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Neural Natural Language Generation: A Survey on Multilinguality, Multimodality, Controllability and Learning

Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research

Developing artificial learning systems that can understand and generate natural language has been one of the long-standing goals of artificial intelligence. Recent decades have witnessed an impressive progress on both of these problems, giving rise to a new family of approaches. Especially, the advances in deep learning over the past couple of years have led to neural approaches to natural language generation (NLG). These methods combine generative language learning techniques with neural-networks based frameworks. With a wide range of applications in natural language processing, neural NLG (NNLG) is a new and fast growing field of research. In this state-of-the-art report, we investigate the recent developments and applications of NNLG in its full extent from a multidimensional view, covering critical perspectives such as multimodality, multilinguality, controllability and learning strategies. We summarize the fundamental building blocks of NNLG approaches from these aspects and provide detailed reviews of commonly used preprocessing steps and basic neural architectures. This report also focuses on the seminal applications of these NNLG models such as machine translation, description generation, automatic speech recognition, abstractive summarization, text simplification, question answering and generation, and dialogue generation. Finally, we conclude with a thorough discussion of the described frameworks by pointing out some open research directions.


FedQAS: Privacy-aware machine reading comprehension with federated learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Machine reading comprehension (MRC) of text data is one important task in Natural Language Understanding. It is a complex NLP problem with a lot of ongoing research fueled by the release of the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) and Conversational Question Answering (CoQA). It is considered to be an effort to teach computers how to "understand" a text, and then to be able to answer questions about it using deep learning. However, until now large-scale training on private text data and knowledge sharing has been missing for this NLP task. Hence, we present FedQAS, a privacy-preserving machine reading system capable of leveraging large-scale private data without the need to pool those datasets in a central location. The proposed approach combines transformer models and federated learning technologies. The system is developed using the FEDn framework and deployed as a proof-of-concept alliance initiative. FedQAS is flexible, language-agnostic, and allows intuitive participation and execution of local model training. In addition, we present the architecture and implementation of the system, as well as provide a reference evaluation based on the SQUAD dataset, to showcase how it overcomes data privacy issues and enables knowledge sharing between alliance members in a Federated learning setting.


Conversational Agents: Theory and Applications

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

In this chapter, we provide a review of conversational agents (CAs), discussing chatbots, intended for casual conversation with a user, as well as task-oriented agents that generally engage in discussions intended to reach one or several specific goals, often (but not always) within a specific domain. We also consider the concept of embodied conversational agents, briefly reviewing aspects such as character animation and speech processing. The many different approaches for representing dialogue in CAs are discussed in some detail, along with methods for evaluating such agents, emphasizing the important topics of accountability and interpretability. A brief historical overview is given, followed by an extensive overview of various applications, especially in the fields of health and education. We end the chapter by discussing benefits and potential risks regarding the societal impact of current and future CA technology.


Selecting Parallel In-domain Sentences for Neural Machine Translation Using Monolingual Texts

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Continuously-growing data volumes lead to larger generic models. Specific use-cases are usually left out, since generic models tend to perform poorly in domain-specific cases. Our work addresses this gap with a method for selecting in-domain data from generic-domain (parallel text) corpora, for the task of machine translation. The proposed method ranks sentences in parallel general-domain data according to their cosine similarity with a monolingual domain-specific data set. We then select the top K sentences with the highest similarity score to train a new machine translation system tuned to the specific in-domain data. Our experimental results show that models trained on this in-domain data outperform models trained on generic or a mixture of generic and domain data. That is, our method selects high-quality domain-specific training instances at low computational cost and data size.


Calculating Question Similarity is Enough: A New Method for KBQA Tasks

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Knowledge Base Question Answering (KBQA) aims to answer natural language questions with the help of an external knowledge base. The core idea is to find the link between the internal knowledge behind questions and known triples of the knowledge base. The KBQA task pipeline contains several steps, including entity recognition, entity linking, answering selection, etc. This kind of pipeline method means that errors in any procedure will inevitably propagate to the final prediction. To address this challenge, this paper proposes a Corpus Generation - Retrieve Method (CGRM) with Pre-training Language Model (PLM) for the KBQA task. The major novelty lies in the design of the new method, wherein our approach, the knowledge enhanced T5 (kT5) model aims to generate natural language QA pairs based on Knowledge Graph triples and directly solve the QA by only retrieving the synthetic dataset. The new method can extract more information about the entities from PLM to improve accuracy and simplify the processes. We test our method on NLPCC-ICCPOL 2016 KBQA dataset, and the results show that our method improves the performance of KBQA and the out straight-forward method is competitive with the state-of-the-art.


A survey on multi-objective hyperparameter optimization algorithms for Machine Learning

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Hyperparameter optimization (HPO) is a necessary step to ensure the best possible performance of Machine Learning (ML) algorithms. Several methods have been developed to perform HPO; most of these are focused on optimizing one performance measure (usually an error-based measure), and the literature on such single-objective HPO problems is vast. Recently, though, algorithms have appeared which focus on optimizing multiple conflicting objectives simultaneously. This article presents a systematic survey of the literature published between 2014 and 2020 on multi-objective HPO algorithms, distinguishing between metaheuristic-based algorithms, metamodel-based algorithms, and approaches using a mixture of both. We also discuss the quality metrics used to compare multi-objective HPO procedures and present future research directions.


NL-Augmenter: A Framework for Task-Sensitive Natural Language Augmentation

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Data augmentation is an important component in the robustness evaluation of models in natural language processing (NLP) and in enhancing the diversity of the data they are trained on. In this paper, we present NL-Augmenter, a new participatory Python-based natural language augmentation framework which supports the creation of both transformations (modifications to the data) and filters (data splits according to specific features). We describe the framework and an initial set of 117 transformations and 23 filters for a variety of natural language tasks. We demonstrate the efficacy of NL-Augmenter by using several of its transformations to analyze the robustness of popular natural language models. The infrastructure, datacards and robustness analysis results are available publicly on the NL-Augmenter repository (\url{https://github.com/GEM-benchmark/NL-Augmenter}).


Transformer Based Bengali Chatbot Using General Knowledge Dataset

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

An AI chatbot provides an impressive response after learning from the trained dataset. In this decade, most of the research work demonstrates that deep neural models superior to any other model. RNN model regularly used for determining the sequence-related problem like a question and it answers. This approach acquainted with everyone as seq2seq learning. In a seq2seq model mechanism, it has encoder and decoder. The encoder embedded any input sequence, and the decoder embedded output sequence. For reinforcing the seq2seq model performance, attention mechanism added into the encoder and decoder. After that, the transformer model has introduced itself as a high-performance model with multiple attention mechanism for solving the sequence-related dilemma. This model reduces training time compared with RNN based model and also achieved state-of-the-art performance for sequence transduction. In this research, we applied the transformer model for Bengali general knowledge chatbot based on the Bengali general knowledge Question Answer (QA) dataset. It scores 85.0 BLEU on the applied QA data. To check the comparison of the transformer model performance, we trained the seq2seq model with attention on our dataset that scores 23.5 BLEU.


Flight Demand Forecasting with Transformers

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Transformers have become the de-facto standard in the natural language processing (NLP) field. They have also gained momentum in computer vision and other domains. Transformers can enable artificial intelligence (AI) models to dynamically focus on certain parts of their input and thus reason more effectively. Inspired by the success of transformers, we adopted this technique to predict strategic flight departure demand in multiple horizons. This work was conducted in support of a MITRE-developed mobile application, Pacer, which displays predicted departure demand to general aviation (GA) flight operators so they can have better situation awareness of the potential for departure delays during busy periods. Field demonstrations involving Pacer's previously designed rule-based prediction method showed that the prediction accuracy of departure demand still has room for improvement. This research strives to improve prediction accuracy from two key aspects: better data sources and robust forecasting algorithms. We leveraged two data sources, Aviation System Performance Metrics (ASPM) and System Wide Information Management (SWIM), as our input. We then trained forecasting models with temporal fusion transformer (TFT) for five different airports. Case studies show that TFTs can perform better than traditional forecasting methods by large margins, and they can result in better prediction across diverse airports and with better interpretability.


$\bar{G}_{mst}$:An Unbiased Stratified Statistic and a Fast Gradient Optimization Algorithm Based on It

arXiv.org Machine Learning

It is difficult to optimize a giant model with deep and wider layers. Similar to most optimization algorithms, training a deep model with gradient method (SGD-like Algorithms) has disadvantages such as easy to fall into local minima or saddle point and slow convergence speed. There have been a lot of researches on the improvement of the gradient method, and a considerable part of these researches focus on how to refine the search direction while keeping the iteration cost as low as possible to accelerate the convergence of the algorithm[10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16]. These improvements for the search direction are roughly divided into two categories. One is the momentum method[11] based on the principles of physics and the corresponding improved algorithms[12, 20, 21], the momentum method avoids excessive swing amplitude of the search track by retaining part of the potential energy of the original track to accelerate the convergence.