Fine-grained classification involves dealing with datasets with larger number of classes with subtle differences between them. Guiding the model to focus on differentiating dimensions between these commonly confusable classes is key to improving performance on fine-grained tasks. In this work, we analyse the contrastive fine-tuning of pre-trained language models on two fine-grained text classification tasks, emotion classification and sentiment analysis. We adaptively embed class relationships into a contrastive objective function to help differently weigh the positives and negatives, and in particular, weighting closely confusable negatives more than less similar negative examples. We find that Label-aware Contrastive Loss outperforms previous contrastive methods, in the presence of larger number and/or more confusable classes, and helps models to produce output distributions that are more differentiated.
Despite pre-trained language models have proven useful for learning high-quality semantic representations, these models are still vulnerable to simple perturbations. Recent works aimed to improve the robustness of pre-trained models mainly focus on adversarial training from perturbed examples with similar semantics, neglecting the utilization of different or even opposite semantics. Different from the image processing field, the text is discrete and few word substitutions can cause significant semantic changes. To study the impact of semantics caused by small perturbations, we conduct a series of pilot experiments and surprisingly find that adversarial training is useless or even harmful for the model to detect these semantic changes. To address this problem, we propose Contrastive Learning with semantIc Negative Examples (CLINE), which constructs semantic negative examples unsupervised to improve the robustness under semantically adversarial attacking. By comparing with similar and opposite semantic examples, the model can effectively perceive the semantic changes caused by small perturbations. Empirical results show that our approach yields substantial improvements on a range of sentiment analysis, reasoning, and reading comprehension tasks. And CLINE also ensures the compactness within the same semantics and separability across different semantics in sentence-level.
Contrastive learning has achieved remarkable success in representation learning via self-supervision in unsupervised settings. However, effectively adapting contrastive learning to supervised learning tasks remains as a challenge in practice. In this work, we introduce a dual contrastive learning (DualCL) framework that simultaneously learns the features of input samples and the parameters of classifiers in the same space. Specifically, DualCL regards the parameters of the classifiers as augmented samples associating to different labels and then exploits the contrastive learning between the input samples and the augmented samples. Empirical studies on five benchmark text classification datasets and their low-resource version demonstrate the improvement in classification accuracy and confirm the capability of learning discriminative representations of DualCL.
Acronym disambiguation means finding the correct meaning of an ambiguous acronym from the dictionary in a given sentence, which is one of the key points for scientific document understanding (SDU@AAAI-22). Recently, many attempts have tried to solve this problem via fine-tuning the pre-trained masked language models (MLMs) in order to obtain a better acronym representation. However, the acronym meaning is varied under different contexts, whose corresponding phrase representation mapped in different directions lacks discrimination in the entire vector space. Thus, the original representations of the pre-trained MLMs are not ideal for the acronym disambiguation task. In this paper, we propose a Simple framework for Contrastive Learning of Acronym Disambiguation (SimCLAD) method to better understand the acronym meanings. Specifically, we design a continual contrastive pre-training method that enhances the pre-trained model's generalization ability by learning the phrase-level contrastive distributions between true meaning and ambiguous phrases. The results on the acronym disambiguation of the scientific domain in English show that the proposed method outperforms all other competitive state-of-the-art (SOTA) methods.
Modern natural language processing (NLP) methods employ self-supervised pretraining objectives such as masked language modeling to boost the performance of various application tasks. These pretraining methods are frequently extended with recurrence, adversarial or linguistic property masking, and more recently with contrastive learning objectives. Contrastive self-supervised training objectives enabled recent successes in image representation pretraining by learning to contrast input-input pairs of augmented images as either similar or dissimilar. However, in NLP, automated creation of text input augmentations is still very challenging because a single token can invert the meaning of a sentence. For this reason, some contrastive NLP pretraining methods contrast over input-label pairs, rather than over input-input pairs, using methods from Metric Learning and Energy Based Models. In this survey, we summarize recent self-supervised and supervised contrastive NLP pretraining methods and describe where they are used to improve language modeling, few or zero-shot learning, pretraining data-efficiency and specific NLP end-tasks. We introduce key contrastive learning concepts with lessons learned from prior research and structure works by applications and cross-field relations. Finally, we point to open challenges and future directions for contrastive NLP to encourage bringing contrastive NLP pretraining closer to recent successes in image representation pretraining.