Belinda Z. Li

Also published as: Belinda Li


2022

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Quantifying Adaptability in Pre-trained Language Models with 500 Tasks
Belinda Li | Jane Yu | Madian Khabsa | Luke Zettlemoyer | Alon Halevy | Jacob Andreas
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

When a neural language model (LM) is adapted to perform a new task, what aspects of the task predict the eventual performance of the model? In NLP, systematic features of LM generalization to individual examples are well characterized, but systematic aspects of LM adaptability to new tasks are not nearly as well understood. We present a large-scale empirical study of the features and limits of LM adaptability using a new benchmark, TaskBench500, built from 500 procedurally generated sequence modeling tasks. These tasks combine core aspects of language processing, including lexical semantics, sequence processing, memorization, logical reasoning, and world knowledge. Using TaskBench500, we evaluate three facets of adaptability, finding that: (1) adaptation procedures differ dramatically in their ability to memorize small datasets; (2) within a subset of task types, adaptation procedures exhibit compositional adaptability to complex tasks; and (3) failure to match training label distributions is explained by mismatches in the intrinsic difficulty of predicting individual labels. Our experiments show that adaptability to new tasks, like generalization to new examples, can be systematically described and understood, and we conclude with a discussion of additional aspects of adaptability that could be studied using the new benchmark.

2021

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On the Influence of Masking Policies in Intermediate Pre-training
Qinyuan Ye | Belinda Z. Li | Sinong Wang | Benjamin Bolte | Hao Ma | Wen-tau Yih | Xiang Ren | Madian Khabsa
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Current NLP models are predominantly trained through a two-stage “pre-train then fine-tune” pipeline. Prior work has shown that inserting an intermediate pre-training stage, using heuristic masking policies for masked language modeling (MLM), can significantly improve final performance. However, it is still unclear (1) in what cases such intermediate pre-training is helpful, (2) whether hand-crafted heuristic objectives are optimal for a given task, and (3) whether a masking policy designed for one task is generalizable beyond that task. In this paper, we perform a large-scale empirical study to investigate the effect of various masking policies in intermediate pre-training with nine selected tasks across three categories. Crucially, we introduce methods to automate the discovery of optimal masking policies via direct supervision or meta-learning. We conclude that the success of intermediate pre-training is dependent on appropriate pre-train corpus, selection of output format (i.e., masked spans or full sentence), and clear understanding of the role that MLM plays for the downstream task. In addition, we find our learned masking policies outperform the heuristic of masking named entities on TriviaQA, and policies learned from one task can positively transfer to other tasks in certain cases, inviting future research in this direction.

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Implicit Representations of Meaning in Neural Language Models
Belinda Z. Li | Maxwell Nye | Jacob Andreas
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Does the effectiveness of neural language models derive entirely from accurate modeling of surface word co-occurrence statistics, or do these models represent and reason about the world they describe? In BART and T5 transformer language models, we identify contextual word representations that function as *models of entities and situations* as they evolve throughout a discourse. These neural representations have functional similarities to linguistic models of dynamic semantics: they support a linear readout of each entity’s current properties and relations, and can be manipulated with predictable effects on language generation. Our results indicate that prediction in pretrained neural language models is supported, at least in part, by dynamic representations of meaning and implicit simulation of entity state, and that this behavior can be learned with only text as training data.

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On Unifying Misinformation Detection
Nayeon Lee | Belinda Z. Li | Sinong Wang | Pascale Fung | Hao Ma | Wen-tau Yih | Madian Khabsa
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

In this paper, we introduce UnifiedM2, a general-purpose misinformation model that jointly models multiple domains of misinformation with a single, unified setup. The model is trained to handle four tasks: detecting news bias, clickbait, fake news, and verifying rumors. By grouping these tasks together, UnifiedM2 learns a richer representation of misinformation, which leads to state-of-the-art or comparable performance across all tasks. Furthermore, we demonstrate that UnifiedM2’s learned representation is helpful for few-shot learning of unseen misinformation tasks/datasets and the model’s generalizability to unseen events.

2020

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Efficient One-Pass End-to-End Entity Linking for Questions
Belinda Z. Li | Sewon Min | Srinivasan Iyer | Yashar Mehdad | Wen-tau Yih
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

We present ELQ, a fast end-to-end entity linking model for questions, which uses a biencoder to jointly perform mention detection and linking in one pass. Evaluated on WebQSP and GraphQuestions with extended annotations that cover multiple entities per question, ELQ outperforms the previous state of the art by a large margin of +12.7% and +19.6% F1, respectively. With a very fast inference time (1.57 examples/s on a single CPU), ELQ can be useful for downstream question answering systems. In a proof-of-concept experiment, we demonstrate that using ELQ significantly improves the downstream QA performance of GraphRetriever.

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Active Learning for Coreference Resolution using Discrete Annotation
Belinda Z. Li | Gabriel Stanovsky | Luke Zettlemoyer
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We improve upon pairwise annotation for active learning in coreference resolution, by asking annotators to identify mention antecedents if a presented mention pair is deemed not coreferent. This simple modification, when combined with a novel mention clustering algorithm for selecting which examples to label, is much more efficient in terms of the performance obtained per annotation budget. In experiments with existing benchmark coreference datasets, we show that the signal from this additional question leads to significant performance gains per human-annotation hour. Future work can use our annotation protocol to effectively develop coreference models for new domains. Our code is publicly available.

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Language Models as Fact Checkers?
Nayeon Lee | Belinda Z. Li | Sinong Wang | Wen-tau Yih | Hao Ma | Madian Khabsa
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Fact Extraction and VERification (FEVER)

Recent work has suggested that language models (LMs) store both common-sense and factual knowledge learned from pre-training data. In this paper, we leverage this implicit knowledge to create an effective end-to-end fact checker using a solely a language model, without any external knowledge or explicit retrieval components. While previous work on extracting knowledge from LMs have focused on the task of open-domain question answering, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to examine the use of language models as fact checkers. In a closed-book setting, we show that our zero-shot LM approach outperforms a random baseline on the standard FEVER task, and that our finetuned LM compares favorably with standard baselines. Though we do not ultimately outperform methods which use explicit knowledge bases, we believe our exploration shows that this method is viable and has much room for exploration.