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When Are Tree Structures Necessary for Deep Learning of Representations?

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recursive neural models, which use syntactic parse trees to recursively generate representations bottom-up, are a popular architecture. But there have not been rigorous evaluations showing for exactly which tasks this syntax-based method is appropriate. In this paper we benchmark {\bf recursive} neural models against sequential {\bf recurrent} neural models (simple recurrent and LSTM models), enforcing apples-to-apples comparison as much as possible. We investigate 4 tasks: (1) sentiment classification at the sentence level and phrase level; (2) matching questions to answer-phrases; (3) discourse parsing; (4) semantic relation extraction (e.g., {\em component-whole} between nouns). Our goal is to understand better when, and why, recursive models can outperform simpler models. We find that recursive models help mainly on tasks (like semantic relation extraction) that require associating headwords across a long distance, particularly on very long sequences. We then introduce a method for allowing recurrent models to achieve similar performance: breaking long sentences into clause-like units at punctuation and processing them separately before combining. Our results thus help understand the limitations of both classes of models, and suggest directions for improving recurrent models.


Deep Recursive Neural Networks for Compositionality in Language

Neural Information Processing Systems

Recursive neural networks comprise a class of architecture that can operate on structured input. They have been previously successfully applied to model compositionality in natural language using parse-tree-based structural representations. Even though these architectures are deep in structure, they lack the capacity for hierarchical representation that exists in conventional deep feed-forward networks as well as in recently investigated deep recurrent neural networks. In this work we introduce a new architecture --- a deep recursive neural network (deep RNN) --- constructed by stacking multiple recursive layers. We evaluate the proposed model on the task of fine-grained sentiment classification. Our results show that deep RNNs outperform associated shallow counterparts that employ the same number of parameters. Furthermore, our approach outperforms previous baselines on the sentiment analysis task, including a multiplicative RNN variant as well as the recently introduced paragraph vectors, achieving new state-of-the-art results. We provide exploratory analyses of the effect of multiple layers and show that they capture different aspects of compositionality in language.


Modeling Compositionality with Multiplicative Recurrent Neural Networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We present the multiplicative recurrent neural network as a general model for compositional meaning in language, and evaluate it on the task of fine-grained sentiment analysis. We establish a connection to the previously investigated matrix-space models for compositionality, and show they are special cases of the multiplicative recurrent net. Our experiments show that these models perform comparably or better than Elman-type additive recurrent neural networks and outperform matrix-space models on a standard fine-grained sentiment analysis corpus. Furthermore, they yield comparable results to structural deep models on the recently published Stanford Sentiment Treebank without the need for generating parse trees.


Feature Weight Tuning for Recursive Neural Networks

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This paper addresses how a recursive neural network model can automatically leave out useless information and emphasize important evidence, in other words, to perform "weight tuning" for higher-level representation acquisition. We propose two models, Weighted Neural Network (WNN) and Binary-Expectation Neural Network (BENN), which automatically control how much one specific unit contributes to the higher-level representation. The proposed model can be viewed as incorporating a more powerful compositional function for embedding acquisition in recursive neural networks. Experimental results demonstrate the significant improvement over standard neural models.


Learning to Compose Task-Specific Tree Structures

AAAI Conferences

For years, recursive neural networks (RvNNs) have been shown to be suitable for representing text into fixed-length vectors and achieved good performance on several natural language processing tasks. However, the main drawback of RvNNs is that they require structured input, which makes data preparation and model implementation hard. In this paper, we propose Gumbel Tree-LSTM, a novel tree-structured long short-term memory architecture that learns how to compose task-specific tree structures only from plain text data efficiently. Our model uses Straight-Through Gumbel-Softmax estimator to decide the parent node among candidates dynamically and to calculate gradients of the discrete decision. We evaluate the proposed model on natural language inference and sentiment analysis,  and show that our model outperforms or is at least comparable to previous models. We also find that our model converges significantly faster than other models.