Few-Shot Stance Detection via Target-Aware Prompt Distillation

27 Jun 2022  ·  Yan Jiang, Jinhua Gao, HuaWei Shen, Xueqi Cheng ·

Stance detection aims to identify whether the author of a text is in favor of, against, or neutral to a given target. The main challenge of this task comes two-fold: few-shot learning resulting from the varying targets and the lack of contextual information of the targets. Existing works mainly focus on solving the second issue by designing attention-based models or introducing noisy external knowledge, while the first issue remains under-explored. In this paper, inspired by the potential capability of pre-trained language models (PLMs) serving as knowledge bases and few-shot learners, we propose to introduce prompt-based fine-tuning for stance detection. PLMs can provide essential contextual information for the targets and enable few-shot learning via prompts. Considering the crucial role of the target in stance detection task, we design target-aware prompts and propose a novel verbalizer. Instead of mapping each label to a concrete word, our verbalizer maps each label to a vector and picks the label that best captures the correlation between the stance and the target. Moreover, to alleviate the possible defect of dealing with varying targets with a single hand-crafted prompt, we propose to distill the information learned from multiple prompts. Experimental results show the superior performance of our proposed model in both full-data and few-shot scenarios.

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