Natural language processing (NLP) often faces the problem of data diversity such as different domains, themes, styles, and so on. Therefore, a single language model (LM) is insufficient to learn all knowledge from diverse samples. To solve this problem, we firstly propose an autoencoding topic model with a mixture prior (mATM) to perform clustering for the data, where the clusters defined in semantic space describes the data diversity. Having obtained the clustering assignment for each sample, we develop the ensemble LM (EnsLM) with the technique of weight modulation. Specifically, EnsLM contains a backbone that is adjusted by a few modulated weights to fit for different sample clusters. As a result, the backbone learns the shared knowledge among all clusters while modulated weights extract the cluster-specific features. EnsLM can be trained jointly with mATM with a flexible LM backbone. We evaluate the effectiveness of both mATM and EnsLM on various tasks.
Abstractive document summarization is a comprehensive task including document understanding and summary generation, in which area Transformer-based models have achieved the state-of-the-art performance. Compared with Transformers, topic models are better at learning explicit document semantics, and hence could be integrated into Transformers to further boost their performance. To this end, we rearrange and explore the semantics learned by a topic model, and then propose a topic assistant (TA) including three modules. TA is compatible with various Transformer-based models and user-friendly since i) TA is a plug-and-play model that does not break any structure of the original Transformer network, making users easily fine-tune Transformer+TA based on a well pre-trained model; ii) TA only introduces a small number of extra parameters. Experimental results on three datasets demonstrate that TA is able to improve the performance of several Transformer-based models.