Pre-trained neural language models bring significant improvement for various NLP tasks, by fine-tuning the models on task-specific training sets. During fine-tuning, the parameters are initialized from pre-trained models directly, which ignores how the learning process of similar NLP tasks in different domains is correlated and mutually reinforced. In this paper, we propose an effective learning procedure named Meta Fine-Tuning (MFT), serving as a meta-learner to solve a group of similar NLP tasks for neural language models. Instead of simply multi-task training over all the datasets, MFT only learns from typical instances of various domains to acquire highly transferable knowledge. It further encourages the language model to encode domain-invariant representations by optimizing a series of novel domain corruption loss functions. After MFT, the model can be fine-tuned for each domain with better parameter initializations and higher generalization ability. We implement MFT upon BERT to solve several multi-domain text mining tasks. Experimental results confirm the effectiveness of MFT and its usefulness for few-shot learning.
Building multi-turn information-seeking conversation systems is an important and challenging research topic. Although several advanced neural text matching models have been proposed for this task, they are generally not efficient for industrial applications. Furthermore, they rely on a large amount of labeled data, which may not be available in real-world applications. To alleviate these problems, we study transfer learning for multi-turn information seeking conversations in this paper. We first propose an efficient and effective multi-turn conversation model based on convolutional neural networks. After that, we extend our model to adapt the knowledge learned from a resource-rich domain to enhance the performance. Finally, we deployed our model in an industrial chatbot called AliMe Assist and observed a significant improvement over the existing online model.
We propose AliMe Chat, an open-domain chatbot engine that integrates the joint results of Information Retrieval (IR) and Sequence to Sequence (Seq2Seq) based generation models. AliMe Chat uses an attentive Seq2Seq based rerank model to optimize the joint results. Extensive experiments show our engine outperforms both IR and generation based models. We launch AliMe Chat for a real-world industrial application and observe better results than another public chatbot.