Chenglei Si


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READIN: A Chinese Multi-Task Benchmark with Realistic and Diverse Input Noises
Chenglei Si | Zhengyan Zhang | Yingfa Chen | Xiaozhi Wang | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

For many real-world applications, the user-generated inputs usually contain various noises due to speech recognition errors caused by linguistic variations or typographical errors (typos). Thus, it is crucial to test model performance on data with realistic input noises to ensure robustness and fairness. However, little study has been done to construct such benchmarks for Chinese, where various language-specific input noises happen in the real world. In order to fill this important gap, we construct READIN: a Chinese multi-task benchmark with REalistic And Diverse Input Noises. READIN contains four diverse tasks and requests annotators to re-enter the original test data with two commonly used Chinese input methods: Pinyin input and speech input. We designed our annotation pipeline to maximize diversity, for example by instructing the annotators to use diverse input method editors (IMEs) for keyboard noises and recruiting speakers from diverse dialectical groups for speech noises. We experiment with a series of strong pretrained language models as well as robust training methods, we find that these models often suffer significant performance drops on READIN even with robustness methods like data augmentation. As the first large-scale attempt in creating a benchmark with noises geared towards user-generated inputs, we believe that READIN serves as an important complement to existing Chinese NLP benchmarks. The source code and dataset can be obtained from

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Measuring Inductive Biases of In-Context Learning with Underspecified Demonstrations
Chenglei Si | Dan Friedman | Nitish Joshi | Shi Feng | Danqi Chen | He He
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In-context learning (ICL) is an important paradigm for adapting large language models (LLMs) to new tasks, but the generalization behavior of ICL remains poorly understood. We investigate the inductive biases of ICL from the perspective of feature bias: which feature ICL is more likely to use given a set of underspecified demonstrations in which two features are equally predictive of the labels. First, we characterize the feature biases of GPT-3 models by constructing underspecified demonstrations from a range of NLP datasets and feature combinations. We find that LLMs exhibit clear feature biases—for example, demonstrating a strong bias to predict labels according to sentiment rather than shallow lexical features, like punctuation. Second, we evaluate the effect of different interventions that are designed to impose an inductive bias in favor of a particular feature, such as adding a natural language instruction or using semantically relevant label words. We find that, while many interventions can influence the learner to prefer a particular feature, it can be difficult to overcome strong prior biases. Overall, our results provide a broader picture of the types of features that ICL may be more likely to exploit and how to impose inductive biases that are better aligned with the intended task.

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Getting MoRE out of Mixture of Language Model Reasoning Experts
Chenglei Si | Weijia Shi | Chen Zhao | Luke Zettlemoyer | Jordan Boyd-Graber
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

While recent large language models (LLMs) improve on various question answering (QA) datasets, it remains difficult for a single model to generalize across question types that require distinct reasoning abilities. We provide empirical evidence that state-of-the-art LLMs suffer from poor generalizability on reasoning types beyond those seen in the prompt. To remedy this, we propose a Mixture-of-Reasoning-Experts (MORE) framework that ensembles diverse specialized language models. We specialize the backbone language model with prompts optimized for different reasoning categories, including factual, multihop, mathematical, and commonsense reasoning. Our key insight is to leverage agreement among the specialized experts to select the best answer for each question, or to abstain from answering. This gives MORE higher accuracy than any single specialized model on a collection of 12 QA datasets from four reasoning types. Beyond generalizability, the interpretable design of MORE improves selective question answering results compared to baselines without incorporating inter-expert agreement. This framework is also more interpretable and useful to human consumers of QA outputs. Our human study confirms that presenting expert predictions and the answer selection process helps annotators more accurately calibrate when to trust the system’s output. We release all code and data to facilitate future work.

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Ignore This Title and HackAPrompt: Exposing Systemic Vulnerabilities of LLMs Through a Global Prompt Hacking Competition
Sander Schulhoff | Jeremy Pinto | Anaum Khan | Louis-François Bouchard | Chenglei Si | Svetlina Anati | Valen Tagliabue | Anson Kost | Christopher Carnahan | Jordan Boyd-Graber
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Large Language Models (LLMs) are increasingly being deployed in interactive contexts that involve direct user engagement, such as chatbots and writing assistants. These deployments are increasingly plagued by prompt injection and jailbreaking (collectively, prompt hacking), in which models are manipulated to ignore their original instructions and instead follow potentially malicious ones. Although widely acknowledged as a significant security threat, there is a dearth of a large-scale resource and quantitative study on prompt hacking. To address this lacuna, we launch a global prompt hacking competition, which allows for free-form human input attacks. We elicit 600K+ adversarial prompts against three state-of-the-art LLMs. We describe the dataset, which empirically verifies that current LLMs can indeed be manipulated via prompt hacking. We also present a comprehensive ontology of the types of adversarial prompts.

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Sub-Character Tokenization for Chinese Pretrained Language Models
Chenglei Si | Zhengyan Zhang | Yingfa Chen | Fanchao Qi | Xiaozhi Wang | Zhiyuan Liu | Yasheng Wang | Qun Liu | Maosong Sun
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 11

Tokenization is fundamental to pretrained language models (PLMs). Existing tokenization methods for Chinese PLMs typically treat each character as an indivisible token. However, they ignore the unique feature of the Chinese writing system where additional linguistic information exists below the character level, i.e., at the sub-character level. To utilize such information, we propose sub-character (SubChar for short) tokenization. Specifically, we first encode the input text by converting each Chinese character into a short sequence based on its glyph or pronunciation, and then construct the vocabulary based on the encoded text with sub-word segmentation. Experimental results show that SubChar tokenizers have two main advantages over existing tokenizers: 1) They can tokenize inputs into much shorter sequences, thus improving the computational efficiency. 2) Pronunciation-based SubChar tokenizers can encode Chinese homophones into the same transliteration sequences and produce the same tokenization output, hence being robust to homophone typos. At the same time, models trained with SubChar tokenizers perform competitively on downstream tasks. We release our code and models at to facilitate future work.


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Re-Examining Calibration: The Case of Question Answering
Chenglei Si | Chen Zhao | Sewon Min | Jordan Boyd-Graber
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

For users to trust model predictions, they need to understand model outputs, particularly their confidence — calibration aims to adjust (calibrate) models’ confidence to match expected accuracy. We argue that the traditional calibration evaluation does not promote effective calibrations: for example, it can encourage always assigning a mediocre confidence score to all predictions, which does not help users distinguish correct predictions from wrong ones. Building on those observations, we propose a new calibration metric, MacroCE, that better captures whether the model assigns low confidence to wrong predictions and high confidence to correct predictions. Focusing on the practical application of open-domain question answering, we examine conventional calibration methods applied on the widely-used retriever-reader pipeline, all of which do not bring significant gains under our new MacroCE metric. Toward better calibration, we propose a new calibration method (ConsCal) that uses not just final model predictions but whether multiple model checkpoints make consistent predictions. Altogether, we provide an alternative view of calibration along with a new metric, re-evaluation of existing calibration methods on our metric, and proposal of a more effective calibration method.


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What’s in a Name? Answer Equivalence For Open-Domain Question Answering
Chenglei Si | Chen Zhao | Jordan Boyd-Graber
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

A flaw in QA evaluation is that annotations often only provide one gold answer. Thus, model predictions semantically equivalent to the answer but superficially different are considered incorrect. This work explores mining alias entities from knowledge bases and using them as additional gold answers (i.e., equivalent answers). We incorporate answers for two settings: evaluation with additional answers and model training with equivalent answers. We analyse three QA benchmarks: Natural Questions, TriviaQA, and SQuAD. Answer expansion increases the exact match score on all datasets for evaluation, while incorporating it helps model training over real-world datasets. We ensure the additional answers are valid through a human post hoc evaluation.

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Benchmarking Robustness of Machine Reading Comprehension Models
Chenglei Si | Ziqing Yang | Yiming Cui | Wentao Ma | Ting Liu | Shijin Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Better Robustness by More Coverage: Adversarial and Mixup Data Augmentation for Robust Finetuning
Chenglei Si | Zhengyan Zhang | Fanchao Qi | Zhiyuan Liu | Yasheng Wang | Qun Liu | Maosong Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Adversarial Training for Machine Reading Comprehension with Virtual Embeddings
Ziqing Yang | Yiming Cui | Chenglei Si | Wanxiang Che | Ting Liu | Shijin Wang | Guoping Hu
Proceedings of *SEM 2021: The Tenth Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics

Adversarial training (AT) as a regularization method has proved its effectiveness on various tasks. Though there are successful applications of AT on some NLP tasks, the distinguishing characteristics of NLP tasks have not been exploited. In this paper, we aim to apply AT on machine reading comprehension (MRC) tasks. Furthermore, we adapt AT for MRC tasks by proposing a novel adversarial training method called PQAT that perturbs the embedding matrix instead of word vectors. To differentiate the roles of passages and questions, PQAT uses additional virtual P/Q-embedding matrices to gather the global perturbations of words from passages and questions separately. We test the method on a wide range of MRC tasks, including span-based extractive RC and multiple-choice RC. The results show that adversarial training is effective universally, and PQAT further improves the performance.


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CharBERT: Character-aware Pre-trained Language Model
Wentao Ma | Yiming Cui | Chenglei Si | Ting Liu | Shijin Wang | Guoping Hu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Most pre-trained language models (PLMs) construct word representations at subword level with Byte-Pair Encoding (BPE) or its variations, by which OOV (out-of-vocab) words are almost avoidable. However, those methods split a word into subword units and make the representation incomplete and fragile. In this paper, we propose a character-aware pre-trained language model named CharBERT improving on the previous methods (such as BERT, RoBERTa) to tackle these problems. We first construct the contextual word embedding for each token from the sequential character representations, then fuse the representations of characters and the subword representations by a novel heterogeneous interaction module. We also propose a new pre-training task named NLM (Noisy LM) for unsupervised character representation learning. We evaluate our method on question answering, sequence labeling, and text classification tasks, both on the original datasets and adversarial misspelling test sets. The experimental results show that our method can significantly improve the performance and robustness of PLMs simultaneously.


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Dataset Mention Extraction and Classification
Animesh Prasad | Chenglei Si | Min-Yen Kan
Proceedings of the Workshop on Extracting Structured Knowledge from Scientific Publications

Datasets are integral artifacts of empirical scientific research. However, due to natural language variation, their recognition can be difficult and even when identified, can often be inconsistently referred across and within publications. We report our approach to the Coleridge Initiative’s Rich Context Competition, which tasks participants with identifying dataset surface forms (dataset mention extraction) and associating the extracted mention to its referred dataset (dataset classification). In this work, we propose various neural baselines and evaluate these model on one-plus and zero-shot classification scenarios. We further explore various joint learning approaches - exploring the synergy between the tasks - and report the issues with such techniques.

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Sentiment Aware Neural Machine Translation
Chenglei Si | Kui Wu | Ai Ti Aw | Min-Yen Kan
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Asian Translation

Sentiment ambiguous lexicons refer to words where their polarity depends strongly on con- text. As such, when the context is absent, their translations or their embedded sentence ends up (incorrectly) being dependent on the training data. While neural machine translation (NMT) has achieved great progress in recent years, most systems aim to produce one single correct translation for a given source sentence. We investigate the translation variation in two sentiment scenarios. We perform experiments to study the preservation of sentiment during translation with three different methods that we propose. We conducted tests with both sentiment and non-sentiment bearing contexts to examine the effectiveness of our methods. We show that NMT can generate both positive- and negative-valent translations of a source sentence, based on a given input sentiment label. Empirical evaluations show that our valence-sensitive embedding (VSE) method significantly outperforms a sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) baseline, both in terms of BLEU score and ambiguous word translation accuracy in test, given non-sentiment bearing contexts.