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Neural Language Generation: Formulation, Methods, and Evaluation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Recent advances in neural network-based generative modeling have reignited the hopes in having computer systems capable of seamlessly conversing with humans and able to understand natural language. Neural architectures have been employed to generate text excerpts to various degrees of success, in a multitude of contexts and tasks that fulfil various user needs. Notably, high capacity deep learning models trained on large scale datasets demonstrate unparalleled abilities to learn patterns in the data even in the lack of explicit supervision signals, opening up a plethora of new possibilities regarding producing realistic and coherent texts. While the field of natural language generation is evolving rapidly, there are still many open challenges to address. In this survey we formally define and categorize the problem of natural language generation. We review particular application tasks that are instantiations of these general formulations, in which generating natural language is of practical importance. Next we include a comprehensive outline of methods and neural architectures employed for generating diverse texts. Nevertheless, there is no standard way to assess the quality of text produced by these generative models, which constitutes a serious bottleneck towards the progress of the field. To this end, we also review current approaches to evaluating natural language generation systems. We hope this survey will provide an informative overview of formulations, methods, and assessments of neural natural language generation.


Multi-Task Learning in Natural Language Processing: An Overview

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Deep learning approaches have achieved great success in the field of Natural Language Processing (NLP). However, deep neural models often suffer from overfitting and data scarcity problems that are pervasive in NLP tasks. In recent years, Multi-Task Learning (MTL), which can leverage useful information of related tasks to achieve simultaneous performance improvement on multiple related tasks, has been used to handle these problems. In this paper, we give an overview of the use of MTL in NLP tasks. We first review MTL architectures used in NLP tasks and categorize them into four classes, including the parallel architecture, hierarchical architecture, modular architecture, and generative adversarial architecture. Then we present optimization techniques on loss construction, data sampling, and task scheduling to properly train a multi-task model. After presenting applications of MTL in a variety of NLP tasks, we introduce some benchmark datasets. Finally, we make a conclusion and discuss several possible research directions in this field.


A Survey of Natural Language Generation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

This paper offers a comprehensive review of the research on Natural Language Generation (NLG) over the past two decades, especially in relation to data-to-text generation and text-to-text generation deep learning methods, as well as new applications of NLG technology. This survey aims to (a) give the latest synthesis of deep learning research on the NLG core tasks, as well as the architectures adopted in the field; (b) detail meticulously and comprehensively various NLG tasks and datasets, and draw attention to the challenges in NLG evaluation, focusing on different evaluation methods and their relationships; (c) highlight some future emphasis and relatively recent research issues that arise due to the increasing synergy between NLG and other artificial intelligence areas, such as computer vision, text and computational creativity.


AI-Powered Text Generation for Harmonious Human-Machine Interaction: Current State and Future Directions

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In the last two decades, the landscape of text generation has undergone tremendous changes and is being reshaped by the success of deep learning. New technologies for text generation ranging from template-based methods to neural network-based methods emerged. Meanwhile, the research objectives have also changed from generating smooth and coherent sentences to infusing personalized traits to enrich the diversification of newly generated content. With the rapid development of text generation solutions, one comprehensive survey is urgent to summarize the achievements and track the state of the arts. In this survey paper, we present the general systematical framework, illustrate the widely utilized models and summarize the classic applications of text generation.


A Survey on Contextual Embeddings

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Contextual embeddings, such as ELMo and BERT, move beyond global word representations like Word2Vec and achieve ground-breaking performance on a wide range of natural language processing tasks. Contextual embeddings assign each word a representation based on its context, thereby capturing uses of words across varied contexts and encoding knowledge that transfers across languages. In this survey, we review existing contextual embedding models, cross-lingual polyglot pre-training, the application of contextual embeddings in downstream tasks, model compression, and model analyses.