'Slow Service' $\Cancel{\Rightarrow}$ 'Great Food': Enhancing Content Preservation In Unsupervised Text Style Transfer

Wanzheng Zhu, Suma Bhat

Oral Session 3 - Thursday 07/21 15:00 EST
Abstract: Text style transfer aims to change the style (e.g., sentiment, politeness) of a sentence while preserving its content. A common solution is the prototype editing approach, where stylistic tokens are deleted in the “mask” stage and then the masked sentences are infilled with the target style tokens in the “infill” stage. Despite their success, these approaches still suffer from the content preservation problem. By closely inspecting the results of existing approaches, we identify two common types of errors: 1) many content-related tokens are masked and 2) irrelevant words associated with the target style are infilled. Our paper aims to enhance content preservation by tackling each of them. In the “mask” stage, we utilize a BERT-based keyword extraction model that incorporates syntactic information to prevent content-related tokens from being masked. In the “infill” stage, we create a pseudo-parallel dataset and train a T5 model to infill the masked sentences without introducing irrelevant content. Empirical results show that our method outperforms the state-of-theart baselines in terms of content preservation, while maintaining comparable transfer effectiveness and language quality.