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  1. Weakly supervised text classification methods typically train a deep neural classifier based on pseudo-labels. The quality of pseudo-labels is crucial to final performance but they are inevitably noisy due to their heuristic nature, so selecting the correct ones has a huge potential for performance boost. One straightforward solution is to select samples based on the softmax probability scores in the neural classifier corresponding to their pseudo-labels. However, we show through our experiments that such solutions are ineffective and unstable due to the erroneously high-confidence predictions from poorly calibrated models. Recent studies on the memorization effects of deep neural models suggest that these models first memorize training samples with clean labels and then those with noisy labels. Inspired by this observation, we propose a novel pseudo-label selection method LOPS that takes learning order of samples into consideration. We hypothesize that the learning order reflects the probability of wrong annotation in terms of ranking, and therefore, propose to select the samples that are learnt earlier. LOPS can be viewed as a strong performance-boost plug-in to most existing weakly-supervised text classification methods, as confirmed in extensive experiments on four real-world datasets. 
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  2. Multilingual transformer language models have recently attracted much attention from researchers and are used in cross-lingual transfer learning for many NLP tasks such as text classification and named entity recognition.However, similar methods for transfer learning from monolingual text to code-switched text have not been extensively explored mainly due to the following challenges:(1) Code-switched corpus, unlike monolingual corpus, consists of more than one language and existing methods can’t be applied efficiently,(2) Code-switched corpus is usually made of resource-rich and low-resource languages and upon using multilingual pre-trained language models, the final model might bias towards resource-rich language. In this paper, we focus on code-switched sentiment analysis where we have a labelled resource-rich language dataset and unlabelled code-switched data. We propose a framework that takes the distinction between resource-rich and low-resource language into account.Instead of training on the entire code-switched corpus at once, we create buckets based on the fraction of words in the resource-rich language and progressively train from resource-rich language dominated samples to low-resource language dominated samples. Extensive experiments across multiple language pairs demonstrate that progressive training helps low-resource language dominated samples. 
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  3. The ability of generative language models (GLMs) to generate text has improved considerably in the last few years, enabling their use for generative data augmentation. In this work, we propose CONDA, an approach to further improve GLM’s ability to generate synthetic data by reformulating data generation as context generation for a given question-answer (QA) pair and leveraging QA datasets for training context generators. Then, we cast downstream tasks into the same question answering format and adapt the fine-tuned context generators to the target task domain. Finally, we use the fine-tuned GLM to generate relevant contexts, which are in turn used as synthetic training data for their corresponding tasks. We perform extensive experiments on multiple classification datasets and demonstrate substantial improvements in performance for both few- and zero-shot settings. Our analysis reveals that QA datasets that require high-level reasoning abilities (e.g., abstractive and common-sense QA datasets) tend to give the best boost in performance in both few-shot and zero-shot settings. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    In this paper, we explore text classification with extremely weak supervision, i.e., only relying on the surface text of class names. This is a more challenging setting than the seed-driven weak supervision, which allows a few seed words per class. We opt to attack this problem from a representation learning perspective—ideal document representations should lead to nearly the same results between clustering and the desired classification. In particular, one can classify the same corpus differently (e.g., based on topics and locations), so document representations should be adaptive to the given class names. We propose a novel framework X-Class to realize the adaptive representations. Specifically, we first estimate class representations by incrementally adding the most similar word to each class until inconsistency arises. Following a tailored mixture of class attention mechanisms, we obtain the document representation via a weighted average of contextualized word representations. With the prior of each document assigned to its nearest class, we then cluster and align the documents to classes. Finally, we pick the most confident documents from each cluster to train a text classifier. Extensive experiments demonstrate that X-Class can rival and even outperform seed-driven weakly supervised methods on 7 benchmark datasets. 
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  5. null (Ed.)
    Recent advances in weakly supervised learn- ing enable training high-quality text classifiers by only providing a few user-provided seed words. Existing methods mainly use text data alone to generate pseudo-labels despite the fact that metadata information (e.g., author and timestamp) is widely available across various domains. Strong label indicators exist in the metadata and it has been long overlooked mainly due to the following challenges: (1) metadata is multi-typed, requiring systematic modeling of different types and their combinations, (2) metadata is noisy, some metadata entities (e.g., authors, venues) are more compelling label indicators than others. In this paper, we propose a novel framework, META, which goes beyond the existing paradigm and leverages metadata as an additional source of weak supervision. Specifically, we organize the text data and metadata together into a text-rich network and adopt network motifs to capture appropriate combinations of metadata. Based on seed words, we rank and filter motif instances to distill highly label-indicative ones as “seed motifs”, which provide additional weak supervision. Following a boot-strapping manner, we train the classifier and expand the seed words and seed motifs iteratively. Extensive experiments and case studies on real-world datasets demonstrate superior performance and significant advantages of leveraging metadata as weak supervision. 
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