Learning Neural Sequence-to-Sequence Models from Weak Feedback with Bipolar Ramp Loss

Laura Jehl, Carolin Lawrence, Stefan Riezler


In many machine learning scenarios, supervision by gold labels is not available, and consequently neural models cannot be  trained directly by maximum likelihood estimation (MLE). In a weak supervision scenario, metric-augmented objectives can be  employed to assign feedback to model outputs, which can be used to extract a supervision signal for training. We present several  objectives for two separate weakly supervised tasks, machine translation and semantic parsing. We show that objectives should  actively discourage negative outputs in addition to promoting a surrogate gold structure. This notion of bipolarity is naturally  present in ramp loss objectives, which we  adapt to neural models. We show that bipolar ramp loss objectives outperform other  non-bipolar ramp loss objectives and minimum risk training (MRT) on both weakly  supervised tasks, as well as on a supervised machine translation task. Additionally, we  introduce a novel token-level ramp loss objective, which is able to outperform even  the best sequence-level ramp loss on both  weakly supervised tasks.


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