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  1. We study the problem of few-shot Fine-grained Entity Typing (FET), where only a few annotated entity mentions with contexts are given for each entity type. Recently, prompt-based tuning has demonstrated superior performance to standard fine-tuning in few-shot scenarios by formulating the entity type classification task as a “fill-in-the-blank” problem. This allows effective utilization of the strong language modeling capability of Pre-trained Language Models (PLMs). Despite the success of current prompt-based tuning approaches, two major challenges remain: (1) the verbalizer in prompts is either manually designed or constructed from external knowledge bases, without considering the target corpus and label hierarchy information, and (2) current approaches mainly utilize the representation power of PLMs, but have not explored their generation power acquired through extensive general-domain pre-training. In this work, we propose a novel framework for fewshot FET consisting of two modules: (1) an entity type label interpretation module automatically learns to relate type labels to the vocabulary by jointly leveraging few-shot instances and the label hierarchy, and (2) a type-based contextualized instance generator produces new instances based on given instances to enlarge the training set for better generalization. On three benchmark datasets, our model outperforms existing methods by significant margins.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 14, 2023
  2. We study the problem of weakly supervised text classification, which aims to classify text documents into a set of pre-defined categories with category surface names only and without any annotated training document provided. Most existing classifiers leverage textual information in each document. However, in many domains, documents are accompanied by various types of metadata (e.g., authors, venue, and year of a research paper). These metadata and their combinations may serve as strong category indicators in addition to textual contents. In this paper, we explore the potential of using metadata to help weakly supervised text classification. To be specific, we model the relationships between documents and metadata via a heterogeneous information network. To effectively capture higher-order structures in the network, we use motifs to describe metadata combinations. We propose a novel framework, named MotifClass, which (1) selects category-indicative motif instances, (2) retrieves and generates pseudo-labeled training samples based on category names and indicative motif instances, and (3) trains a text classifier using the pseudo training data. Extensive experiments on real-world datasets demonstrate the superior performance of MotifClass to existing weakly supervised text classification approaches. Further analysis shows the benefit of considering higher-order metadata information in our framework.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 11, 2023
  3. null (Ed.)
    Recent years have witnessed the enormous success of text representation learning in a wide range of text mining tasks. Earlier word embedding learning approaches represent words as fixed low-dimensional vectors to capture their semantics. The word embeddings so learned are used as the input features of task-specific models. Recently, pre-trained language models (PLMs), which learn universal language representations via pre-training Transformer-based neural models on large-scale text corpora, have revolutionized the natural language processing (NLP) field. Such pre-trained representations encode generic linguistic features that can be transferred to almost any text-related applications. PLMs outperform previous task-specific models in many applications as they only need to be fine-tuned on the target corpus instead of being trained from scratch. In this tutorial, we introduce recent advances in pre-trained text embeddings and language models, as well as their applications to a wide range of text mining tasks. Specifically, we first overview a set of recently developed self-supervised and weakly-supervised text embedding methods and pre-trained language models that serve as the fundamentals for downstream tasks. We then present several new methods based on pre-trained text embeddings and language models for various text mining applications such as topic discovery and text classification. We focus on methodsmore »that are weakly-supervised, domain-independent, language-agnostic, effective and scalable for mining and discovering structured knowledge from large-scale text corpora. Finally, we demonstrate with real world datasets how pre-trained text representations help mitigate the human annotation burden and facilitate automatic, accurate and efficient text analyses.« less
  4. null (Ed.)
    Identifying and understanding quality phrases from context is a fundamental task in text mining. The most challenging part of this task arguably lies in uncommon, emerging, and domain-specific phrases. The infrequent nature of these phrases significantly hurts the performance of phrase mining methods that rely on sufficient phrase occurrences in the input corpus. Context-aware tagging models, though not restricted by frequency, heavily rely on domain experts for either massive sentence-level gold labels or handcrafted gazetteers. In this work, we propose UCPhrase, a novel unsupervised context-aware quality phrase tagger. Specifically, we induce high-quality phrase spans as silver labels from consistently co-occurring word sequences within each document. Compared with typical context-agnostic distant supervision based on existing knowledge bases (KBs), our silver labels root deeply in the input domain and context, thus having unique advantages in preserving contextual completeness and capturing emerging, out-of-KB phrases. Training a conventional neural tagger based on silver labels usually faces the risk of overfitting phrase surface names. Alternatively, we observe that the contextualized attention maps generated from a Transformer-based neural language model effectively reveal the connections between words in a surface-agnostic way. Therefore, we pair such attention maps with the silver labels to train a lightweight span predictionmore »model, which can be applied to new input to recognize (unseen) quality phrases regardless of their surface names or frequency. Thorough experiments on various tasks and datasets, including corpus-level phrase ranking, document-level keyphrase extraction, and sentence-level phrase tagging, demonstrate the superiority of our design over state-of-the-art pre-trained, unsupervised, and distantly supervised methods.« less
  5. Hierarchical multi-label text classification (HMTC) aims to tag each document with a set of classes from a class hierarchy. Most existing HMTC methods train classifiers using massive human-labeled documents, which are often too costly to obtain in real-world applications. In this paper, we explore to conduct HMTC based on only class surface names as supervision signals. We observe that to perform HMTC, human experts typically first pinpoint a few most essential classes for the document as its “core classes”, and then check core classes’ ancestor classes to ensure the coverage. To mimic human experts, we propose a novel HMTC framework, named TaxoClass. Specifically, TaxoClass (1) calculates document-class similarities using a textual entailment model, (2) identifies a document’s core classes and utilizes confident core classes to train a taxonomyenhanced classifier, and (3) generalizes the classifier via multi-label self-training. Our experiments on two challenging datasets show TaxoClass can achieve around 0.71 Example- F1 using only class names, outperforming the best previous method by 25%.
  6. Categorizing documents into a given label hierarchy is intuitively appealing due to the ubiquity of hierarchical topic structures in massive text corpora. Although related studies have achieved satisfying performance in fully supervised hierarchical document classification, they usually require massive human-annotated training data and only utilize text information. However, in many domains, (1) annotations are quite expensive where very few training samples can be acquired; (2) documents are accompanied by metadata information. Hence, this paper studies how to integrate the label hierarchy, metadata, and text signals for document categorization under weak supervision. We develop HiMeCat, an embedding-based generative framework for our task. Specifically, we propose a novel joint representation learning module that allows simultaneous modeling of category dependencies, metadata information and textual semantics, and we introduce a data augmentation module that hierarchically synthesizes training documents to complement the original, small-scale training set. Our experiments demonstrate a consistent improvement of HiMeCat over competitive baselines and validate the contribution of our representation learning and data augmentation modules.
  7. Nowadays, it is common to classify collections of documents into (human-generated, domain-specific) directory structures, such as email or document folders. But documents may be classified wrongly, for a multitude of reasons. Then they are outlying w.r.t. the folder they end up in. Orthogonally to this, and more specifically, two kinds of errors can occur: (O) Out-of-distribution: the document does not belong to any existing folder in the directory; and (M) Misclassification: the document belongs to another folder. It is this specific combination of issues that we address in this article, i.e., we mine text outliers from massive document directories, considering both error types. We propose a new proximity-based algorithm, which we dub kj-Nearest Neighbors (kj-NN). Our algorithm detects text outliers by exploiting semantic similarities and introduces a self-supervision mechanism that estimates the relevance of the original labels. Our approach is efficient and robust to large proportions of outliers. kj-NN also promotes the interpretability of the results by proposing alternative label names and by finding the most similar documents for each outlier. Our real-world experiments demonstrate that our approach outperforms the competitors by a large margin.