Self-supervised Short-text Modeling through Auxiliary Context Generation

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Short text is ambiguous and often relies predominantly on the domain and context at hand in order to attain semantic relevance. Existing classification models perform poorly on short text due to data sparsity and inadequate context. Auxiliary context, which can often provide sufficient background regarding the domain, is typically available in several application scenarios. While some of the existing works aim to leverage real-world knowledge to enhance short-text representations, they fail to place appropriate emphasis on the auxiliary context. Such models do not harness the full potential of the available context in auxiliary sources. To address this challenge, we reformulate short-text classification as a dual channel self-supervised learning problem (that leverages auxiliary context) with a generation network and a corresponding prediction model. We propose a self-supervised framework, Pseudo-Auxiliary Context generation network for Short-text Modeling (PACS), to comprehensively leverage auxiliary context and it is jointly learned with a prediction network in an end-to-end manner. Our PACS model consists of two sub-networks: a Context Generation Network (CGN) that models the auxiliary context's distribution and a Prediction Network (PN) to map the short-text features and auxiliary context distribution to the final class label. Our experimental results on diverse datasets demonstrate that PACS outperforms formidable state-of-the-art baselines. We also demonstrate the performance of our model on cold-start scenarios (where contextual information is non-existent) during prediction. Furthermore, we perform interpretability and ablation studies to analyze various representational features captured by our model and the individual contribution of its modules to the overall performance of PACS, respectively.


12 Apr 2022