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  1. This paper studies continual learning (CL) for sentiment classification (SC). In this setting, the CL system learns a sequence of SC tasks incrementally in a neural network, where each task builds a classifier to classify the sentiment of reviews of a particular product category or domain. Two natural questions are: Can the system transfer the knowledge learned in the past from the previous tasks to the new task to help it learn a better model for the new task? And, can old models for previous tasks be improved in the process as well? This paper proposes a novel technique calledmore »KAN to achieve these objectives. KAN can markedly improve the SC accuracy of both the new task and the old tasks via forward and backward knowledge transfer. The effectiveness of KAN is demonstrated through extensive experiments.« less
  2. Question-answering plays an important role in e-commerce as it allows potential customers to actively seek crucial information about products or services to help their purchase decision making. Inspired by the recent success of machine reading comprehension (MRC) on formal documents, this paper explores the potential of turning customer reviews into a large source of knowledge that can be exploited to answer user questions. We call this problem Review Reading Comprehension (RRC). To the best of our knowledge, no existing work has been done on RRC. In this work, we first build an RRC dataset called ReviewRC based on a popularmore »benchmark for aspect-based sentiment analysis. Since ReviewRC has limited training examples for RRC (and also for aspect-based sentiment analysis), we then explore a novel post-training approach on the popular language model BERT to enhance the performance of fine-tuning of BERT for RRC. To show the generality of the approach, the proposed post-training is also applied to some other review-based tasks such as aspect extraction and aspect sentiment classification in aspect-based sentiment analysis. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed post-training is highly effective.« less
  3. Classic supervised learning makes the closed-world assumption that the classes seen in testing must have appeared in training. However, this assumption is often violated in real-world applications. For example, in a social media site, new topics emerge constantly and in e-commerce, new categories of products appear daily. A model that cannot detect new/unseen topics or products is hard to function well in such open environments. A desirable model working in such environments must be able to (1) reject examples from unseen classes (not appeared in training) and (2) incrementally learn the new/unseen classes to expand the existing model. This ismore »called open-world learning (OWL). This paper proposes a new OWL method based on meta-learning. The key novelty is that the model maintains only a dynamic set of seen classes that allows new classes to be added or deleted with no need for model re-training. Each class is represented by a small set of training examples. In testing, the meta-classifier only uses the examples of the maintained seen classes (including the newly added classes) on-the-fly for classification and rejection. Experimental results with e-commerce product classification show that the proposed method is highly effective.« less