.20-26 
* 7 pages, 7 figures, 1 table 

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