Models, code, and papers for "Alessandro Moschitti":

Transfer Learning for Sequence Labeling Using Source Model and Target Data

Feb 14, 2019
Lingzhen Chen, Alessandro Moschitti

In this paper, we propose an approach for transferring the knowledge of a neural model for sequence labeling, learned from the source domain, to a new model trained on a target domain, where new label categories appear. Our transfer learning (TL) techniques enable to adapt the source model using the target data and new categories, without accessing to the source data. Our solution consists in adding new neurons in the output layer of the target model and transferring parameters from the source model, which are then fine-tuned with the target data. Additionally, we propose a neural adapter to learn the difference between the source and the target label distribution, which provides additional important information to the target model. Our experiments on Named Entity Recognition show that (i) the learned knowledge in the source model can be effectively transferred when the target data contains new categories and (ii) our neural adapter further improves such transfer.

* 9 pages, 4 figures, 3 tables, accepted paper in the Thirty-Third AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-19) 

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Modeling Relational Information in Question-Answer Pairs with Convolutional Neural Networks

Apr 05, 2016
Aliaksei Severyn, Alessandro Moschitti

In this paper, we propose convolutional neural networks for learning an optimal representation of question and answer sentences. Their main aspect is the use of relational information given by the matches between words from the two members of the pair. The matches are encoded as embeddings with additional parameters (dimensions), which are tuned by the network. These allows for better capturing interactions between questions and answers, resulting in a significant boost in accuracy. We test our models on two widely used answer sentence selection benchmarks. The results clearly show the effectiveness of our relational information, which allows our relatively simple network to approach the state of the art.

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TANDA: Transfer and Adapt Pre-Trained Transformer Models for Answer Sentence Selection

Nov 20, 2019
Siddhant Garg, Thuy Vu, Alessandro Moschitti

We propose TANDA, an effective technique for fine-tuning pre-trained Transformer models for natural language tasks. Specifically, we first transfer a pre-trained model into a model for a general task by fine-tuning it with a large and high-quality dataset. We then perform a second fine-tuning step to adapt the transferred model to the target domain. We demonstrate the benefits of our approach for answer sentence selection, which is a well-known inference task in Question Answering. We built a large scale dataset to enable the transfer step, exploiting the Natural Questions dataset. Our approach establishes the state of the art on two well-known benchmarks, WikiQA and TREC-QA, achieving MAP scores of 92% and 94.3%, respectively, which largely outperform the previous highest scores of 83.4% and 87.5%, obtained in very recent work. We empirically show that TANDA generates more stable and robust models reducing the effort required for selecting optimal hyper-parameters. Additionally, we show that the transfer step of TANDA makes the adaptation step more robust to noise. This enables a more effective use of noisy datasets for fine-tuning. Finally, we also confirm the positive impact of TANDA in an industrial setting, using domain specific datasets subject to different types of noise.

* Thirty-Fourth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI 2020), Oral Presentation 

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Injecting Relational Structural Representation in Neural Networks for Question Similarity

Jun 20, 2018
Antonio Uva, Daniele Bonadiman, Alessandro Moschitti

Effectively using full syntactic parsing information in Neural Networks (NNs) to solve relational tasks, e.g., question similarity, is still an open problem. In this paper, we propose to inject structural representations in NNs by (i) learning an SVM model using Tree Kernels (TKs) on relatively few pairs of questions (few thousands) as gold standard (GS) training data is typically scarce, (ii) predicting labels on a very large corpus of question pairs, and (iii) pre-training NNs on such large corpus. The results on Quora and SemEval question similarity datasets show that NNs trained with our approach can learn more accurate models, especially after fine tuning on GS.

* ACL2018 

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Multitask Learning with Deep Neural Networks for Community Question Answering

Feb 13, 2017
Daniele Bonadiman, Antonio Uva, Alessandro Moschitti

In this paper, we developed a deep neural network (DNN) that learns to solve simultaneously the three tasks of the cQA challenge proposed by the SemEval-2016 Task 3, i.e., question-comment similarity, question-question similarity and new question-comment similarity. The latter is the main task, which can exploit the previous two for achieving better results. Our DNN is trained jointly on all the three cQA tasks and learns to encode questions and comments into a single vector representation shared across the multiple tasks. The results on the official challenge test set show that our approach produces higher accuracy and faster convergence rates than the individual neural networks. Additionally, our method, which does not use any manual feature engineering, approaches the state of the art established with methods that make heavy use of it.

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Adversarial Domain Adaptation for Duplicate Question Detection

Sep 07, 2018
Darsh J Shah, Tao Lei, Alessandro Moschitti, Salvatore Romeo, Preslav Nakov

We address the problem of detecting duplicate questions in forums, which is an important step towards automating the process of answering new questions. As finding and annotating such potential duplicates manually is very tedious and costly, automatic methods based on machine learning are a viable alternative. However, many forums do not have annotated data, i.e., questions labeled by experts as duplicates, and thus a promising solution is to use domain adaptation from another forum that has such annotations. Here we focus on adversarial domain adaptation, deriving important findings about when it performs well and what properties of the domains are important in this regard. Our experiments with StackExchange data show an average improvement of 5.6% over the best baseline across multiple pairs of domains.

* EMNLP 2018 short paper - camera ready. 8 pages 

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SemEval-2015 Task 3: Answer Selection in Community Question Answering

Nov 26, 2019
Preslav Nakov, Lluís Màrquez, Walid Magdy, Alessandro Moschitti, James Glass, Bilal Randeree

Community Question Answering (cQA) provides new interesting research directions to the traditional Question Answering (QA) field, e.g., the exploitation of the interaction between users and the structure of related posts. In this context, we organized SemEval-2015 Task 3 on "Answer Selection in cQA", which included two subtasks: (a) classifying answers as "good", "bad", or "potentially relevant" with respect to the question, and (b) answering a YES/NO question with "yes", "no", or "unsure", based on the list of all answers. We set subtask A for Arabic and English on two relatively different cQA domains, i.e., the Qatar Living website for English, and a Quran-related website for Arabic. We used crowdsourcing on Amazon Mechanical Turk to label a large English training dataset, which we released to the research community. Thirteen teams participated in the challenge with a total of 61 submissions: 24 primary and 37 contrastive. The best systems achieved an official score (macro-averaged F1) of 57.19 and 63.7 for the English subtasks A and B, and 78.55 for the Arabic subtask A.

* SemEval-2015 
* community question answering, answer selection, English, Arabic 

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Integrating Stance Detection and Fact Checking in a Unified Corpus

Apr 21, 2018
Ramy Baly, Mitra Mohtarami, James Glass, Lluis Marquez, Alessandro Moschitti, Preslav Nakov

A reasonable approach for fact checking a claim involves retrieving potentially relevant documents from different sources (e.g., news websites, social media, etc.), determining the stance of each document with respect to the claim, and finally making a prediction about the claim's factuality by aggregating the strength of the stances, while taking the reliability of the source into account. Moreover, a fact checking system should be able to explain its decision by providing relevant extracts (rationales) from the documents. Yet, this setup is not directly supported by existing datasets, which treat fact checking, document retrieval, source credibility, stance detection and rationale extraction as independent tasks. In this paper, we support the interdependencies between these tasks as annotations in the same corpus. We implement this setup on an Arabic fact checking corpus, the first of its kind.

* Stance Detection, Fact-Checking, Veracity, Arabic, NAACL-2018 

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Automatic Stance Detection Using End-to-End Memory Networks

Apr 20, 2018
Mitra Mohtarami, Ramy Baly, James Glass, Preslav Nakov, Lluis Marquez, Alessandro Moschitti

We present a novel end-to-end memory network for stance detection, which jointly (i) predicts whether a document agrees, disagrees, discusses or is unrelated with respect to a given target claim, and also (ii) extracts snippets of evidence for that prediction. The network operates at the paragraph level and integrates convolutional and recurrent neural networks, as well as a similarity matrix as part of the overall architecture. The experimental evaluation on the Fake News Challenge dataset shows state-of-the-art performance.

* NAACL-2018; Stance detection; Fact-Checking; Veracity; Memory networks; Neural Networks; Distributed Representations 

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Building Chatbots from Forum Data: Model Selection Using Question Answering Metrics

Oct 02, 2017
Martin Boyanov, Ivan Koychev, Preslav Nakov, Alessandro Moschitti, Giovanni Da San Martino

We propose to use question answering (QA) data from Web forums to train chatbots from scratch, i.e., without dialog training data. First, we extract pairs of question and answer sentences from the typically much longer texts of questions and answers in a forum. We then use these shorter texts to train seq2seq models in a more efficient way. We further improve the parameter optimization using a new model selection strategy based on QA measures. Finally, we propose to use extrinsic evaluation with respect to a QA task as an automatic evaluation method for chatbots. The evaluation shows that the model achieves a MAP of 63.5% on the extrinsic task. Moreover, it can answer correctly 49.5% of the questions when they are similar to questions asked in the forum, and 47.3% of the questions when they are more conversational in style.

* RANLP-2017 

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SemEval-2017 Task 3: Community Question Answering

Dec 02, 2019
Preslav Nakov, Doris Hoogeveen, Lluís Màrquez, Alessandro Moschitti, Hamdy Mubarak, Timothy Baldwin, Karin Verspoor

We describe SemEval-2017 Task 3 on Community Question Answering. This year, we reran the four subtasks from SemEval-2016:(A) Question-Comment Similarity,(B) Question-Question Similarity,(C) Question-External Comment Similarity, and (D) Rerank the correct answers for a new question in Arabic, providing all the data from 2015 and 2016 for training, and fresh data for testing. Additionally, we added a new subtask E in order to enable experimentation with Multi-domain Question Duplicate Detection in a larger-scale scenario, using StackExchange subforums. A total of 23 teams participated in the task, and submitted a total of 85 runs (36 primary and 49 contrastive) for subtasks A-D. Unfortunately, no teams participated in subtask E. A variety of approaches and features were used by the participating systems to address the different subtasks. The best systems achieved an official score (MAP) of 88.43, 47.22, 15.46, and 61.16 in subtasks A, B, C, and D, respectively. These scores are better than the baselines, especially for subtasks A-C.

* SemEval-2017 
* community question answering, question-question similarity, question-comment similarity, answer reranking, Multi-domain Question Duplicate Detection, StackExchange, English, Arabic 

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Semi-supervised Question Retrieval with Gated Convolutions

Apr 04, 2016
Tao Lei, Hrishikesh Joshi, Regina Barzilay, Tommi Jaakkola, Katerina Tymoshenko, Alessandro Moschitti, Lluis Marquez

Question answering forums are rapidly growing in size with no effective automated ability to refer to and reuse answers already available for previous posted questions. In this paper, we develop a methodology for finding semantically related questions. The task is difficult since 1) key pieces of information are often buried in extraneous details in the question body and 2) available annotations on similar questions are scarce and fragmented. We design a recurrent and convolutional model (gated convolution) to effectively map questions to their semantic representations. The models are pre-trained within an encoder-decoder framework (from body to title) on the basis of the entire raw corpus, and fine-tuned discriminatively from limited annotations. Our evaluation demonstrates that our model yields substantial gains over a standard IR baseline and various neural network architectures (including CNNs, LSTMs and GRUs).

* NAACL 2016 

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SemEval-2016 Task 3: Community Question Answering

Dec 03, 2019
Preslav Nakov, Lluís Màrquez, Alessandro Moschitti, Walid Magdy, Hamdy Mubarak, Abed Alhakim Freihat, James Glass, Bilal Randeree

This paper describes the SemEval--2016 Task 3 on Community Question Answering, which we offered in English and Arabic. For English, we had three subtasks: Question--Comment Similarity (subtask A), Question--Question Similarity (B), and Question--External Comment Similarity (C). For Arabic, we had another subtask: Rerank the correct answers for a new question (D). Eighteen teams participated in the task, submitting a total of 95 runs (38 primary and 57 contrastive) for the four subtasks. A variety of approaches and features were used by the participating systems to address the different subtasks, which are summarized in this paper. The best systems achieved an official score (MAP) of 79.19, 76.70, 55.41, and 45.83 in subtasks A, B, C, and D, respectively. These scores are significantly better than those for the baselines that we provided. For subtask A, the best system improved over the 2015 winner by 3 points absolute in terms of Accuracy.

* SemEval-2016 
* community question answering, question-question similarity, question-comment similarity, answer reranking, English, Arabic. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1912.00730 

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Global Thread-Level Inference for Comment Classification in Community Question Answering

Nov 20, 2019
Shafiq Joty, Alberto Barrón-Cedeño, Giovanni Da San Martino, Simone Filice, Lluís Màrquez, Alessandro Moschitti, Preslav Nakov

Community question answering, a recent evolution of question answering in the Web context, allows a user to quickly consult the opinion of a number of people on a particular topic, thus taking advantage of the wisdom of the crowd. Here we try to help the user by deciding automatically which answers are good and which are bad for a given question. In particular, we focus on exploiting the output structure at the thread level in order to make more consistent global decisions. More specifically, we exploit the relations between pairs of comments at any distance in the thread, which we incorporate in a graph-cut and in an ILP frameworks. We evaluated our approach on the benchmark dataset of SemEval-2015 Task 3. Results improved over the state of the art, confirming the importance of using thread level information.

* EMNLP-2015 
* community question answering, thread-level inference, graph-cut, inductive logic programming 

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Cross-Language Question Re-Ranking

Oct 04, 2017
Giovanni Da San Martino, Salvatore Romeo, Alberto Barron-Cedeno, Shafiq Joty, Lluis Marquez, Alessandro Moschitti, Preslav Nakov

We study how to find relevant questions in community forums when the language of the new questions is different from that of the existing questions in the forum. In particular, we explore the Arabic-English language pair. We compare a kernel-based system with a feed-forward neural network in a scenario where a large parallel corpus is available for training a machine translation system, bilingual dictionaries, and cross-language word embeddings. We observe that both approaches degrade the performance of the system when working on the translated text, especially the kernel-based system, which depends heavily on a syntactic kernel. We address this issue using a cross-language tree kernel, which compares the original Arabic tree to the English trees of the related questions. We show that this kernel almost closes the performance gap with respect to the monolingual system. On the neural network side, we use the parallel corpus to train cross-language embeddings, which we then use to represent the Arabic input and the English related questions in the same space. The results also improve to close to those of the monolingual neural network. Overall, the kernel system shows a better performance compared to the neural network in all cases.

* SIGIR 2017: 1145-1148 
* SIGIR-2017; Community Question Answering; Cross-language Approaches; Question Retrieval; Kernel-based Methods; Neural Networks; Distributed Representations 

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Addressing Community Question Answering in English and Arabic

Oct 18, 2016
Giovanni Da San Martino, Alberto Barrón-Cedeño, Salvatore Romeo, Alessandro Moschitti, Shafiq Joty, Fahad A. Al Obaidli, Kateryna Tymoshenko, Antonio Uva

This paper studies the impact of different types of features applied to learning to re-rank questions in community Question Answering. We tested our models on two datasets released in SemEval-2016 Task 3 on "Community Question Answering". Task 3 targeted real-life Web fora both in English and Arabic. Our models include bag-of-words features (BoW), syntactic tree kernels (TKs), rank features, embeddings, and machine translation evaluation features. To the best of our knowledge, structural kernels have barely been applied to the question reranking task, where they have to model paraphrase relations. In the case of the English question re-ranking task, we compare our learning to rank (L2R) algorithms against a strong baseline given by the Google-generated ranking (GR). The results show that i) the shallow structures used in our TKs are robust enough to noisy data and ii) improving GR is possible, but effective BoW features and TKs along with an accurate model of GR features in the used L2R algorithm are required. In the case of the Arabic question re-ranking task, for the first time we applied tree kernels on syntactic trees of Arabic sentences. Our approaches to both tasks obtained the second best results on SemEval-2016 subtasks B on English and D on Arabic.

* presented at Second WebQA workshop, SIGIR2016 ( 

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