Settles, Burr, T. LaFlair, Geoffrey, and Hagiwara, Masato
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Vol 8, Pp 247-263 (2020)
Computational linguistics. Natural language processing and P98-98.5
We describe a method for rapidly creating language proficiency assessments, and provide experimental evidence that such tests can be valid, reliable, and secure. Our approach is the first to use machine learning and natural language processing to induce proficiency scales based on a given standard, and then use linguistic models to estimate item difficulty directly for computer-adaptive testing. This alleviates the need for expensive pilot testing with human subjects. We used these methods to develop an online proficiency exam called the Duolingo English Test, and demonstrate that its scores align significantly with other high-stakes English assessments. Furthermore, our approach produces test scores that are highly reliable, while generating item banks large enough to satisfy security requirements.
The key idea behind active learning is that a machine learning algorithm can achieve greater accuracy with fewer labeled training instances if it is allowed to choose the training data from which is learns. An active learner may ask queries in the form of unlabeled instances to be labeled by an oracle (e.g., a human annotator). Active learning is well-motivated in many modern machine learning problems, where unlabeled data may be abundant but labels are difficult, time-consuming, or expensive to obtain. This report provides a general introduction to active learning and a survey of the literature. This includes a discussion of the scenarios in which queries can be formulated, and an overview of the query strategy frameworks proposed in the literature to date. An analysis of the empirical and theoretical evidence for active learning, a summary of several problem setting variants, and a discussion of related topics in machine learning research are also presented.
Most approaches to classifying media content assume a fixed, closed vocabulary of labels. In contrast, we advocate machine learning approaches which take advantage of the millions of free-form tags obtainable via online crowd-sourcing platforms and social tagging websites. The use of such open vocabularies presents learning challenges due to typographical errors, synonymy, and a potentially unbounded set of tag labels. In this work, we present a new approach that organizes these noisy tags into well-behaved semantic classes using topic modeling, and learn to predict tags accurately using a mixture of topic classes. This method can utilize an arbitrary open vocabulary of tags, reduces training time by 94% compared to learning from these tags directly, and achieves comparable performance for classification and superior performance for retrieval. We also demonstrate that on open vocabulary tasks, human evaluations are essential for measuring the true performance of tag classifiers, which traditional evaluation methods will consistently underestimate. We focus on the domain of tagging music clips, and demonstrate our results using data collected with a human computation game called TagATune. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
Methods that learn from prior information about input features such as generalized expectation (GE) have been used to train accurate models with very little effort. In this paper, we propose an active learning approach in which the machine solicits "labels" on features rather than instances. In both simulated and real user experiments on two sequence labeling tasks we show that our active learning method outperforms passive learning with features as well as traditional active learning with instances. Preliminary experiments suggest that novel interfaces which intelligently solicit labels on multiple features facilitate more efficient annotation.