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### Collaborating Authors

In question answering, answer extraction aims topin-point the exact answer from passages. However,most previous methods perform such extractionon each passage separately, without consideringclues provided in other passages. This paperpresents a novel approach to extract answers byfully leveraging connections among different passages.Specially, extraction is performed on a PassageGraph which is built by adding links uponmultiple passages. Different passages are connectedby linking words with the same stem. Weuse the factor graph as our model for answer extraction.Experimental results on multiple QA datasets demonstrate that our method significantly improvesthe performance of answer extraction.

### Model Extraction and Active Learning

Machine learning is being increasingly used by individuals, research institutions, and corporations. This has resulted in the surge of Machine Learning-as-a-Service (MLaaS) - cloud services that provide (a) tools and resources to learn the model, and (b) a user-friendly query interface to access the model. However, such MLaaS systems raise privacy concerns, one being model extraction. Adversaries maliciously exploit the query interface to steal the model. More precisely, in a model extraction attack, a good approximation of a sensitive or proprietary model held by the server is extracted (i.e. learned) by a dishonest user. Such a user only sees the answers to select queries sent using the query interface. This attack was recently introduced by Tramer et al. at the 2016 USENIX Security Symposium, where practical attacks for different models were shown. We believe that better understanding the efficacy of model extraction attacks is paramount in designing better privacy-preserving MLaaS systems. To that end, we take the first step by (a) formalizing model extraction and proposing the first definition of extraction defense, and (b) drawing parallels between model extraction and the better investigated active learning framework. In particular, we show that recent advancements in the active learning domain can be used to implement both model extraction, and defenses against such attacks.

### Semi-Supervised Few-Shot Learning for Dual Question-Answer Extraction

This paper addresses the problem of key phrase extraction from sentences. Existing state-of-the-art supervised methods require large amounts of annotated data to achieve good performance and generalization. Collecting labeled data is, however, often expensive. In this paper, we redefine the problem as question-answer extraction, and present SAMIE: Self-Asking Model for Information Ixtraction, a semi-supervised model which dually learns to ask and to answer questions by itself. Briefly, given a sentence $s$ and an answer $a$, the model needs to choose the most appropriate question $\hat q$; meanwhile, for the given sentence $s$ and same question $\hat q$ selected in the previous step, the model will predict an answer $\hat a$. The model can support few-shot learning with very limited supervision. It can also be used to perform clustering analysis when no supervision is provided. Experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms typical supervised methods especially when given little labeled data.

### A Span Extraction Approach for Information Extraction on Visually-Rich Documents

Information extraction (IE) from visually-rich documents (VRDs) has achieved SOTA performance recently thanks to the adaptation of Transformer-based language models, which demonstrates great potential of pre-training methods. In this paper, we present a new approach to improve the capability of language model pre-training on VRDs. Firstly, we introduce a new IE model that is query-based and employs the span extraction formulation instead of the commonly used sequence labelling approach. Secondly, to further extend the span extraction formulation, we propose a new training task which focuses on modelling the relationships between semantic entities within a document. This task enables the spans to be extracted recursively and can be used as both a pre-training objective as well as an IE downstream task. Evaluation on various datasets of popular business documents (invoices, receipts) shows that our proposed method can improve the performance of existing models significantly, while providing a mechanism to accumulate model knowledge from multiple downstream IE tasks.