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Domain Adaptation in NLP - Towards Adaptation to Any Domain

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Natural Language Processing algorithms have made incredible progress, but they still struggle when applied to out-of-distribution examples. In this work, we address a challenging and underexplored version of this domain adaptation problem, where an algorithm is trained on several source domains, and then applied to examples from an unseen domain that is unknown at training time. Particularly, no examples, labeled or unlabeled, or any other knowledge about the target domain are available to the algorithm at training time. We present PADA : A Prompt-based Autoregressive Domain Adaptation algorithm, based on the T5 model. Given a test example, PADA first generates a unique prompt and then, conditioned on this prompt, labels the example with respect to the NLP task. The prompt is a sequence of unrestricted length, consisting of pre-defined Domain Related Features (DRFs) that characterize each of the source domains. Intuitively, the prompt is a unique signature that maps the test example to the semantic space spanned by the source domains. In experiments with 3 tasks (text classification and sequence tagging), for a total of 14 multi-source adaptation scenarios, PADA substantially outperforms strong baselines.

This talk is part of the Language Technology Lab Seminars series.

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