TDNN: A Two-stage Deep Neural Network for Prompt-independent Automated Essay Scoring

Cancan Jin, Ben He, Kai Hui, Le Sun

Existing automated essay scoring (AES) models rely on rated essays for the target prompt as training data. Despite their successes in prompt-dependent AES, how to effectively predict essay ratings under a prompt-independent setting remains a challenge, where the rated essays for the target prompt are not available. To close this gap, a two-stage deep neural network (TDNN) is proposed. In particular, in the first stage, using the rated essays for non-target prompts as the training data, a shallow model is learned to select essays with an extreme quality for the target prompt, serving as pseudo training data; in the second stage, an end-to-end hybrid deep model is proposed to learn a prompt-dependent rating model consuming the pseudo training data from the first step. Evaluation of the proposed TDNN on the standard ASAP dataset demonstrates a promising improvement for the prompt-independent AES task.