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Chatbot Interaction with Artificial Intelligence: human data augmentation with T5 and language transformer ensemble for text classification


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In this work we present the Chatbot Interaction with Artificial Intelligence (CI-AI) framework as an approach to the training of a transformer based chatbot-like architecture for task classification with a focus on natural human interaction with a machine as opposed to interfaces, code, or formal commands. The intelligent system augments human-sourced data via artificial paraphrasing in order to generate a large set of training data for further classical, attention, and language transformation-based learning approaches for Natural Language Processing (NLP). Human beings are asked to paraphrase commands and questions for task identification for further execution of algorithms as skills. The commands and questions are split into training and validation sets. A total of 483 responses were recorded. Secondly, the training set is paraphrased by the T5 model in order to augment it with further data. Seven state-of-the-art transformer-based text classification algorithms (BERT, DistilBERT, RoBERTa, DistilRoBERTa, XLM, XLM-RoBERTa, and XLNet) are benchmarked for both sets after fine-tuning on the training data for two epochs. We find that all models are improved when training data is augmented by the T5 model, with an average increase of classification accuracy by 4.01%. The best result was the RoBERTa model trained on T5 augmented data which achieved 98.96% classification accuracy. Finally, we found that an ensemble of the five best-performing transformer models via Logistic Regression of output label predictions led to an accuracy of 99.59% on the dataset of human responses. A highly-performing model allows the intelligent system to interpret human commands at the social-interaction level through a chatbot-like interface (e.g. “Robot, can we have a conversation?”) and allows for better accessibility to AI by non-technical users.
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Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing
Chatbot Interaction withArtificial Intelligence: human data
augmentation withT5 andlanguage transformer ensemble fortext
JordanJ.Bird1 · AnikóEkárt2· DiegoR.Faria1
Received: 21 August 2020 / Accepted: 5 August 2021
© The Author(s) 2021
In this work we present the Chatbot Interaction with Artificial Intelligence (CI-AI) framework as an approach to the train-
ing of a transformer based chatbot-like architecture for task classification with a focus on natural human interaction with
a machine as opposed to interfaces, code, or formal commands. The intelligent system augments human-sourced data
via artificial paraphrasing in order to generate a large set of training data for further classical, attention, and language
transformation-based learning approaches for Natural Language Processing (NLP). Human beings are asked to paraphrase
commands and questions for task identification for further execution of algorithms as skills. The commands and questions
are split into training and validation sets. A total of 483 responses were recorded. Secondly, the training set is paraphrased
by the T5 model in order to augment it with further data. Seven state-of-the-art transformer-based text classification algo-
rithms (BERT, DistilBERT, RoBERTa, DistilRoBERTa, XLM, XLM-RoBERTa, and XLNet) are benchmarked for both sets
after fine-tuning on the training data for two epochs. We find that all models are improved when training data is augmented
by the T5 model, with an average increase of classification accuracy by 4.01%. The best result was the RoBERTa model
trained on T5 augmented data which achieved 98.96% classification accuracy. Finally, we found that an ensemble of the five
best-performing transformer models via Logistic Regression of output label predictions led to an accuracy of 99.59% on the
dataset of human responses. A highly-performing model allows the intelligent system to interpret human commands at the
social-interaction level through a chatbot-like interface (e.g. “Robot, can we have a conversation?”) and allows for better
accessibility to AI by non-technical users.
Keywords Chatbot· Human-machine interaction· Data augmentation· Transformers· Language transformation· Natural
Language Processing
1 Introduction
Attention-based and transformer language models are a
rapidly growing field of study within machine learning
and artificial intelligence and for applications beyond. The
field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) has especially
been advanced through transformers due to their approach
to reading being more akin to human behaviour than clas-
sical sequential techniques. With many industries turning
to Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions by the day, mod-
els have a growing requirement for robustness, explain-
ability, and accessibility since AI solutions are becoming
more and more popular for those without specific tech-
nical backgrounds in the field. Another interesting field
that is similarly being seen more often is that of data aug-
mentation; that is, creating data from a set that in itself
* Jordan J. Bird
Anikó Ekárt
Diego R. Faria
1 Aston Robotics, Vision andIntelligent Systems Lab (ARVIS
Lab), Aston University, Birmingham, UK
2 School ofEngineering andApplied Science, Aston
University, Birmingham, UK
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J.J.Bird et al.
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increases the quality of that set of data. The alternative to
data augmentation, which is unfortunately the case with
many modern NLP systems, is to gather more data. As an
alternative to unwanted privacy concerns, data scientists
may instead find ways to augment the data as a friendlier
In this study, we bring together all of these aforemen-
tioned concepts and fields of study to form a system that
we call Chatbot Interaction with Artificial Intelligence (CI-
AI). A general overview of the approach can be observed
in Fig.1. As an alternative to writing code and managing
data, complex machine learning tasks such as conversational
AI, sentiment analysis, scene recognition, brainwave clas-
sification and sign language recognition among others are
given accessibility through an interface of natural, social
interaction via both verbal and non-verbal communication.
That is, for example, a spoken command of “can we have
a conversation?” or a sign language command of “can-we-
talk” would command the system to launch a conversational
AI program. For such a system to be possible, it needs to be
robust, since an interactive system that makes one mistake
for many successes would be considered a broken system.
The system needs to be accessible to a great number of
people with differing backgrounds, and thus must have the
ability to generalise by being exposed to a large amount of
training data. Last, but by no means least, the system needs
to be explainable; as given in a later example, if a human
were to utter the phrase, “Feeling sad today. Can you cheer
me up with a joke?”, which features within that phrase lead
to a correct classification and command to the chatbot to tell
a joke? Where does the model focus within the given text
in order to correctly predict and fulfil the human’s request?
Thus, to achieve these goals, the scientific contributions of
this work are as follows:
1. The collection of a seven-class command-to-task dataset
from multiple human beings from around the world, giv-
ing a total of 483 data objects.
2. Augmentation of the human data with a transformer-
based paraphrasing model which results in a final train-
ing dataset of 13,090 labelled data objects.
3. Benchmarking of seven State-of-the-Art transformer-
based classification approaches for text-to-task com-
mands. Each model is trained on the real training data
and validation data, and is then trained on the real train-
ing data plus the paraphrased augmented data and vali-
dation data. We find that all seven models are improved
significantly when exposed to augmented data.
4. A deep exploration of the best model. Firstly in order
to discern the small amount of errors (1.04% errors)
and how they were caused by seeing the largest errors
in terms of loss and the class probability distributions.
Secondly, the chatbot is given commands that were not
present during training or validation, and top features
(words) are observed- interestingly, given their technical
nature, the models focus keenly on varying parts of the
sentence similar to a human reading.
5. Stacked Generalisation approaches are explored in order
to ensemble several highly performing models, results
show that the stack of multiple transformers outperform
the best singular model.
The rest of this article is structured as follows. Initially, the
background and related studies are explored in Sect.2. The
method of the experiments are described in Sect.3, and the
results from the experiments are then presented in Sect.4.
With the best-performing model in mind, Sect.4.1 then
explores the model in terms of the small number of errors
made, and how the model interprets new and unseen data (ie.
should the model be in deployment). Finally, conclusions are
drawn and future work is suggested in Sect.5.
2 Background andrelated works
Data scarcity often poses a problem in the field of
NLP(Roller etal. 2020), given that even a large subject set
of over one hundred individuals may still result in a rela-
tively small amount of data collected in comparison to other
fields, with consideration to the size of data usually required
for machine and deep learning models. Several works have
suggested that data augmentation is an important solution
Fig. 1 A general overview of
the proposed approach Small Dataset of human
Issue: Data Scarcity
conversational data Testing Dataset
Training dataset
Issue: Data Scarcity
Data augmentation
through T5
Solution: Data Scarcity
Transformer models for
text-task-classification Chatbot Application
Train: Human, Augmented
Validated: Human
Large, augmented
training dataset
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to these problems, that is, engineering synthetic data to
increase the size of a dataset. It is important that the syn-
thetic data is not only different to the actual data, but also
that it contains useful knowledge to improve classifiers when
attempting to understand language. For example, chatbot
software has been noted to improve in ability when syn-
onymous terms are generalised as flags(Bird etal. 2018a).
Techniques that have shown promise include random token
perturbations(Wei and Zou 2019), back-translation(Shleifer
2019), and inductive transfer learning(Howard and Ruder
2018). Recently, it was noted that paraphrasing provides a
strong candidate for solving data scarce NLP problems(Ban-
nard and Callison-Burch 2005; Marton etal. 2009; Lewis
etal. 2020) as well as language transformation(Sun etal.
2020). In this work, we consider improving a data scarce
problem by augmenting the training dataset by paraphrasing
it via a pre-trained Transformer model. In addition, the text
classification models themselves are also transformative in
The Transformer is a new concept in the field of deep
learning(Vaswani etal. 2017). Transformers currently have
a primary focus on NLP, but state-of-the-art image process-
ing using similar networks have recently been explored(Qi
etal. 2020). With the idea of paying attention in mind, the
theory behind the exploration of Transformers in NLP is
their more natural approach to sentences; rather than focus-
ing on one token at a time in the order that they appear and
suffering from the vanishing gradient problem(Schmid-
huber 1992), Transformer-based models instead pay atten-
tion to tokens in a learned order and as such enable more
parallelisation while improving upon many NLP problems
through which many benchmarks have been broken(Vas-
wani etal. 2017; Wang etal. 2018). For these reasons, such
approaches are rapidly forming State-of-the Art scores for
many NLP problems(Tenney etal. 2019). For text data in
particular these include generation(Devlin and Chang 2018;
Radford etal. 2019), question answering(Shao etal. 2019;
Lukovnikov etal. 2019), sentiment analysis(Naseem etal.
2020; Shangipourataei etal. 2020), translation(Zhang etal.
2018; Wang etal. 2019b; DiGangi etal. 2019), paraphras-
ing(Chada 2020; Lewis etal. 2020), and classification(Sun
etal. 2019; Chang etal. 2019). According to(Vaswani etal.
2017), Transformers are based on calculation of scaled dot-
product attention units. These weights are calculated for each
word within the input vector of words (document or sen-
tence). The output of the attention unit are embeddings for
a combination of relevant tokens within the input sequence.
This is shown later on in Sect.4.1 where both correctly and
incorrectly classified input sequences are highlighted with
top features that lead to such a prediction. Weights for the
, key
, and value
are calculated as follows:
The query is an object within the sequence, the keys are
vector representations of said input sequence, and the values
are produced given the query against keys. Unsupervised
models receive Q, K and V from the same source and thus
pay self-attention. For tasks such as classification and trans-
lation, K and V are derived from the source and Q is derived
from the target. For example, Q could be a class for the
text to belong to ie. for sentiment analysis “positive” and
“neutral” and thus the prediction of the classification model.
Secondly, for translation, values K and V could be derived
from the English sentence “Hello, how are you?” and Q the
sequence “Hola, como estas?” for supervised English-Span-
ish machine translation. All of the State-of-the-Art mod-
els benchmarked in these experiments follow the concept
of Multi-headed Attention. This is simply a concatenation
of multiple i attention heads
to form a larger network of
interconnected attention units:
It is important to note that human beings also do not read
in a token-sequential nature as is with classical models such
as the Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) network(Hochre-
iter and Schmidhuber 1997). Figure2 from a 2019 study on
reading comprehension(Eckstein etal. 2019) shows human
behaviour while reading. It can be observed from this exam-
ple and other related studies(Shagass etal. 1976; Kruger
and Steyn 2014; Wang etal. 2019a), that rather than simply
reading left-to-right (or right-to-left(Wang etal. 2019a;
Marquis etal. 2020)), instead attention is paid to areas of
(Q,K,V)=Concatenate(head1, ..., headh)W
Fig. 2 An eye-tracking study of
natural reading from(Eckstein
etal. 2019). The reader’s gaze
naturally follows a left-to-right
reading pattern with a fluctua-
tion back to the main area of
interest, where the main reading
time is greater than that of the
rest of the sentence
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J.J.Bird et al.
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interest within the document. Of course, a human being does
not follow the equations previously described, but it can be
noted that attention-based models are more similar to human
reading comprehension than that of sequential models such
as the LSTM. Later, in Sect.4.1, during the exploration of
top features within correct classifications, it can be observed
that RoBERTa also focuses upon select areas of interest
within a text for prediction.
The Text-to-Text Transfer Transformer (T5) model is a
unified approach to text transformers from Google AI(Raffel
etal. 2019). T5 aims to unify NLP tasks by restricting output
to text which is then interpreted to score the learning task;
for example, it is natural to have a text output for a transla-
tion task (as per the previous example on English-Spanish
translation), but for classification tasks on the other hand,
a sparse vector for each prediction is often expected—T5
instead would output a textual representation of the class(es).
This feature allows T5 to be extended to many NLP tasks
outside of those suggested and benchmarked in the origi-
nal work. To give a specific example to this study, an Eng-
lish–English translation of example “what time is it right
now?” to “could you tell me the time, please?” provides a
paraphrasing activity. That is, to express the same mean-
ing of a text written in a different way. Text-to-text format-
ted problems such as paraphrasing are enabled due to T5’s
encoder–decoder architecture, a diagram of which can be
observed in Fig.3. The model is trained via teacher forc-
ing(Williams and Zipser 1989; Goodfellow etal. 2017)
where ground truth is used as input; each training instance
requires a target for each input sequence. For example in
sequence-to-sequence, an output with an early mistake in the
sequence would be punished for every subsequent output,
whereas teacher-forcing allows for the discarding of early
mistakes after calculating the error at that step. Ultimately
this leads to a learning process wherein statistical proper-
ties can be calculated quicker. Each encoder and decoder
performs self attention and encoder–decoder attention as can
be observed in Eq.1.1
Chatbots are a method of human-machine interaction that
have transcended novelty to become a useful technology of
the modern world. A biological signal study from 2019
(Muscular activity, respiration, heart rate, and electrical
behaviours of the skin) found that textual chatbots provide
a more comfortable platform of interaction than with more
human-like animated avatars, which caused participants to
grow uncomfortable within the uncanny valley(Ciecha-
nowski etal. 2019). Many chatbots exist as entertainment
and as forms of art, such as in 2018(Candello etal. 2018)
when natural interaction was enabled via state-of-art of the
art methods for character generation from text(Haller and
Rebedea 2013). This allowed for 10,000 visitors to converse
with 19th century characters from Machado de Assis’ “Dom
Casmurro”. It has been strongly suggested through multi-
ple experiments that natural interaction with chatbots will
provide a useful educational tool in the future for students
of varying ages(Kerlyl etal. 2006; Leonhardt etal. 2007;
Bollweg etal. 2018). The main open issue in the field of
conversational agents is data scarcity which in turn can lead
to unrealistic and unnatural interaction, overcoming which
are requirements for the Loebner Prize based on the Turing
test(Stephens 2002). Solutions have been offered such as
data selection of input(Dimovski etal. 2018), input sim-
plification and generalisation(Bird etal. 2018a), and more
recently paraphrasing of data(Virkar etal. 2019). These
recent advances in data augmentation by paraphrasing in
particular have shown promise in improving conversational
systems by increasing understanding of naturally spoken
language(Hou etal. 2018; Jin etal. 2018).
3 Proposed approach
In this section, the proposed approach followed by the
experiments are described, from data collection to modes
of learning and classification. The main aim of this work is
to enable accessibility to previous studies, and in particu-
lar the machine learning models derived throughout them.
Accessibility is presented in the form of social interaction,
where a user requests to use a system in particular via natural
language and the task is derived and performed. The seven
commands are:
Scene Recognition(Bird etal. 2020b)—The participant
requests a scene recognition algorithm to be instantiated,
a camera and microphone are activated for multi-modal-
ity classification.
Fig. 3 Diagram of an encoder–decoder architecture
1 Further detail on T5 can be found in (Raffel etal. 2019).
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EEG Classification—The participant requests an EEG
classification algorithm to be instantiated and begins
streaming data from a MUSE EEG headband, there are
two algorithms:
EEG Mental State Classification (Bird etal.
2018b)—Classification of whether the participant
is concentrating, relaxed, or neutral.
– EEG Emotional State Classification (Bird etal.
2019a)—Classification of emotional valence, posi-
tive, negative, or neutral.
Sentiment Analysis of Text(Bird etal. 2019b)—The
participant requests to instantiate a sentiment analysis
classification algorithm for a given text.
Sign Language Recognition(Bird etal. 2020a)—The
participant requests to converse via sign language, a
camera and Leap Motion and Leap Motion are acti-
vated for multi-modality classification. Sign language
is now accepted as input to the task-classification layer
of the chatbot.
Conversational AI(Bird etal. 2018a)—The participant
requests to have a conversation, a chatbot program is
Joke Generator(Manurung etal. 2008; Petrović and
Matthews 2013)—The participant requests to hear a
joke, a joke-generator algorithm is executed and output
is printed.
Each of the given commands are requested in the form of
natural social interaction (either by keyboard input, speech
converted to text, or sign language converted to text), and
through accurate recognition, the correct algorithm is exe-
cuted based on classification of the human input. Tasks such
as sentiment analysis of text and emotional recognition of
EEG brainwaves, and mental state recognition compared to
emotional state recognition, are requested in similar ways
and as such constitutes a difficult classification problem.
For these problems, minute lingual details must be rec-
ognised in order to overcome ambiguity within informal
Figure4 shows the overall view of the system. Key-
board input text, or speech and sign language converted
to text provide an input of natural social interaction.
The chatbot, trained on the tasks, classifies which task
has been requested and executes said task for the human
participant. Sign language, due to its need for an active
camera and hand-tracking, is requested and activated via
keyboard input or speech and itself constitutes a task. In
order to derive the bold ‘Chatbot’ module in Fig.5 shows
the training processes followed. Human data is gathered
via questionnaires which gives a relatively small dataset
Fig. 4 Overall view of the Chat-
bot Interaction with Artificial
Intelligence (CI-AI) system
as a looped process guided by
human input, through natural
social interaction due to the
language transformer approach.
The chatbot itself is trained via
the process in Fig.5
Control via Social
Sign Language
Keyboard Input
Sign Language
Joke Generator
Converse until exit
1. Generate Joke
2. Output Text
1. Decide task
2. Output text
Abilities to run based on human
request via social interaction
(Natural interaction with the
1. Analyse Scene
2. Output Text
1. Analyse Sentiment
2. Output Text
Faux Conversational
Loop for Task
Classification Class output
Enable Camera
and Hand
Tracking for
SL recognition
Human agent
provides input
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(even though many responses were gathered, the nature of
NLP tends to require a large amount of mined data), split
into training and testing instances. The first experiment
is built upon this data, and State-of-the-Art transformer
classification models are benchmarked. In the second set
of more complex experiments, the T5 paraphrasing model
augments the training data and generates a large dataset,
which are then also benchmarked with the same models
and validation data in order to provide a direct comparison
of the effects of augmentation. Augmentation is performed
by paraphrasing the data within the training set, which
therefore provides a greater number of training examples.
Several metrics are used to compare models in terms of
True Positives (TP), True Negatives (TN), False Positives
(FP), and False Negatives (FN).
And finally the F1-Score:
A questionnaire was published online for users to pro-
vide human data in the form of examples of commands that
would lead to a given task classification. Five examples
were given for each, and Table1 shows some examples that
were presented. The questionnaire instructions were intro-
duced with “For each of these questions, please write how
you would state the text differently to how the example is
given. That is, paraphrase it. Please give only one answer
for each. You can be as creative as you want!”. Two exam-
ples were given that were not part of any gathered classes,
“If the question was: ‘How are you getting to the cinema?’
You could answer: ‘Are we driving to the cinema or are we
getting the bus?’ and “If the question was: ‘What time is
it?’ You could answer: ‘Oh no, I slept in too late... Is it the
morning or afternoon? What’s the time?”’. These examples
were designed to show the users that creativity and diver-
sion from the given example was not just acceptable but also
2×precision ×recall
precision +recall
Fig. 5 Data collection and
model training process. In this
example, the T5 paraphrasing
model is used to augment and
enhance the training dataset.
Models are compared when
they are augmented and when
they are not on the same valida-
tion set, in order to discern what
affect augmentation has
Human responses
(Small dataset)
"How would you
say this phrase?" Testing Data (30%)
Training Data (70%) T5 Paraphrasing Model
(Data Augmentation)
Transformation Text
(Model Training)
Control via Social
(Trained Model)
Multiple Models
Large Training
(Augmented Data)
Table 1 A selection of example
statements presented to the
users for paraphrasing
One example is given for each for readability purposes, but a total of five examples were presented to the
Example Statement Class
“Would you like to talk?” CHAT
“Tell me a joke” JOKE
“Can you tell what mood I’m in from my brainwaves?” EEG-EMOTIONS
Am I concentrating? Or am I relaxed? EEG-MENTAL-STATE
“Look around and tell me where you are” SCENE-CLASSIFICATION
“Is this message being sarcastic or are they genuine?” SENTIMENT-ANALYSIS
“I cannot hear the audio, please sign instead” SIGN-LANGUAGE
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encouraged, so long as the general meaning and instruc-
tion of and within the message was retained (the instruc-
tions ended with “The example you give must still make
sense, leading to the same outcome.”). Extra instructions
were given as and when requested, and participants did not
submit any example phrases nor were any duplicates sub-
mitted. A total of 483 individual responses were recorded.
The answers were split 70/30 on a per-class basis to provide
two class-balanced datasets, firstly for training (and aug-
mentation), and secondly for validation. That is, regardless
of augmentation, the model is tested based on this validation
set and are all thus directly comparable in terms of their
learning abilities. The T5 paraphrasing model which was
trained on the Quora question pairs dataset(Quora 2017) is
executed a maximum of 50 times for each statement within
the training set, where the model will stop generating para-
phrases if the limit of possibilities or 50 total are reached.
Once each statement had been paraphrased, a random sub-
sample of the dataset on a per-class basis was taken set at the
number of data objects within the least common class (sign
language). Concatenated then with the real training data, a
dataset of 13,090 examples were formed (1870 per class).
This dataset thus constitutes the second training set for the
second experiment, in order to compare the effects of data
augmentation for the problem presented. The datasets for
these experiments are publicly available.2
Table2 shows the models that are trained and bench-
marked on the two training sets (Human, Human+T5), and
validated on the same validation dataset. It can be observed
that the models are complex, and training requires a rela-
tively high amount of computational resources. Due to this,
the pre-trained weights for each model are fine-tuned for two
epochs on each of the training datasets.
3.1 Statistical ensemble oftransformer classifiers
Finally, a further experiment is devised to combine the
results of the best models within an ensemble, which
can be observed in Fig.6. The training and test datasets
Table 2 An overview of
models benchmarked and their
Model Topology
BERT(Devlin etal. 2018) 12-layer, 768-hidden, 12-heads, 110M parameters
DistilBERT(Sanh etal. 2019) 6-layer, 768-hidden, 2-heads, 66M parameters
RoBERTa(Liu etal. 2019) 12-layer, 768-hidden, 12-heads, 125M parameters
DistilRoBERTa(Liu etal. 2019; Wolf etal. 2019) 6-layer, 768-hidden, 12-heads, 82M parameters
XLM(Conneau and Lample 2019) 12-layer, 2048-hidden, 16-heads, 342M parameters
XLM-RoBERTa(Conneau etal. 2019) 12-layer, 768-hidden, 3072 feed-forward, 8-heads,
125M parameters
XLNet(Yang etal. 2019) 12-layer, 768-hidden, 12-heads, 110M parameters
T5 (Paraphraser)(Raffel etal. 2019) 12-layer, 768-hidden, 12-heads, 220M parameters
Fig. 6 An ensemble strategy
where statistical machine
learning models trained on the
predictions of the transform-
ers then classify the text based
on the test data predictions of
the transformer classification
Numerical Vector of
Human responses
Testing Data (30%)
Training Data (70%) T5 Paraphrasing Model
(Language transformer)
Large Training Dataset
(Augmented Data)
Large Training Dataset
(Augmented Data)
Statistical ML Model
Testing Data
(Human Data)
Transformers (weak models omitted)
2 https:// www. kaggle. com/ birdy 654/ human- robot- inter action- via- t5-
data- augme ntati on.
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J.J.Bird et al.
1 3
are firstly distilled into a numerical vector of five predic-
tions made by the five selected transformer models. These
features are analysed in terms of classification ability by
way of their relative entropy. That is the change in entropy
) in terms of the classification of a
with solution s. Relative entropy or information gain
is thus given as
in regards
to the calculated Entropy E, for instances of original ruleset
H(T) and comparative ruleset H(T|a). Following this, sta-
tistical machine learning models are trained on the training
set and validated by the test set in order to discern whether
combining the models together ultimately improves the abil-
ity of the model. The reasoning behind a statistical ensem-
ble is that it enables possible improvements to a decision
system’s robustness and accuracy(Zhang and Ma 2012).
Given that nuanced differences between the transformers
may lead to ‘personal’ improvements in some situations and
negative impacts in others, for example when certain phrases
appear within commands, a more democratic approach may
allow the pros of some models outweigh the cons of others.
Employing a statistical model to learn these patterns by clas-
sifying the class based on the outputs of the previous models
would thus allow said ML model to learn these nuanced
differences between the transformers.
3.2 Experimental hardware andsoftware
The experiments were executed on an NVidia Tesla K80
GPU which has 4992 CUDA cores and 24 GB of GDDR5
memory via the Google Colab platform. The Transform-
ers were implemented via the KTrain library(Maiya 2020),
which is a back-end for TensorFlow(Abadi etal. 2015)
Keras(Chollet et al. 2015). The pretrained weights for
the Transformers prior to fine-tuning were from the Hug-
gingFace NLP Library(Wolf etal. 2019). The pre-trained
T5 paraphrasing model weights were from(Chang 2020).
The model was implemeted with the HuggingFace NLP
Library(Wolf etal. 2019) via PyTorch(Paszke etal. 2019)
and was trained for two epochs (
20 h) on the p2.xlarge
AWS ec2.
The statistical models for the stacked generalisation
ensemble results were implemented in Python via the Scikit-
learn toolkit(Pedregosa etal. 2011) and executed on an Intel
Core i7 Processor (3.7GHz).
4 Results
Table3 shows the overall results for all of the experiments.
Every single model, even the weakest XLM for this par-
ticular problem, was improved when training on the human
data alongside the augmented data which can be seen for
the increases in metrics in Table4. This required a longer
training time due to the more computationally intense nature
of training on a larger dataset. T5 paraphrasing for data aug-
mentation led to an average accuracy increase of 4.01 points,
and the precision, recall, and F1 scores were also improved
at an average of 0.05, 0.05, and 0.07, respectively.
Interestingly, although the results strongly suggest that
paraphrased data augmentation improves training, the read-
ability of the paraphrased data was relatively mixed and
some strange occurrences took place. For example, “Can
Table 3 Classification results
of each model on the same
validation set, both with and
without augmented paraphrased
data within the training dataset
Bold shows best model per run, underline shows the best model overall
Model With T5 paraphrasing Without T5 paraphrasing
Acc. Prec. Rec. F1 Acc. Prec. Rec. F1
BERT 98.55 0.99 0.99 0.99 90.25 0.93 0.9 0.9
DistilBERT 98.34 0.98 0.98 0.98 97.3 0.97 0.97 0.97
DistilRoBERTa 98.55 0.99 0.99 0.99 95.44 0.96 0.95 0.95
RoBERTa 98.96 0.99 0.99 0.99 97.93 0.98 0.98 0.98
XLM 14.81 0.15 0.15 0.15 13.69 0.02 0.14 0.03
XLM-RoBERTa 98.76 0.99 0.99 0.99 87.97 0.9 0.88 0.88
XLNet 35.68 0.36 0.35 0.36 32.99 0.33 0.24 0.24
Average 77.66 0.78 0.78 0.78 73.65 0.73 0.72 0.71
Table 4 Observed increases in training metrics for each model due to
data augmentation via paraphrasing the training dataset
Model Increase of metrics
Acc. Prec. Rec. F1
BERT 8.3 0.06 0.09 0.09
DistilBERT 1.04 0.01 0.01 0.01
DistilRoBERTa 3.11 0.03 0.04 0.04
RoBERTa 1.03 0.01 0.01 0.01
XLM 1.12 0.13 0.01 0.12
XLM-RoBERTa 10.79 0.09 0.11 0.11
XLNet 2.69 0.03 0.11 0.12
Average 4.01 0.05 0.05 0.07
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1 3
you stay a while and talk with me?” and “Would you mind to
speak with me for a little bit? Or would that be a problem?”
are perfectly reasonable requests for a conversation. But,
some data such as “I want to talk to you. I am a university
student. I’d just like to speak with you. I have everything
to give!” is obviously an unnatural utterance, and yet also
evidently contains some useful knowledge for the model to
learn. Likewise, this can be noted for other classes. To give
another example, “If you know British Sign Language then
I would prefer to use it.” was produced by the paraphrasing
model, and this indeed makes sense and is a useful utterance.
Similarly to the previous example, there were strange sug-
gestions by the model such as “I want to sign but don’t want
to speak. Do you know the signs of a sign?” and “Why do
we speak in leap motion without any real thought?”. Though
these sentences contain useful knowledge as can be seen
from the increase in classification metrics, this suggests
future work may be required to clean the augmented data
(reducing the dataset by culling a selection of the worst out-
puts) which may lead to better performance. This would also
lead to a less computationally expensive approach given that
there would be fewer training examples with only those in
utmost quality retained. These occurrences also suggest that
although paraphrasing is useful for data augmentation when
training to understand human utterances, it would be logical
to not use such a model for data that is going to be presented
to the user such as the chatbot’s responses, given that not
all paraphrased data makes sense from an English language
perspective. Additionally, although it did not occur in the
paraphrasing of this dataset, questions on Quora (which the
T5 is trained on) can be of a sexual nature and as such thus
may lead to inappropriate utterances by the chatbot.
The best performing model was RoBERTa when training
on the human training set as well as the augmented data.
This model achieved 98.96% accuracy with 0.99 precision,
recall and F1 score. The alternative to training only on the
human data achieved 97.93% accuracy with stable preci-
sion, recall and F1 scores of 0.98. The second best perform-
ing models were both the distilled version of RoBERTa and
BERT, which achieved 98.55% and likewise 0.99 for the
other three metrics. Interestingly, some models saw a drastic
increase in classification ability when data augmentation was
implemented; the BERT model rose from 90.25% classifica-
tion accuracy with 0.93 precision, 0.9 recall and 0.9 F1 score
with a +8.3% increase and then more stable metrics of 0.99
each as described previously. In the remainder of this sec-
tion, the 98.96% performing RoBERTa model when trained
upon human and T5 data is explored further. This includes,
exploration of errors made overall and per specific examples,
as well as an exploration of top features within successful
predictions made.
Figure7 shows a comparison between the model perfor-
mance and number of trainable parameters. Note that the
most complex model scored the least in terms of classifi-
cation ability. The best performing model was the second
most complex model of all. The least complex model, Dis-
tilBERT, achieved a relatively high accuracy of 98.34%.
4.1 Exploration ofthebest transformer model
In this section, we explore the best model. The best model,
as previously discussed, was the RoBERTa model when
training on both the collected training data and the para-
phrased data generated by the T5 model.
Table5 shows the classification metrics for each indi-
vidual class by the RoBERTa model. The error matrix for
the validation data can be seen in Fig.8. The tasks of EEG
mental state classification, scene recognition, and sign lan-
guage were classified perfectly. Of the imperfect classes,
the task of conversational AI (‘CHAT’) was sometimes
misclassified as a request for a joke, which is likely due to
the social nature of the two activities. EEG emotional state
classification was rarely mistakenly classified as the mental
state recognition and sentiment analysis tasks, firstly due
to the closely related EEG tasks and secondly as sentiment
analysis since data often involved terms synonymous with
valence or emotion. Similarly, the joke class was also rarely
misclassified as sentiment analysis, for example, “tell me
something funny” and “can you read this email and tell me
Fig. 7 Comparison of each model’s classification ability and number
of million trainable parameters within them
Table 5 Per-class precision, recall, and F1 score metrics for the best
Class Prec. Rec. F1
CHAT 1.00 0.99 0.99
EEG-EMOTIONS 0.99 0.97 0.98
EEG-MENTAL-STATE 0.99 1.00 0.99
JOKE 0.98 0.98 0.98
SIGN-LANGUAGE 1.00 1.00 1.00
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J.J.Bird et al.
1 3
if they are being funny with me?” (‘funny’ in the second
context being a British slang term for sarcasm). The final
class with misclassified instances was sentiment analysis, as
emotional state recognition, for the same reason previously
described when the error occurred vice-versa.
4.2 Mistakes andprobabilities
In this section, we explore the biggest errors made when
classifying the validation set by considering their losses.
Table6 shows the most confusing data objects within the
training set and Fig.9 explores which parts of the phrase
the model focused on to derive these erroneous classifica-
tions. Overall, only five misclassified sentences had a loss
above 1; the worst losses were in the range of 1.05 to 6.24.
The first phrase, “what is your favourite one liner?”, may
likely have caused confusion due to the term “one liner”
which was not present within the training set. Likewise, the
term “valence” in “What is the valence of my brainwaves?”
was also not present within the training set, and the term
“brainwaves” was most common when referring to mental
state recognition rather than emotional state recognition. An
interesting error occurred from the command “Run emotion
classification”, where the classification was incorrectly given
as EEG emotional state recognition rather than Sentiment
Analysis. The command collected from a human subject was
ambiguous, and as such the two most likely classes were the
incorrect EEG Emotions at a probability of 0.672 and the
correct Sentiment Analysis at a probability of 0.32. This
raises an issue to be explored in future works, given the
nature of natural social interaction, it is likely that ambigu-
ity will be present during conversation. Within this errone-
ous classification, two classes were far more likely than all
other classes present, and thus a choice between the two in
the form of a question akin to human deduction of ambigu-
ous language would likely solve such problems and increase
accuracy. Additionally, this would rarely incur the require-
ment of further effort from the user.
4.3 Top features withinunseen data
Following the training of the model, this section explores
features within data when an unseen phrase or command is
uttered. That is, the examples given in this section were not
data within the training or validation datasets, and thus are
more accurate simulations of the model within a real-world
scenario given new data to process based on the rules learnt
during training.
In this regard, Fig.10 shows an example of a correct pre-
diction of unseen data class, for each class. Interestingly,
the model shows behaviour reminiscent of human read-
ing(Biedert etal. 2012; Kunze etal. 2013) due to transform-
ers not being limited to considering a temporal sequence in
chronological order of appearance. In the first example the
most useful features were ‘time to speak’ followed by ‘got’,
‘to’ and ‘me’. The least useful features were ‘right now’,
which alone would be classified as ‘SCENE-CLASSIFICA-
TION’ with a probability of 0.781 due to many provided
training examples for such class containing questions such
as ‘where are you right now? Can you run scene recogni-
tion and tell me?’. The second example also had a strong
negative impact from the word ‘read’ which alone would be
classified as ‘SENTIMENT-ANALYSIS’ with a probabil-
ity of 0.991 due to the existence of phrases such as ‘please
read this message and tell me if they are angry with me’
being popular within the gathered human responses and as
such the augmented data. This example found correct clas-
sification due to the terms ‘emotions’ and ‘mind’ primarily,
followed by ‘feeling’. Following these two first examples,
the remaining five examples were strongly classified. In the
mental state recognition task, even though the term ‘men-
tal state’ was specifically uttered, the term ‘concentrating’
was the strongest feature within the statement given the
goal of the algorithm to classify concentrating and relaxed
states of mind. As could be expected, the ‘JOKE’ task was
best classified by the term ‘joke’ itself being present, but,
interestingly, the confidence of classification was increased
with the phrases ‘Feeling sad today.’ and ‘cheer me up’. The
scene classification task was confidently predicted with a
probability of 1 mainly due to the terms ‘look around’ and
Fig. 8 Normalised confusion matrix for the best command classifica-
tion model, which was RoBERTa when trained on human data and
augmented T5 paraphrased data
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‘where you are’. The red highlight for the word ‘if’ alone
would be classified as ‘SENTIMENT-ANALYSIS’ with a
probability of 0.518 given the popularity of phrases along
the lines of ‘if they are emotion or emotion. The sentiment
analysis task was then, again, confidently classified correctly
with a probability of 1. This was due to the terms ‘received
this email’, ‘if’, and ‘sarcastic’ being present. Finally, the
sign language task was also classified with a probability of
1 most due to the features ‘voice’ and ‘sign’. The red features
highlighted, ‘speaking with please’ would alone be classi-
fied as ‘CHAT’ with a probability of 0.956, since they are
strongly reminiscent to commands such as, ‘can we speak
about something please?’. An interesting behaviour to note
from these examples is the previously described nature of
reading. Transformer models are advancing the field of NLP
in part thanks due to their lack of temporal restriction, ergo
the limitations existent within models such as Recurrent or
Long Short Term Memory Neural Networks. This allows
for behaviours more similar to a human being, such as when
someone may focus on certain key words first before glanc-
ing backwards for more context. Such behaviours are not
possible with sequence-based text classification techniques.
4.4 Transformer ensemble results
Following the previous findings, the five strongest mod-
els which were BERT (98.55%), DistilBERT (98.34%),
RoBERTa (98.96%), Distil-RoBERTa (98.55%), and
Table 6 The most confusing sentences according to the model (all of those with a loss > 1) and the probabilities as to which class they were
predicted to belong to
Text “What is your favourite one liner?”
Actual C4
Predicted C6
Loss 6.24
Prediction probabili-
C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7
0.0163 0.001 0 0.002 0.001 0.977 0.002
Text “What is your favourite movie?”
Actual C1
Predicted C4
Loss 2.75
Prediction probabili-
C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7
0.064 0.0368 0.007 0.513 0.338 0.022 0.02
Text “How do I feel right now?”
Actual C1
Predicted C4
Loss 2.75
Prediction probabili-
C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7
0.007 0.01 0.352 0.434 0.016 0.176 0.005
Text “Run emotion classification”
Actual C6
Predicted C2
Loss 1.71
Prediction probabili-
C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7
0 0.672 0.001 0.002 0.004 0.32 0
Text “What is the valence of my brainwaves?”
Actual C2
Predicted C3
Loss 1.05
Prediction probabili-
C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7
0.001 0.349 0.647 0.001 0.001 0.002 0
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J.J.Bird et al.
1 3
XLM-RoBERTa (98.76%) are combined into a preliminary
ensemble strategy as previously described. XLM (14.81%)
and XLNet (35.68%) are omitted due to their low clas-
sification abilities. As noted, it was observed previously
that the best score by a single model was RoBERTa which
scored 98.96% classification accuracy, and thus the main
goal of the statistical ensemble classifier is to learn pat-
terns that could possibly account for making up some of
the 1.04% of errors and correct for them. Initially, Table7
shows the information gain rankings of each predictor by
10 fold cross validation on the training set alone, interest-
ingly BERT is ranked the highest with an information gain
of 2.717 (± 0.002). Following this, the results in Table8
show the results for multiple statistical methods of ensem-
bling the predictions of the five Transformer models (with
the best performing approaches highlighted in bold); all
of the models with the exception of Gaussian Naïve Bayes
could outperform the best single Transformer model by
an accuracy increase of at least 0.42 points. The two best
models which achieved the same score were Logistic
Regression and Random Forests, which when ensembling
the predictions of the five transformers, could increase
the accuracy by 0.63 points over RoBERTa and achieve
an accuracy of 99.59%.
Finally, Fig.11 shows the confusion matrix for both the
Logistic Regression and Random Forest methods of ensem-
bling Transformer predictions since the errors made by
both models were identical. Many of the errors have been
mitigated through ensembling the transformer models, with
minor confusion occuring between the ‘CHAT’ and ‘JOKE’
classes and the ‘SENTIMENT ANALYSIS’ and ‘EEG-
EMOTIONS’ classes.
5 Conclusion andfuture work
The studies performed in this work have shown primarily
that data augmentation through transformer-based paraphras-
ing via the T5 model have positively useful effects on many
state-of-the-art language transformer-based classification mod-
els. BERT and DistilBERT, RoBERTa and DisilRoBERTa,
XLM, XLM-RoBERTa, and XLNet all showed increases in
learning performance when learning with augmented data
from the training set when compared to learning only on the
original data pre-augmentation. The best single model found
Fig. 9 Exploration and explana-
tion for the errors made during
validation which had a loss
(five such cases)
(probability 0.97 7, score2.910)
Contribution Feature
3.994 Highlighted in text
-1.084 <BIAS>
What is your favouriteone liner?
(probability 0.513, score 0.837)
Contribution Feature
1.73 Highlighted in text
-0.893 <BIAS>
What is
ourfavourite movie?
(probability 0.434, score -0.415)
Contribution Feature
0.394 Highlighted in text
HowdoIfeel right now?
(probability 0.32, score-1.980)
Contribution Feature
-0.595 <BIAS>
-1.385 Highlighted in text
Runemotion classification
(probability 0.647, score 1.147)
Contribution Feature
2.004 Highlighted in text
-0.857 <BIAS>
What is thevalence of my brai nwaves?
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was RoBERTa, which could classify human commands to
an artificially intelligent system at a rate of 98.96% accu-
racy, where errors were often due to ambiguity within human
language. A statistical ensemble of the five best transformer
models then led to an increase accuracy of 99.59% when using
either Logistic Regression or a Random Forest to process the
output predictions of each transformer, utilising small differ-
ences between the models when trained on the dataset. Given
that several related works present XLM as a strong candidate
for different language-based problems with a focus on multi-
lingual training, it is possibly the case that there is not enough
data to fine-tune XLM away from consideration of multiple
languages and this leads to weak results when working with
only English language. Thus in future when several languages
may be considered as input to the system, XLM could be revis-
ited in order to explore this conjecture. Although XLM did not
perform well, the promising performance of XLM-RoBERTa
showed that models trained on a task do not necessarily under
Fig. 10 Exploration of the best
performing model by presenting
unseen sentences and explain-
ing predictions. Green denotes
useful features and red denotes
features useful for another class
(detrimental to probability)
(probability 0.998, score 6.028)
Contribution Feature
0.546 Highlighted in text
0.482 <BIAS>
What are you doingright now?Have you
got time to speaktome?
(probability 0.929, score 2.406)
Contribution Feature
3.128 Highlighted in text
-0.722 <BIAS>
Read my mind andtellmewhatemotions
(probability 1, score9.605)
Contribution Feature
10.483Highlighted in text
-0.878 <BIAS>
Run EEG mental staterecognitionsoIcan
seeifIam concentratin
(probability 1, score10.705)
Contribution Feature
11.17Highlighted in text
-0.465 <BIAS>
Feelingsad today. Canyou cheermeup
with a
(probability 1, score10.948)
Contribution Feature
11.791Highlighted in text
-0.844 <BIAS>
look around andsee if you cantellmewhere
you are.
(probability 1, score10.378)
Contribution Feature
11.031Highlighted in text
-0.653 <BIAS>
Ijustreceivedthi semail.Can youtel lme
if it sounds sarcasticto you please?
(probability 1, score10.186)
Contribution Feature
10.889Highlighted in text
-0.703 <BIAS>
Rather than speaking with my voice, canwe
sign insteadplease?
Table 7 Information Gain ranking of each predictor model by 10 fold
cross validation on the training set
Predictor model (trans-
Average ranking Information
Gain of predic-
BERT 1 (± 0) 2.717 (± 0.002)
DistilBERT 2 (± 0) 2.707 (± 0.002)
DistilRoBERTa 3.1 (± 0.3) 2.681 (± 0.001)
RoBERTa 3.9 (± 0.3) 2.676 (± 0.003)
XLM-RoBERTa 5 (± 0) 2.653 (± 0.002)
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J.J.Bird et al.
1 3
perform on another different task given the general ability of
lingual understanding. With this in mind, and given that the
models are too complex to train simultaneously, it may be use-
ful in the future to explore other methods of ensembling the
predictions such as the addition of the original text alongside
prediction vectors, which may allow for deeper understanding
behind why errors are made and allow for further NLP-based
rules to overcome them. A preliminary ensemble of the five
strongest models showed that classification accuracy could be
further increased by treating the outputs of each transformer
model as attributes in themselves, for rules to be learnt from.
The experiment was limited in that attribute selection was
based solely on removing the two under performing models; in
future, exploration could be performed into attribute selection
to fine-tune the number of models used as input. Additionally,
only a predicted labels in the form of nominal attributes were
used as input, whereas additional attributes such as probabili-
ties of each output class could be utilised in order to provide
more information for the statistical ensemble classifier. The
data in this work was split 70/30 and paraphrasing was exe-
cuted on the 70% of training data only in order not to expose
a classification model to paraphrased text of data contained in
the testing set. This is performed in order to prevent training
data possibly baring strong similarity to test data (since the
output of the T5 may or may not be very similar to the input,
and is difficult to control in this regard). In future, metrics
such as the accuracy, precision, recall, and F1 scores etc. could
be made more scientifically accurate based on the knowledge
gained from this study by performing K-fold Cross Validation
or even Leave One Out Cross Validation if the computational
resources are available to do so.
6 Ethics
All users who answered the questionnaire agreed to the fol-
lowing statement:
The data collected from this form will remain completely
anonymous and used for training a transformation-based
chatbot. The more examples of a command or statement the
bot can observe, the more accurate it will be at giving the
correct response. The responses will be expanded by explor-
ing paraphrases of answers and then further transformed by
a model pre-trained on a large corpus of text and fine-tuned
on the goal-based statements and requests given here.
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri-
bution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adapta-
tion, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long
as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source,
provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes
Table 8 Results for the
ensemble learning of
Transformer predictions
compared to the best single
model (RoBERTa)
Ensemble method Accuracy Precision Recall F1 Difference
over RoB-
Logistic Regression 99.59 0.996 0.996 0.996 0.63
Random Forest 99.59 0.996 0.996 0.996 0.63
Multinomial Naïve Bayes 99.38 0.994 0.994 0.994 0.42
Bernoulli Naïve Bayes 99.38 0.994 0.994 0.994 0.42
Linear Discriminant Analysis 99.38 0.994 0.994 0.994 0.42
XGBoost 99.38 0.994 0.994 0.994 0.42
Support Vector Classifier 99.38 0.994 0.994 0.994 0.42
Bayesian Network 99.38 0.994 0.994 0.994 0.42
Gaussian Naïve Bayes 98.55 0.986 0.985 0.986 –0.41
Fig. 11 Normalised confusion matrix for the best ensemble methods
of Logistic Regression and Random Forest (errors made by the two
were identical)
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... Note that we opted for this dataset after a careful analysis and consideration of all openly available datasets (with none presently existing in the wind industry), which showed that this was the closest match to our problem task (humans asking questions and receiving human-authored answers) towards generating diverse, human-like paraphrases. This model has previously been successfully leveraged for data augmentation through paraphrase generation in a real-world application pertaining to the development of a human-robot interaction framework [100]. We also explored an alternative T5 model fine-tuned on the Google PAWS dataset for this task, but it was not utilised as most paraphrases generated were completely duplicate repetitions of the original questions. ...
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Intelligent question-answering (QA) systems have witnessed increased interest in recent years, particularly in their ability to facilitate information access, data interpretation or decision support. The wind energy sector is one of the most promising sources of renewable energy, yet turbines regularly suffer from failures and operational inconsistencies, leading to downtimes and significant maintenance costs. Addressing these issues requires rapid interpretation of complex and dynamic data patterns under time-critical conditions. In this article, we present a novel approach that leverages interactive, natural language-based decision support for operations & maintenance (O&M) of wind turbines. The proposed interactive QA system allows engineers to pose domain-specific questions in natural language, and provides answers (in natural language) based on the automated retrieval of information on turbine sub-components, their properties and interactions, from a bespoke domain-specific knowledge graph. As data for specific faults is often sparse, we propose the use of paraphrase generation as a way to augment the existing dataset. Our QA system leverages encoder-decoder models to generate Cypher queries to obtain domain-specific facts from the KG database in response to user-posed natural language questions. Experiments with an attention-based sequence-to-sequence (Seq2Seq) model and a transformer show that the transformer accurately predicts up to 89.75% of responses to input questions, outperforming the Seq2Seq model marginally by 0.76%, though being 9.46 times more computationally efficient. The proposed QA system can help support engineers and technicians during O&M to reduce turbine downtime and operational costs, thus improving the reliability of wind energy as a source of renewable energy.
... To address these concerns, sequence-to-sequence transformers [15,18,25,33] provide a unique framework to support multi-task learning and additional class labels by generating text using their decoder component. T5 (Text To Text Transfer Transformer) [25] is one of the popular generative models that offers a unified architecture across multiple tasks and has shown great performances in different applications [2,7,10,21]. ...
Conference Paper
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Recent studies have demonstrated the ability of auto-regressive and seq-to-seq generative models to reach state-of-the-art performance on various Natural Language Understanding (NLU) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks. They operate by framing all the tasks in a single formulation: text auto-completion or text-to-text encoding-decoding. These models can be trained on the products corpus in order to understand the information in the e-commerce products listings. In this paper, we present a new generative model to involve different modalities (e.g. text and vision). The proposed model is an encoder-decoder model with the T5 (Text To Text Transfer Transformer) foundation in which the non-text components are fused to the text tokens. Specific relative positional and token type embeddings are used in the encoder part, while the decoder generates new text corresponding to diverse tasks. Hence, we name the proposed model MMT4: Multi Modality To Text Transfer Transformer. The experiments are done over our proprietary e-commerce catalog involving image and text, with the rationale that the image of a product provides more information about the product. One of the main advantages of this model is to generate product attributes (product specifications) that can be either solely inferred from the text or the image, or both. In the experiments, we pre-train and fine-tune MMT4 to solve a number of downstream tasks: attribute generation, image-text matching (ITM), and title (product name) generation from product’s image (captioning). The experimental results show up to 35% accuracy improvement in comparison with the fine-tuned T5 in the attribute generation task. Product title generation also shows more than 3% higher Rouge-1 recall than the fine-tuned state-of-the-art captioning model. Although we fine-tuned our model on less than 2M samples in a generative mode, its performance is only 2% area under the precision-recall curve lower than the state-of-the-art ITM model.
... Moreover, it employs multi-head attention to capture multiple relationships between the words. These factors allow the Transformer architecture to achieve stellar results compared to its recurrent counterparts in several NLP tasks (Madichetty et al. 2021;Bird et al. 2021). It motivates us to use a Transformer based translation model for performing our experiments. ...
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The field of natural language processing (NLP) has significantly evolved with the advent of state-of-the-art models. The discovery of these models has entirely revolutionised how NLP tasks such as machine translation, sentiment analysis and many others are performed. However, despite their high efficacy and meticulous performance, these models are prone to adversarial attacks. Adversarial attacks involve the introduction of perturbations imperceptible to humans, which can severely impact the model’s learning and prediction accuracy. Current defenses on text data include approaches such as spell-checking and adversarial training, which have their limitations against state-of-the-art adversarial attacks. This paper put forward an effective transformation-based defense, TRIESTE (TRanslatIon basEd defenSe for Text classifiErs). The proposed defense overcomes the shortcomings of existing defenses by translating the input text from the source language to a target language and again back to the source language before providing it to the text classifier. Translation ensures that the sentiment of the translated text is similar to that of the input text by taking the entire text into consideration, which leads to the removal of adversarial perturbations. Rigorous evaluation on publicly available datasets showcases that TRIESTE is successful against state-of-the-art attacks without a significant drop in the classifier accuracy.
... Ensemble chatbots have been leveraged in studies concerning medicine [20], mental healthcare [21], and education [22]. In another study, synthetic data augmentation with transformers was shown to improve chatbot ability when an attention-based model was used to paraphrase training data to create additional examples [23]. On a similar line of questioning to this work, the authors in [24] suggested the possibility of transfer learning between domains for chatbot improvement. ...
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With growing societal acceptance and increasing cost efficiency due to mass production, service robots are beginning to cross from the industrial to the social domain. Currently, customer service robots tend to be digital and emulate social interactions through on-screen text, but state-of-the-art research points towards physical robots soon providing customer service in person. This article explores two possibilities. Firstly, whether transfer learning can aid in the improvement of customer service chatbots between business domains. Secondly, the implementation of a framework for physical robots for in-person interaction. Modelled on social interaction with customer support Twitter accounts, transformer-based chatbot models are initially tasked to learn one domain from an initial random weight distribution. Given shared vocabulary, each model is then tasked with learning another domain by transferring knowledge from the prior. Following studies on 19 different businesses, results show that the majority of models are improved when transferring weights from at least one other domain, in particular those that are more data-scarce than others. General language transfer learning occurs, as well as higher-level transfer of similar domain knowledge in several cases. The chatbots are finally implemented on Temi and Pepper robots, with feasibility issues encountered and solutions are proposed to overcome them.
... There are several types of algorithms used in emotional intelligence, fuzzy models [22], Markov models [17], neural networks [23], Probability Tables [24], reinforcement learning [18] and unsupervised machine learning approaches such as Kmeans, K-medoids or self-organizing maps [25]. ...
Research suggests that emotionally responsive machines that can simulate empathy increase de acceptance of users towards them, as the feeling of affinity towards the machine reduces negative perceptual feedback. In order to endow a robot with emotional intelligence, it must be equipped with sensors capable of capturing users’ emotions (sense), appraisal captured emotions to regulate its internal state (compute), and finally perform tasks where actions are regulated by the computed “emotional” state (act). However, despite the impressive progress made in recent years in terms of artificial intelligence, speech recognition and synthesis, computer vision and many other disciplines directly and indirectly related to artificial emotional recognition and behavior, we are still far from being able to endow robots with the empathic capabilities of a human being. This article aims to give an overview of the implications of introducing emotional intelligence in robotic constructions by discussing recent advances in emotional intelligence in robotics.
... Since human studies can be time-consuming and costly, we trained a paraphrase generator to perform APT. We used T5 base (Raffel et al., 2020), as it achieves SOTA on paraphrase generation (Niu et al., 2020;Bird et al., 2020; and trained it on TwitterPPDB (Section 2). Our hypothesis was that if T5 base is trained to maximize the APT reward (Equation 1), its generated sentences will be more likely to be AP T . ...
... Since human studies can be time-consuming and costly, we trained a paraphrase generator to perform APT. We used T5 base (Raffel et al., 2020), as it achieves SOTA on paraphrase generation (Niu et al., 2020;Bird et al., 2020; and trained it on TwitterPPDB (Section 2). Our hypothesis was that if T5 base is trained to maximize the APT reward (Equation 1), its generated sentences will be more likely to be AP T . ...
Full-text available
If two sentences have the same meaning, it should follow that they are equivalent in their inferential properties, i.e., each sentence should textually entail the other. However, many paraphrase datasets currently in widespread use rely on a sense of paraphrase based on word overlap and syntax. Can we teach them instead to identify paraphrases in a way that draws on the inferential properties of the sentences, and is not over-reliant on lexical and syntactic similarities of a sentence pair? We apply the adversarial paradigm to this question, and introduce a new adversarial method of dataset creation for paraphrase identification: the Adversarial Paraphrasing Task (APT), which asks participants to generate semantically equivalent (in the sense of mutually implicative) but lexically and syntactically disparate paraphrases. These sentence pairs can then be used both to test paraphrase identification models (which get barely random accuracy) and then improve their performance. To accelerate dataset generation, we explore automation of APT using T5, and show that the resulting dataset also improves accuracy. We discuss implications for paraphrase detection and release our dataset in the hope of making paraphrase detection models better able to detect sentence-level meaning equivalence.
Full-text available
In modern Human-Robot Interaction, much thought has been given to accessibility regarding robotic locomotion, specifically the enhancement of awareness and lowering of cognitive load. On the other hand, with social Human-Robot Interaction considered, published research is far sparser given that the problem is less explored than pathfinding and locomotion. This thesis studies how one can endow a robot with affective perception for social awareness in verbal and non-verbal communication. This is possible by the creation of a Human-Robot Interaction framework which abstracts machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies which allow for further accessibility to non-technical users compared to the current State-of-the-Art in the field. These studies thus initially focus on individual robotic abilities in the verbal, non-verbal and multimodality domains. Multimodality studies show that late data fusion of image and sound can improve environment recognition, and similarly that late fusion of Leap Motion Controller and image data can improve sign language recognition ability. To alleviate several of the open issues currently faced by researchers in the field, guidelines are reviewed from the relevant literature and met by the design and structure of the framework that this thesis ultimately presents. The framework recognises a user's request for a task through a chatbot-like architecture. Through research in this thesis that recognises human data augmentation (paraphrasing) and subsequent classification via language transformers, the robot's more advanced Natural Language Processing abilities allow for a wider range of recognised inputs. That is, as examples show, phrases that could be expected to be uttered during a natural human-human interaction are easily recognised by the robot. This allows for accessibility to robotics without the need to physically interact with a computer or write any code, with only the ability of natural interaction (an ability which most humans have) required for access to all the modular machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies embedded within the architecture. Following the research on individual abilities, this thesis then unifies all of the technologies into a deliberative interaction framework, wherein abilities are accessed from long-term memory modules and short-term memory information such as the user's tasks, sensor data, retrieved models, and finally output information. In addition, algorithms for model improvement are also explored, such as through transfer learning and synthetic data augmentation and so the framework performs autonomous learning to these extents to constantly improve its learning abilities. It is found that transfer learning between electroencephalographic and electromyographic biological signals improves the classification of one another given their slight physical similarities. Transfer learning also aids in environment recognition, when transferring knowledge from virtual environments to the real world. In another example of non-verbal communication, it is found that learning from a scarce dataset of American Sign Language for recognition can be improved by multi-modality transfer learning from hand features and images taken from a larger British Sign Language dataset. Data augmentation is shown to aid in electroencephalographic signal classification by learning from synthetic signals generated by a GPT-2 transformer model, and, in addition, augmenting training with synthetic data also shows improvements when performing speaker recognition from human speech. Given the importance of platform independence due to the growing range of available consumer robots, four use cases are detailed, and examples of behaviour are given by the Pepper, Nao, and Romeo robots as well as a computer terminal. The use cases involve a user requesting their electroencephalographic brainwave data to be classified by simply asking the robot whether or not they are concentrating. In a subsequent use case, the user asks if a given text is positive or negative, to which the robot correctly recognises the task of natural language processing at hand and then classifies the text, this is output and the physical robots react accordingly by showing emotion. The third use case has a request for sign language recognition, to which the robot recognises and thus switches from listening to watching the user communicate with them. The final use case focuses on a request for environment recognition, which has the robot perform multimodality recognition of its surroundings and note them accordingly. The results presented by this thesis show that several of the open issues in the field are alleviated through the technologies within, structuring of, and examples of interaction with the framework. The results also show the achievement of the three main goals set out by the research questions; the endowment of a robot with affective perception and social awareness for verbal and non-verbal communication, whether we can create a Human-Robot Interaction framework to abstract machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies which allow for the accessibility of non-technical users, and, as previously noted, which current issues in the field can be alleviated by the framework presented and to what extent.
Nowadays, since any area has large amounts of data (Big Data), the underlying value of this data can be of high importance. These data represent an opportunity to obtain information to improve the institutions operating. The health area is not different and, as everyone knows, any issue related to this area is always sensitive, due to the importance it has to the general population.
Conference Paper
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The novelty of this study consists in a multi-modality approach to scene classification, where image and audio complement each other in a process of deep late fusion. The approach is demonstrated on a difficult classification problem, consisting of two synchronised and balanced datasets of 16,000 data objects, encompassing 4.4 hours of video of 8 environments with varying degrees of similarity. We first extract video frames and accompanying audio at one second intervals. The image and the audio datasets are first classified independently, using a fine-tuned VGG16 and an evolutionary optimised deep neural network, with accuracies of 89.27% and 93.72%, respectively. This is followed by late fusion of the two neural networks to enable a higher order function, leading to accuracy of 96.81% in this multi-modality classifier with synchronised video frames and audio clips. The tertiary neural network implemented for late fusion outperforms classical state-of-the-art classifiers by around 3% when the two primary networks are considered as feature generators. We show that situations where a single-modality may be confused by anomalous data points are now corrected through an emerging higher order integration. Prominent examples include a water feature in a city misclassified as a river by the audio classifier alone and a densely crowded street misclassified as a forest by the image classifier alone. Both are examples which are correctly classified by our multi-modality approach.
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In this work, we show that a late fusion approach to multimodality in sign language recognition improves the overall ability of the model in comparison to the singular approaches of image classification (88.14%) and Leap Motion data classification (72.73%). With a large synchronous dataset of 18 BSL gestures collected from multiple subjects, two deep neural networks are benchmarked and compared to derive a best topology for each. The Vision model is implemented by a Convolutional Neural Network and optimised Artificial Neural Network, and the Leap Motion model is implemented by an evolutionary search of Artificial Neural Network topology. Next, the two best networks are fused for synchronised processing, which results in a better overall result (94.44%) as complementary features are learnt in addition to the original task. The hypothesis is further supported by application of the three models to a set of completely unseen data where a multimodality approach achieves the best results relative to the single sensor method. When transfer learning with the weights trained via British Sign Language, all three models outperform standard random weight distribution when classifying American Sign Language (ASL), and the best model overall for ASL classification was the transfer learning multimodality approach, which scored 82.55% accuracy.
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Phonological awareness is the ability to perceive and manipulate the sounds of spoken words. It is considered a good predictor of reading and spelling abilities. In the current study, we used an eye-tracking procedure to measure fixation differences while adults completed three conditions of phonological awareness in Emirati Arabic (EA): (1) explicit instructions for onset consonant matching (OCM), (2) implicit instructions for segmentation of initial consonant (SIC), and (3) rhyme matching (RM). We hypothesized that fixation indices would vary according to the experimental conditions. We expected explicit instructions to facilitate task performance. Thus, eye movements should reflect more efficient fixation patterns in the explicit OCM condition in comparison to the implicit SIC condition. Moreover, since Arabic is consonant-based, we hypothesized that participants would perform better in the consonant conditions (i.e., OCM and SIC) than in the rhyme condition (i.e., RM). Finally, we expected that providing feedback during practice trials would facilitate participants’ performance overall. Response accuracy, expressed as a percentage of correct responses, was recorded alongside eye movement data. Results show that performance was significantly compromised in the RM condition, where targets received more fixations of longer average duration, and significantly longer gaze durations in comparison to the OCM and SIC conditions. Response accuracy was also significantly lower in the RM condition. Our results indicate that eye-tracking can be used as a tool to test phonological awareness skills and shows differences in performance between tasks containing a vowel or consonant manipulation.
Along with the emergence of the Internet, the rapid development of handheld devices has democratized content creation due to the extensive use of social media and has resulted in an explosion of short informal texts. Although a sentiment analysis of these texts is valuable for many reasons, this task is often perceived as a challenge given that these texts are often short, informal, noisy, and rich in language ambiguities, such as polysemy. Moreover, most of the existing sentiment analysis methods are based on clean data. In this paper, we present DICET, a transformer-based method for sentiment analysis that encodes representation from a transformer and applies deep intelligent contextual embedding to enhance the quality of tweets by removing noise while taking word sentiments, polysemy, syntax, and semantic knowledge into account. We also use the bidirectional long- and short-term memory network to determine the sentiment of a tweet. To validate the performance of the proposed framework, we perform extensive experiments on three benchmark datasets, and results show that DICET considerably outperforms the state of the art in sentiment classification.