Are Pretrained Transformers Robust in Intent Classification? A Missing Ingredient in Evaluation of Out-of-Scope Intent Detection

8 Jun 2021  ·  JianGuo Zhang, Kazuma Hashimoto, Yao Wan, Zhiwei Liu, Ye Liu, Caiming Xiong, Philip S. Yu ·

Pre-trained Transformer-based models were reported to be robust in intent classification. In this work, we first point out the importance of in-domain out-of-scope detection in few-shot intent recognition tasks and then illustrate the vulnerability of pre-trained Transformer-based models against samples that are in-domain but out-of-scope (ID-OOS). We construct two new datasets, and empirically show that pre-trained models do not perform well on both ID-OOS examples and general out-of-scope examples, especially on fine-grained few-shot intent detection tasks. To figure out how the models mistakenly classify ID-OOS intents as in-scope intents, we further conduct analysis on confidence scores and the overlapping keywords, as well as point out several prospective directions for future work. Resources are available on

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