Standard deep learning systems require thousands or millions of examples to learn a concept, and cannot integrate new concepts easily. By contrast, humans have an incredible ability to do one-shot or few-shot learning. For instance, from just hearing a word used in a sentence, humans can infer a great deal about it, by leveraging what the syntax and semantics of the surrounding words tells us. Here, we draw inspiration from this to highlight a simple technique by which deep recurrent networks can similarly exploit their prior knowledge to learn a useful representation for a new word from little data. This could make natural language processing systems much more flexible, by allowing them to learn continually from the new words they encounter.

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小样本学习(Few-Shot Learning,以下简称 FSL )用于解决当可用的数据量比较少时,如何提升神经网络的性能。在 FSL 中,经常用到的一类方法被称为 Meta-learning。和普通的神经网络的训练方法一样,Meta-learning 也包含训练过程和测试过程,但是它的训练过程被称作 Meta-training 和 Meta-testing。

External knowledge is often useful for natural language understanding tasks. We introduce a contextual text representation model called Conceptual-Contextual (CC) embeddings, which incorporates structured knowledge into text representations. Unlike entity embedding methods, our approach encodes a knowledge graph into a context model. CC embeddings can be easily reused for a wide range of tasks just like pre-trained language models. Our model effectively encodes the huge UMLS database by leveraging semantic generalizability. Experiments on electronic health records (EHRs) and medical text processing benchmarks showed our model gives a major boost to the performance of supervised medical NLP tasks.

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The quest of `can machines think' and `can machines do what human do' are quests that drive the development of artificial intelligence. Although recent artificial intelligence succeeds in many data intensive applications, it still lacks the ability of learning from limited exemplars and fast generalizing to new tasks. To tackle this problem, one has to turn to machine learning, which supports the scientific study of artificial intelligence. Particularly, a machine learning problem called Few-Shot Learning (FSL) targets at this case. It can rapidly generalize to new tasks of limited supervised experience by turning to prior knowledge, which mimics human's ability to acquire knowledge from few examples through generalization and analogy. It has been seen as a test-bed for real artificial intelligence, a way to reduce laborious data gathering and computationally costly training, and antidote for rare cases learning. With extensive works on FSL emerging, we give a comprehensive survey for it. We first give the formal definition for FSL. Then we point out the core issues of FSL, which turns the problem from "how to solve FSL" to "how to deal with the core issues". Accordingly, existing works from the birth of FSL to the most recent published ones are categorized in a unified taxonomy, with thorough discussion of the pros and cons for different categories. Finally, we envision possible future directions for FSL in terms of problem setup, techniques, applications and theory, hoping to provide insights to both beginners and experienced researchers.

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In this paper, we investigate the challenges of using reinforcement learning agents for question-answering over knowledge graphs for real-world applications. We examine the performance metrics used by state-of-the-art systems and determine that they are inadequate for such settings. More specifically, they do not evaluate the systems correctly for situations when there is no answer available and thus agents optimized for these metrics are poor at modeling confidence. We introduce a simple new performance metric for evaluating question-answering agents that is more representative of practical usage conditions, and optimize for this metric by extending the binary reward structure used in prior work to a ternary reward structure which also rewards an agent for not answering a question rather than giving an incorrect answer. We show that this can drastically improve the precision of answered questions while only not answering a limited number of previously correctly answered questions. Employing a supervised learning strategy using depth-first-search paths to bootstrap the reinforcement learning algorithm further improves performance.

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Learning with limited data is a key challenge for visual recognition. Few-shot learning methods address this challenge by learning an instance embedding function from seen classes and apply the function to instances from unseen classes with limited labels. This style of transfer learning is task-agnostic: the embedding function is not learned optimally discriminative with respect to the unseen classes, where discerning among them is the target task. In this paper, we propose a novel approach to adapt the embedding model to the target classification task, yielding embeddings that are task-specific and are discriminative. To this end, we employ a type of self-attention mechanism called Transformer to transform the embeddings from task-agnostic to task-specific by focusing on relating instances from the test instances to the training instances in both seen and unseen classes. Our approach also extends to both transductive and generalized few-shot classification, two important settings that have essential use cases. We verify the effectiveness of our model on two standard benchmark few-shot classification datasets --- MiniImageNet and CUB, where our approach demonstrates state-of-the-art empirical performance.

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As a new classification platform, deep learning has recently received increasing attention from researchers and has been successfully applied to many domains. In some domains, like bioinformatics and robotics, it is very difficult to construct a large-scale well-annotated dataset due to the expense of data acquisition and costly annotation, which limits its development. Transfer learning relaxes the hypothesis that the training data must be independent and identically distributed (i.i.d.) with the test data, which motivates us to use transfer learning to solve the problem of insufficient training data. This survey focuses on reviewing the current researches of transfer learning by using deep neural network and its applications. We defined deep transfer learning, category and review the recent research works based on the techniques used in deep transfer learning.

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Meta-learning is a powerful tool that builds on multi-task learning to learn how to quickly adapt a model to new tasks. In the context of reinforcement learning, meta-learning algorithms can acquire reinforcement learning procedures to solve new problems more efficiently by meta-learning prior tasks. The performance of meta-learning algorithms critically depends on the tasks available for meta-training: in the same way that supervised learning algorithms generalize best to test points drawn from the same distribution as the training points, meta-learning methods generalize best to tasks from the same distribution as the meta-training tasks. In effect, meta-reinforcement learning offloads the design burden from algorithm design to task design. If we can automate the process of task design as well, we can devise a meta-learning algorithm that is truly automated. In this work, we take a step in this direction, proposing a family of unsupervised meta-learning algorithms for reinforcement learning. We describe a general recipe for unsupervised meta-reinforcement learning, and describe an effective instantiation of this approach based on a recently proposed unsupervised exploration technique and model-agnostic meta-learning. We also discuss practical and conceptual considerations for developing unsupervised meta-learning methods. Our experimental results demonstrate that unsupervised meta-reinforcement learning effectively acquires accelerated reinforcement learning procedures without the need for manual task design, significantly exceeds the performance of learning from scratch, and even matches performance of meta-learning methods that use hand-specified task distributions.

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A major goal of unsupervised learning is to discover data representations that are useful for subsequent tasks, without access to supervised labels during training. Typically, this goal is approached by minimizing a surrogate objective, such as the negative log likelihood of a generative model, with the hope that representations useful for subsequent tasks will arise incidentally. In this work, we propose instead to directly target a later desired task by meta-learning an unsupervised learning rule, which leads to representations useful for that task. Here, our desired task (meta-objective) is the performance of the representation on semi-supervised classification, and we meta-learn an algorithm -- an unsupervised weight update rule -- that produces representations that perform well under this meta-objective. Additionally, we constrain our unsupervised update rule to a be a biologically-motivated, neuron-local function, which enables it to generalize to novel neural network architectures. We show that the meta-learned update rule produces useful features and sometimes outperforms existing unsupervised learning techniques. We further show that the meta-learned unsupervised update rule generalizes to train networks with different widths, depths, and nonlinearities. It also generalizes to train on data with randomly permuted input dimensions and even generalizes from image datasets to a text task.

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Although reinforcement learning methods can achieve impressive results in simulation, the real world presents two major challenges: generating samples is exceedingly expensive, and unexpected perturbations can cause proficient but narrowly-learned policies to fail at test time. In this work, we propose to learn how to quickly and effectively adapt online to new situations as well as to perturbations. To enable sample-efficient meta-learning, we consider learning online adaptation in the context of model-based reinforcement learning. Our approach trains a global model such that, when combined with recent data, the model can be be rapidly adapted to the local context. Our experiments demonstrate that our approach can enable simulated agents to adapt their behavior online to novel terrains, to a crippled leg, and in highly-dynamic environments.

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Neural word embeddings have been widely used in biomedical Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications since they provide vector representations of words that capture the semantic properties of words and the linguistic relationship between words. Many biomedical applications use different textual sources to train word embeddings and apply these word embeddings to downstream biomedical applications. However, there has been little work on comprehensively evaluating the word embeddings trained from these resources. In this study, we provide a comprehensive empirical evaluation of word embeddings trained from four different resources, namely clinical notes, biomedical publications, Wikepedia, and news. We perform the evaluation qualitatively and quantitatively. In qualitative evaluation, we manually inspect five most similar medical words to a given set of target medical words, and then analyze word embeddings through the visualization of those word embeddings. Quantitative evaluation falls into two categories: extrinsic and intrinsic evaluation. Based on the evaluation results, we can draw the following conclusions. First, EHR and PubMed can capture the semantics of medical terms better than GloVe and Google News and find more relevant similar medical terms. Second, the medical semantic similarity captured by the word embeddings trained on EHR and PubMed are closer to human experts' judgments, compared to these trained on GloVe and Google News. Third, there does not exist a consistent global ranking of word embedding quality for downstream biomedical NLP applications. However, adding word embeddings as extra features will improve results on most downstream tasks. Finally, word embeddings trained from a similar domain corpus do not necessarily have better performance than other word embeddings for any downstream biomedical tasks.

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