He Xie


Industry Scale Semi-Supervised Learning for Natural Language Understanding
Luoxin Chen | Francisco Garcia | Varun Kumar | He Xie | Jianhua Lu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Industry Papers

This paper presents a production Semi-Supervised Learning (SSL) pipeline based on the student-teacher framework, which leverages millions of unlabeled examples to improve Natural Language Understanding (NLU) tasks. We investigate two questions related to the use of unlabeled data in production SSL context: 1) how to select samples from a huge unlabeled data pool that are beneficial for SSL training, and 2) how does the selected data affect the performance of different state-of-the-art SSL techniques. We compare four widely used SSL techniques, Pseudo-label (PL), Knowledge Distillation (KD), Virtual Adversarial Training (VAT) and Cross-View Training (CVT) in conjunction with two data selection methods including committee-based selection and submodular optimization based selection. We further examine the benefits and drawbacks of these techniques when applied to intent classification (IC) and named entity recognition (NER) tasks, and provide guidelines specifying when each of these methods might be beneficial to improve large scale NLU systems.

Towards Realistic Single-Task Continuous Learning Research for NER
Justin Payan | Yuval Merhav | He Xie | Satyapriya Krishna | Anil Ramakrishna | Mukund Sridhar | Rahul Gupta
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

There is an increasing interest in continuous learning (CL), as data privacy is becoming a priority for real-world machine learning applications. Meanwhile, there is still a lack of academic NLP benchmarks that are applicable for realistic CL settings, which is a major challenge for the advancement of the field. In this paper we discuss some of the unrealistic data characteristics of public datasets, study the challenges of realistic single-task continuous learning as well as the effectiveness of data rehearsal as a way to mitigate accuracy loss. We construct a CL NER dataset from an existing publicly available dataset and release it along with the code to the research community.


Paraphrase Generation for Semi-Supervised Learning in NLU
Eunah Cho | He Xie | William M. Campbell
Proceedings of the Workshop on Methods for Optimizing and Evaluating Neural Language Generation

Semi-supervised learning is an efficient way to improve performance for natural language processing systems. In this work, we propose Para-SSL, a scheme to generate candidate utterances using paraphrasing and methods from semi-supervised learning. In order to perform paraphrase generation in the context of a dialog system, we automatically extract paraphrase pairs to create a paraphrase corpus. Using this data, we build a paraphrase generation system and perform one-to-many generation, followed by a validation step to select only the utterances with good quality. The paraphrase-based semi-supervised learning is applied to five functionalities in a natural language understanding system. Our proposed method for semi-supervised learning using paraphrase generation does not require user utterances and can be applied prior to releasing a new functionality to a system. Experiments show that we can achieve up to 19% of relative slot error reduction without an access to user utterances, and up to 35% when leveraging live traffic utterances.