Representation learning, especially which by using deep learning, has been widely applied in classification. However, how to use limited size of labeled data to achieve good classification performance with deep neural network, and how can the learned features further improve classification remain indefinite. In this paper, we propose Horizontal Voting Vertical Voting and Horizontal Stacked Ensemble methods to improve the classification performance of deep neural networks. In the ICML 2013 Black Box Challenge, via using these methods independently, Bing Xu achieved 3rd in public leaderboard, and 7th in private leaderboard; Jingjing Xie achieved 4th in public leaderboard, and 5th in private leaderboard.

Click to Read Paper
This paper concerns open-world classification, where the classifier not only needs to classify test examples into seen classes that have appeared in training but also reject examples from unseen or novel classes that have not appeared in training. Specifically, this paper focuses on discovering the hidden unseen classes of the rejected examples. Clearly, without prior knowledge this is difficult. However, we do have the data from the seen training classes, which can tell us what kind of similarity/difference is expected for examples from the same class or from different classes. It is reasonable to assume that this knowledge can be transferred to the rejected examples and used to discover the hidden unseen classes in them. This paper aims to solve this problem. It first proposes a joint open classification model with a sub-model for classifying whether a pair of examples belongs to the same or different classes. This sub-model can serve as a distance function for clustering to discover the hidden classes of the rejected examples. Experimental results show that the proposed model is highly promising.

Click to Read Paper
Traditional supervised learning makes the closed-world assumption that the classes appeared in the test data must have appeared in training. This also applies to text learning or text classification. As learning is used increasingly in dynamic open environments where some new/test documents may not belong to any of the training classes, identifying these novel documents during classification presents an important problem. This problem is called open-world classification or open classification. This paper proposes a novel deep learning based approach. It outperforms existing state-of-the-art techniques dramatically.

* accepted at EMNLP 2017
Click to Read Paper
This paper makes a focused contribution to supervised aspect extraction. It shows that if the system has performed aspect extraction from many past domains and retained their results as knowledge, Conditional Random Fields (CRF) can leverage this knowledge in a lifelong learning manner to extract in a new domain markedly better than the traditional CRF without using this prior knowledge. The key innovation is that even after CRF training, the model can still improve its extraction with experiences in its applications.

* Accepted at ACL 2017. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1612.07940
Click to Read Paper
In this paper, we revise two commonly used saturated functions, the logistic sigmoid and the hyperbolic tangent (tanh). We point out that, besides the well-known non-zero centered property, slope of the activation function near the origin is another possible reason making training deep networks with the logistic function difficult to train. We demonstrate that, with proper rescaling, the logistic sigmoid achieves comparable results with tanh. Then following the same argument, we improve tahn by penalizing in the negative part. We show that "penalized tanh" is comparable and even outperforms the state-of-the-art non-saturated functions including ReLU and leaky ReLU on deep convolution neural networks. Our results contradict to the conclusion of previous works that the saturation property causes the slow convergence. It suggests further investigation is necessary to better understand activation functions in deep architectures.

Click to Read Paper
This paper proposes a method based on repulsive forces and sparse reconstruction for the detection and location of abnormal events in crowded scenes. In order to avoid the challenging problem of accurately tracking each specific individual in a dense or complex scene, we divide each frame of the surveillance video into a fixed number of grids and select a single representative point in each grid as the individual to track. The repulsive force model, which can accurately reflect interactive behaviors of crowds, is used to calculate the interactive forces between grid particles in crowded scenes and to construct a force flow matrix using these discrete forces from a fixed number of continuous frames. The force flow matrix, which contains spatial and temporal information, is adopted to train a group of visual dictionaries by sparse coding. To further improve the detection efficiency and avoid concept drift, we propose a fully unsupervised global and local dynamic updating algorithm, based on sparse reconstruction and a group of word pools. For anomaly location, since our method is based on a fixed grid, we can judge whether anomalies occur in a region intuitively according to the reconstruction error of the corresponding visual words. We experimentally verify the proposed method using the UMN dataset, the UCSD dataset and the Web dataset separately. The results indicate that our method can not only detect abnormal events accurately, but can also pinpoint the location of anomalies.

Click to Read Paper
One of the key tasks of sentiment analysis of product reviews is to extract product aspects or features that users have expressed opinions on. In this work, we focus on using supervised sequence labeling as the base approach to performing the task. Although several extraction methods using sequence labeling methods such as Conditional Random Fields (CRF) and Hidden Markov Models (HMM) have been proposed, we show that this supervised approach can be significantly improved by exploiting the idea of concept sharing across multiple domains. For example, "screen" is an aspect in iPhone, but not only iPhone has a screen, many electronic devices have screens too. When "screen" appears in a review of a new domain (or product), it is likely to be an aspect too. Knowing this information enables us to do much better extraction in the new domain. This paper proposes a novel extraction method exploiting this idea in the context of supervised sequence labeling. Experimental results show that it produces markedly better results than without using the past information.

* 10 pages
Click to Read Paper
We propose a systematic approach to reduce the memory consumption of deep neural network training. Specifically, we design an algorithm that costs O(sqrt(n)) memory to train a n layer network, with only the computational cost of an extra forward pass per mini-batch. As many of the state-of-the-art models hit the upper bound of the GPU memory, our algorithm allows deeper and more complex models to be explored, and helps advance the innovations in deep learning research. We focus on reducing the memory cost to store the intermediate feature maps and gradients during training. Computation graph analysis is used for automatic in-place operation and memory sharing optimizations. We show that it is possible to trade computation for memory - giving a more memory efficient training algorithm with a little extra computation cost. In the extreme case, our analysis also shows that the memory consumption can be reduced to O(log n) with as little as O(n log n) extra cost for forward computation. Our experiments show that we can reduce the memory cost of a 1,000-layer deep residual network from 48G to 7G with only 30 percent additional running time cost on ImageNet problems. Similarly, significant memory cost reduction is observed in training complex recurrent neural networks on very long sequences.

Click to Read Paper
The robustness of neural networks to intended perturbations has recently attracted significant attention. In this paper, we propose a new method, \emph{learning with a strong adversary}, that learns robust classifiers from supervised data. The proposed method takes finding adversarial examples as an intermediate step. A new and simple way of finding adversarial examples is presented and experimentally shown to be efficient. Experimental results demonstrate that resulting learning method greatly improves the robustness of the classification models produced.

Click to Read Paper
In this paper we investigate the performance of different types of rectified activation functions in convolutional neural network: standard rectified linear unit (ReLU), leaky rectified linear unit (Leaky ReLU), parametric rectified linear unit (PReLU) and a new randomized leaky rectified linear units (RReLU). We evaluate these activation function on standard image classification task. Our experiments suggest that incorporating a non-zero slope for negative part in rectified activation units could consistently improve the results. Thus our findings are negative on the common belief that sparsity is the key of good performance in ReLU. Moreover, on small scale dataset, using deterministic negative slope or learning it are both prone to overfitting. They are not as effective as using their randomized counterpart. By using RReLU, we achieved 75.68\% accuracy on CIFAR-100 test set without multiple test or ensemble.

Click to Read Paper
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 popular 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. The datasets and code are available at https://www.cs.uic.edu/~hxu/.

* accepted by NAACL 2019
Click to Read Paper
Seeking information about products and services is an important activity of online consumers before making a purchase decision. Inspired by recent research on conversational reading comprehension (CRC) on formal documents, this paper studies the task of leveraging knowledge from a huge amount of reviews to answer multi-turn questions from consumers or users. Questions spanning multiple turns in a dialogue enables users to ask more specific questions that are hard to ask within a single question as in traditional machine reading comprehension (MRC). In this paper, we first build a dataset and then propose a novel task-adaptation approach to encoding the formulation of CRC task into a pre-trained language model. This task-adaptation approach is unsupervised and can greatly enhance the performance of the end CRC task that has only limited supervision. Experimental results show that the proposed approach is highly effective and has competitive performance as supervised approach. We plan to release the datasets and the code in May 2019.

Click to Read Paper
Classic supervised learning makes the closed-world assumption, meaning that classes seen in testing must have been seen in training. However, in the dynamic world, new or unseen class examples may appear constantly. A model working in such an environment must be able to reject unseen classes (not seen or used in training). If enough data is collected for the unseen classes, the system should incrementally learn to accept/classify them. This learning paradigm is called open-world learning (OWL). Existing OWL methods all need some form of re-training to accept or include the new classes in the overall model. In this paper, we propose a meta-learning approach to the problem. Its key novelty is that it only needs to train a meta-classifier, which can then continually accept new classes when they have enough labeled data for the meta-classifier to use, and also detect/reject future unseen classes. No re-training of the meta-classifier or a new overall classifier covering all old and new classes is needed. In testing, the method only uses the examples of the seen classes (including the newly added classes) on-the-fly for classification and rejection. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the new approach.

Click to Read Paper
Learning high-quality domain word embeddings is important for achieving good performance in many NLP tasks. General-purpose embeddings trained on large-scale corpora are often sub-optimal for domain-specific applications. However, domain-specific tasks often do not have large in-domain corpora for training high-quality domain embeddings. In this paper, we propose a novel lifelong learning setting for domain embedding. That is, when performing the new domain embedding, the system has seen many past domains, and it tries to expand the new in-domain corpus by exploiting the corpora from the past domains via meta-learning. The proposed meta-learner characterizes the similarities of the contexts of the same word in many domain corpora, which helps retrieve relevant data from the past domains to expand the new domain corpus. Experimental results show that domain embeddings produced from such a process improve the performance of the downstream tasks.

* IJCAI 2018
* 7 pages
Click to Read Paper
One key task of fine-grained sentiment analysis of product reviews is to extract product aspects or features that users have expressed opinions on. This paper focuses on supervised aspect extraction using deep learning. Unlike other highly sophisticated supervised deep learning models, this paper proposes a novel and yet simple CNN model employing two types of pre-trained embeddings for aspect extraction: general-purpose embeddings and domain-specific embeddings. Without using any additional supervision, this model achieves surprisingly good results, outperforming state-of-the-art sophisticated existing methods. To our knowledge, this paper is the first to report such double embeddings based CNN model for aspect extraction and achieve very good results.

* ACL 2018
Click to Read Paper
Recently, the online car-hailing service, Didi, has emerged as a leader in the sharing economy. Used by passengers and drivers extensive, it becomes increasingly important for the car-hailing service providers to minimize the waiting time of passengers and optimize the vehicle utilization, thus to improve the overall user experience. Therefore, the supply-demand estimation is an indispensable ingredient of an efficient online car-hailing service. To improve the accuracy of the estimation results, we analyze the implicit relationships between the points of Interest (POI) and the supply-demand gap in this paper. The different categories of POIs have positive or negative effects on the estimation, we propose a POI selection scheme and incorporate it into XGBoost [1] to achieve more accurate estimation results. Our experiment demonstrates our method provides more accurate estimation results and more stable estimation results than the existing methods.

Click to Read Paper
For visual tracking, most of the traditional correlation filters (CF) based methods suffer from the bottleneck of feature redundancy and lack of motion information. In this paper, we design a novel tracking framework, called multi-hierarchical independent correlation filters (MHIT). The framework consists of motion estimation module, hierarchical features selection, independent CF online learning, and adaptive multi-branch CF fusion. Specifically, the motion estimation module is introduced to capture motion information, which effectively alleviates the object partial occlusion in the temporal video. The multi-hierarchical deep features of CNN representing different semantic information can be fully excavated to track multi-scale objects. To better overcome the deep feature redundancy, each hierarchical features are independently fed into a single branch to implement the online learning of parameters. Finally, an adaptive weight scheme is integrated into the framework to fuse these independent multi-branch CFs for the better and more robust visual object tracking. Extensive experiments on OTB and VOT datasets show that the proposed MHIT tracker can significantly improve the tracking performance. Especially, it obtains a 20.1% relative performance gain compared to the top trackers on the VOT2017 challenge, and also achieves new state-of-the-art performance on the VOT2018 challenge.

Click to Read Paper
Matching pedestrians across multiple camera views known as human re-identification (re-identification) is a challenging problem in visual surveillance. In the existing works concentrating on feature extraction, representations are formed locally and independent of other regions. We present a novel siamese Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) architecture that can process image regions sequentially and enhance the discriminative capability of local feature representation by leveraging contextual information. The feedback connections and internal gating mechanism of the LSTM cells enable our model to memorize the spatial dependencies and selectively propagate relevant contextual information through the network. We demonstrate improved performance compared to the baseline algorithm with no LSTM units and promising results compared to state-of-the-art methods on Market-1501, CUHK03 and VIPeR datasets. Visualization of the internal mechanism of LSTM cells shows meaningful patterns can be learned by our method.

Click to Read Paper
Conversational semantic parsing over tables requires knowledge acquiring and reasoning abilities, which have not been well explored by current state-of-the-art approaches. Motivated by this fact, we propose a knowledge-aware semantic parser to improve parsing performance by integrating various types of knowledge. In this paper, we consider three types of knowledge, including grammar knowledge, expert knowledge, and external resource knowledge. First, grammar knowledge empowers the model to effectively replicate previously generated logical form, which effectively handles the co-reference and ellipsis phenomena in conversation Second, based on expert knowledge, we propose a decomposable model, which is more controllable compared with traditional end-to-end models that put all the burdens of learning on trial-and-error in an end-to-end way. Third, external resource knowledge, i.e., provided by a pre-trained language model or an entity typing model, is used to improve the representation of question and table for a better semantic understanding. We conduct experiments on the SequentialQA dataset. Results show that our knowledge-aware model outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches. Incremental experimental results also prove the usefulness of various knowledge. Further analysis shows that our approach has the ability to derive the meaning representation of a context-dependent utterance by leveraging previously generated outcomes.

Click to Read Paper
Automatically solving mathematical word problems (MWPs) is challenging, primarily due to the semantic gap between human-readable words and machine-understandable logics. Despite a long history dated back to the 1960s, MWPs has regained intensive attention in the past few years with the advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AI). To solve MWPs successfully is considered as a milestone towards general AI. Many systems have claimed promising results in self-crafted and small-scale datasets. However, when applied on large and diverse datasets, none of the proposed methods in the literatures achieves a high precision, revealing that current MWPs solvers are still far from intelligent. This motivated us to present a comprehensive survey to deliver a clear and complete picture of automatic math problem solvers. In this survey, we emphasize on algebraic word problems, summarize their extracted features and proposed techniques to bridge the semantic gap, and compare their performance in the publicly accessible datasets. We will also cover automatic solvers for other types of math problems such as geometric problems that require the understanding of diagrams. Finally, we will identify several emerging research directions for the readers with interests in MWPs.

* 17 pages, 5 figures
Click to Read Paper