Joint Alignment of Multi-Task Feature and Label Spaces for Emotion Cause Pair Extraction

Emotion cause pair extraction (ECPE), as one of the derived subtasks of emotion cause analysis (ECA), shares rich inter-related features with emotion extraction (EE) and cause extraction (CE). Therefore EE and CE are frequently utilized as auxiliary tasks for better feature learning, modeled via multi-task learning (MTL) framework by prior works to achieve state-of-the-art (SoTA) ECPE results. However, existing MTL-based methods either fail to simultaneously model the specific features and the interactive feature in between, or suffer from the inconsistency of label prediction. In this work, we consider addressing the above challenges for improving ECPE by performing two alignment mechanisms with a novel A^2Net model. We first propose a feature-task alignment to explicitly model the specific emotion-&cause-specific features and the shared interactive feature. Besides, an inter-task alignment is implemented, in which the label distance between the ECPE and the combinations of EE&CE are learned to be narrowed for better label consistency. Evaluations of benchmarks show that our methods outperform current best-performing systems on all ECA subtasks. Further analysis proves the importance of our proposed alignment mechanisms for the task.

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