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Incidental Supervision: Moving beyond Supervised Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Machine Learning and Inference methods have become ubiquitous in our attempt to induce more abstract representations of natural language text, visual scenes, and other messy, naturally occurring data, and support decisions that depend on it. However, learning models for these tasks is difficult partly because generating the necessary supervision signals for it is costly and does not scale. This paper describes several learning paradigms that are designed to alleviate the supervision bottleneck. It will illustrate their benefit in the context of multiple problems, all pertaining to inducing various levels of semantic representations from text.


Incidental Supervision: Moving beyond Supervised Learning

AAAI Conferences

Machine Learning and Inference methods have become ubiquitous in our attempt to induce more abstract representations of natural language text, visual scenes, and other messy, naturally occurring data, and support decisions that depend on it. However, learning models for these tasks is difficult partly because generating the necessary supervision signals for it is costly and does not scale. This paper describes several learning paradigms that are designed to alleviate the supervision bottleneck. It will illustrate their benefit in the context of multiple problems, all pertaining to inducing various levels of semantic representations from text. In particular, we discuss (i) esponse Driven Learning of models, a learning protocol that supports inducing meaning representations simply by observing the model's behavior in its environment, (ii) the exploitation of Incidental Supervision signals that exist in the data, independently of the task at hand, to learn models that identify and classify semantic predicates, and (iii) the use of weak supervision to combine simple models to support global decisions where joint supervision is not available.


Few-Shot Learning with Per-Sample Rich Supervision

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Learning with few samples is a major challenge for parameter-rich models like deep networks. In contrast, people learn complex new concepts even from very few examples, suggesting that the sample complexity of learning can often be reduced. Many approaches to few-shot learning build on transferring a representation from well-sampled classes, or using meta learning to favor architectures that can learn with few samples. Unfortunately, such approaches often struggle when learning in an online way or with non-stationary data streams. Here we describe a new approach to learn with fewer samples, by using additional information that is provided per sample. Specifically, we show how the sample complexity can be reduced by providing semantic information about the relevance of features per sample, like information about the presence of objects in a scene or confidence of detecting attributes in an image. We provide an improved generalization error bound for this case. We cast the problem of using per-sample feature relevance by using a new ellipsoid-margin loss, and develop an online algorithm that minimizes this loss effectively. Empirical evaluation on two machine vision benchmarks for scene classification and fine-grain bird classification demonstrate the benefits of this approach for few-shot learning.


Birds have four legs?! NumerSense: Probing Numerical Commonsense Knowledge of Pre-trained Language Models

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recent works show that pre-trained language models (PTLMs), such as BERT, possess certain commonsense and factual knowledge. They suggest that it is promising to use PTLMs as "neural knowledge bases" via predicting masked words. Surprisingly, we find that this may not work for numerical commonsense knowledge (e.g., a bird usually has two legs). In this paper, we investigate whether and to what extent we can induce numerical commonsense knowledge from PTLMs as well as the robustness of this process. To study this, we introduce a novel probing task with a diagnostic dataset, NumerSense, containing 13.6k masked-word-prediction probes (10.5k for fine-tuning and 3.1k for testing). Our analysis reveals that: (1) BERT and its stronger variant RoBERTa perform poorly on the diagnostic dataset prior to any fine-tuning; (2) fine-tuning with distant supervision brings some improvement; (3) the best supervised model still performs poorly as compared to human performance (54.06% vs 96.3% in accuracy).


Ultra-Fine Entity Typing

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

We introduce a new entity typing task: given a sentence with an entity mention, the goal is to predict a set of free-form phrases (e.g. skyscraper, songwriter, or criminal) that describe appropriate types for the target entity. This formulation allows us to use a new type of distant supervision at large scale: head words, which indicate the type of the noun phrases they appear in. We show that these ultra-fine types can be crowd-sourced, and introduce new evaluation sets that are much more diverse and fine-grained than existing benchmarks. We present a model that can predict open types, and is trained using a multitask objective that pools our new head-word supervision with prior supervision from entity linking. Experimental results demonstrate that our model is effective in predicting entity types at varying granularity; it achieves state of the art performance on an existing fine-grained entity typing benchmark, and sets baselines for our newly-introduced datasets. Our data and model can be downloaded from: http://nlp.cs.washington.edu/entity_type