CSE8803 DLT: Deep Learning for Text Data (2023 Fall)

Table of Contents


  • Instructor: Chao Zhang
  • Teaching Assistant: Yinghao Li (yinghaoli@gatech.edu); Rongzhi Zhang (rongzhi.zhang@gatech.edu)

Learning Objective

This course will introduce state-of-the-art machine learning techniques for mainstay problems in text data analysis, with particular emphasis on deep learning methods and large language models that have recently achieved enormous success. Students will learn about trending problems in this field, key methods for solving these problems, and their advantages and disadvantages. The students are also expected to read, present, and discuss research papers, as well as conduct a research oriented course project.

The learning objective is that by the end of this course, the students are able to formulate their text analysis problems at hand, choose appropriate models for the problems, and even come up with innovative solutions for solving open research problems in this field. The course will be useful for students who want to solve practical problems involving text data, and also for those who want to do edge-cutting research in text mining, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, and NLP-driven interdisciplinary research.

Prerequisites for this course: the students should be familiar with machine learning and have taken a relevant course before (e.g., CX4240, CSE6740, CS4641); (2) the students should be comfortable with reading research papers and giving presentations; (3) the students should have solid programming skills—the course project can be programming demanding.


Date Topic Presentation Due
08/22/2023 Course Overview   Piazza Signup; Paper Pickup
08/24/2023 Machine Learning Review    
08/29/2023 Project Guideline and Examples   Paper Presentation Signup Open Aug 29
08/31/2023 Module 1: Distributed Representation   Paper Presentation Signup Close
09/05/2023 Word2Vec and Glove P1 and P2 HW1 Out
09/07/2023 Module 2: Deep Model Architectures    
09/12/2023 CNN and RNN P3 and P4  
09/14/2023 Attention & Transformer P5 and P6  
09/19/2023 Module 3: Language Model Pre-Training   HW1 Due
09/21/2023 Encoder-Only (BERT and Roberta) P7 and P8  
09/26/2023 BERT Fine-Tuning P9 and P10 HW2 Out
09/28/2023 Project Checkpoint 1   Checkpoint 1 Signup
10/03/2023 Decoder-Only (GPT3 & GPT4) P11 and P12  
10/05/2023 Encoder-Decoder (T5 & UL2) P13 and P14  
10/10/2023 No Class (Fall Break)    
10/12/2023 Module 4: LLM Instruction Fine-Tuning   HW2 Due
10/17/2023 T0 & Super-Natural-Instructions P15 and P16  
10/19/2023 Distilled Instruction Fine-Tuning P17 and P18 Checkpoint 2 Signup
10/24/2023 Project Checkpoint 2   HW3 Out
10/26/2023 Module 5: LLM Alignment    
10/31/2023 RLHF P19 and P20  
11/02/2023 Constitutional AI P21 and P22  
11/07/2023 Module 6: LLM for Reasoning & Decision Making   HW3 Due, Project Pre-Signup Open
11/09/2023 Chain-Of-Thoughts Reasoning P23 and P24 Checkpoint 3 Signup
11/14/2023 Open-Loop Decision Making P25 and P26  
11/16/2023 Closed-Loop Decision Making P27 and P28 Project Signup Open
11/21/2023 Project Checkpoint 3    
11/23/2023 No Class    
11/28/2023 Project Presentations    
11/30/2023 Project Presentations    
12/05/2023 Project Presentations    
12/08/2023     Project Report Due

Disclaimer: The instructor reserves the right to modify the planned schedule and grading policy as needed during the course.


Homework (30%)

  • There will be three assignments. Each one will test your understanding of the taught methods or the presented papers.
  • Late policy: Assignments are due at 11:59PM of the due date. You will be allowed 2 total late days without penalty for the entire semester. Once those days are used, you will be penalized according to the following policy:
    • Homework is worth full credit before the due time.
    • It is worth 75% credit for the next 24 hours.
    • It is worth 50% credit for the second next 24 hours.
    • It is worth zero credit after that.
  • Follow the Georgia Tech Academic Honor Code.

Paper Presentation (20%)

  • We have 28 papers to study, and you will need to pick one paper from the list to present. The paper list and presentation sign-up sheet is available here (will be open for signup on Aug 27 at 3PM ET).
  • Each presentation is 20 minutes, plus 3 minutes for Q&A. Each presentation can be done by up to three presenters.
  • You need to post your slides by 9pm EST the night before your presentation.
  • The presentation will be graded by the instructor according to the following criteria: quality of slides, presentation clearness, and question addressing. Your presentation should cover at least the following aspects: 1) What is the problem and background? 2) What are the main challenges of the problem? 3) How does the proposed method work? 4) What are the experimental results and observations?
  • If you miss the presentation, unfortunately you will receive zero credit.
  • Useful tips for presentation:

Paper Discussion (10%)

  • After each paper presentation, we will have 10 minutes for free discussion. The discussion will be generally about the strengths/weakness of the paper, what you like/dislike, the practical applications of the techniques, and comparison/connections with other papers we have studied.
  • If you participate in the discussion of one paper and share your thoughts, you will receive 1 discussion point. The total discussion point is 10, which means you need to participate in the discussions for 10 out of the 32 presentations to receive the full score. For each discussion you have participated, please use this form to check-in after you have shared your opinion.

Project (40%)

You need to complete a project on deep learning for text data. Your project needs to be clear about 1) the problem you are attempting to solve; 2) a survey of existing literature for the problem; 3) the technical method you propose in order to solve the problem; 4) the results and conclusion you attain.

  • Each project needs to be completed in a team of 2-4 people. Team members need to clearly claim their contributions in the project report.
  • You will need to do the following:
    • Presentation (20%): group-wise project presentation
    • Final report (20%): a complete and final project report
  • The presentation schedule is available here (will be open for signup Nov 16 at 2pm)
  • Here are some project guidelines and resources you may find useful.

More Resources

Other resources, such as deep learning toolboxes and datasets, will be provided throughout the course.