Chunting Zhou


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Look-back Decoding for Open-Ended Text Generation
Nan Xu | Chunting Zhou | Asli Celikyilmaz | Xuezhe Ma
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Given a prefix (context), open-ended generation aims to decode texts that are coherent, which do not abruptly drift from previous topics, and informative, which do not suffer from undesired repetitions. In this paper, we propose Look-back, an improved decoding algorithm that leverages the Kullback–Leibler divergence to track the distribution distance between current and historical decoding steps. Thus Look-back can automatically predict potential repetitive phrase and topic drift, and remove tokens that may cause the failure modes, restricting the next token probability distribution within a plausible distance to the history. We perform decoding experiments on document continuation and story generation, and demonstrate that Look-back is able to generate more fluent and coherent text, outperforming other strong decoding methods significantly in both automatic and human evaluations.

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Multi-Dimensional Evaluation of Text Summarization with In-Context Learning
Sameer Jain | Vaishakh Keshava | Swarnashree Mysore Sathyendra | Patrick Fernandes | Pengfei Liu | Graham Neubig | Chunting Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Evaluation of natural language generation (NLG) is complex and multi-dimensional. Generated text can be evaluated for fluency, coherence, factuality, or any other dimensions of interest. Most frameworks that perform such multi-dimensional evaluation require training on large manually or synthetically generated datasets. In this paper, we study the efficacy of large language models as multi-dimensional evaluators using in-context learning, obviating the need for large training datasets. Our experiments show that in-context learning-based evaluators are competitive with learned evaluation frameworks for the task of text summarization, establishing state-of-the-art on dimensions such as relevance and factual consistency. We then analyze the effects of factors such as the selection and number of in-context examples on performance. Finally, we study the efficacy of in-context learning-based evaluators in evaluating zero-shot summaries written by large language models such as GPT-3.

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In-context Examples Selection for Machine Translation
Sweta Agrawal | Chunting Zhou | Mike Lewis | Luke Zettlemoyer | Marjan Ghazvininejad
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Large-scale generative models show an impressive ability to perform a wide range of Natural Language Processing (NLP) tasks using in-context learning, where a few examples are used to describe a task to the model. For Machine Translation (MT), these examples are typically randomly sampled from the development dataset with a similar distribution as the evaluation set. However, it is unclear how the choice of these in context examples and their ordering impacts the output translation quality. In this work, we aim to understand the properties of good in-context examples for MT in both in-domain and out-of-domain settings. We show that the translation quality and the domain of the in-context examples matter and that 1-shot noisy unrelated examples can have a catastrophic impact on output quality. While concatenating multiple random examples reduces the effect of noise, a single good prompt optimized to maximize translation quality on the development dataset can elicit learned information from the pre-trained language model. Adding similar examples based on an n-gram overlap with the test source significantly and consistently improves the translation quality of the outputs, outperforming a strong kNN-MT baseline in 2 out of 4 out-of-domain datasets.

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Training Trajectories of Language Models Across Scales
Mengzhou Xia | Mikel Artetxe | Chunting Zhou | Xi Victoria Lin | Ramakanth Pasunuru | Danqi Chen | Luke Zettlemoyer | Veselin Stoyanov
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Scaling up language models has led to unprecedented performance gains, but little is understood about how the training dynamics change as models get larger. How do language models of different sizes learn during pre-training? Why do larger language models demonstrate more desirable behaviors? In this paper, we analyze the intermediate training checkpoints of differently sized OPT models (Zhang et al., 2022)—from 125M to 175B parameters—on next-token prediction, sequence-level generation and downstream tasks. We find that 1) at a given perplexity and independent of model sizes, a similar subset of training tokens see the most significant reduction in loss, with the rest stagnating or showing double-descent behavior (Nakkiran et al., 2020); 2) early in training, all models learn to reduce the perplexity of grammatical sequences that contain hallucinations, with small models halting at this suboptimal distribution and larger ones eventually learning to assign these sequences lower probabilities; and 3) perplexity is a strong predictor of in-context learning performance on 74 multiple-choice tasks from BIG-Bench, and this holds independent of the model size. Together, these results show that perplexity is more predictive of model behaviors than model size or training computation.


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Prompt Consistency for Zero-Shot Task Generalization
Chunting Zhou | Junxian He | Xuezhe Ma | Taylor Berg-Kirkpatrick | Graham Neubig
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

One of the most impressive results of recent NLP history is the ability of pre-trained language models to solve new tasks in a zero-shot setting. To achieve this, NLP tasks are framed as natural language prompts, generating a response indicating the predicted output. Nonetheless, the performance in such settings often lags far behind its supervised counterpart, suggesting a large space for potential improvement. In this paper, we explore methods to utilize unlabeled data to improve zero-shot performance. Specifically, we take advantage of the fact that multiple prompts can be used to specify a single task, and propose to regularize prompt consistency, encouraging consistent predictions over this diverse set of prompts. Our method makes it possible to fine-tune the model either with extra unlabeled training data, or directly on test input at inference time in an unsupervised manner. In experiments, our approach outperforms the state-of-the-art zero-shot learner, T0, on 9 out of 11 datasets across 4 NLP tasks by up to 10.6 absolute points in terms of accuracy. The gains are often attained with a small number of unlabeled examples.


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Detecting Hallucinated Content in Conditional Neural Sequence Generation
Chunting Zhou | Graham Neubig | Jiatao Gu | Mona Diab | Francisco Guzmán | Luke Zettlemoyer | Marjan Ghazvininejad
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Distributionally Robust Multilingual Machine Translation
Chunting Zhou | Daniel Levy | Xian Li | Marjan Ghazvininejad | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Multilingual neural machine translation (MNMT) learns to translate multiple language pairs with a single model, potentially improving both the accuracy and the memory-efficiency of deployed models. However, the heavy data imbalance between languages hinders the model from performing uniformly across language pairs. In this paper, we propose a new learning objective for MNMT based on distributionally robust optimization, which minimizes the worst-case expected loss over the set of language pairs. We further show how to practically optimize this objective for large translation corpora using an iterated best response scheme, which is both effective and incurs negligible additional computational cost compared to standard empirical risk minimization. We perform extensive experiments on three sets of languages from two datasets and show that our method consistently outperforms strong baseline methods in terms of average and per-language performance under both many-to-one and one-to-many translation settings.


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Handling Syntactic Divergence in Low-resource Machine Translation
Chunting Zhou | Xuezhe Ma | Junjie Hu | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Despite impressive empirical successes of neural machine translation (NMT) on standard benchmarks, limited parallel data impedes the application of NMT models to many language pairs. Data augmentation methods such as back-translation make it possible to use monolingual data to help alleviate these issues, but back-translation itself fails in extreme low-resource scenarios, especially for syntactically divergent languages. In this paper, we propose a simple yet effective solution, whereby target-language sentences are re-ordered to match the order of the source and used as an additional source of training-time supervision. Experiments with simulated low-resource Japanese-to-English, and real low-resource Uyghur-to-English scenarios find significant improvements over other semi-supervised alternatives.

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FlowSeq: Non-Autoregressive Conditional Sequence Generation with Generative Flow
Xuezhe Ma | Chunting Zhou | Xian Li | Graham Neubig | Eduard Hovy
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Most sequence-to-sequence (seq2seq) models are autoregressive; they generate each token by conditioning on previously generated tokens. In contrast, non-autoregressive seq2seq models generate all tokens in one pass, which leads to increased efficiency through parallel processing on hardware such as GPUs. However, directly modeling the joint distribution of all tokens simultaneously is challenging, and even with increasingly complex model structures accuracy lags significantly behind autoregressive models. In this paper, we propose a simple, efficient, and effective model for non-autoregressive sequence generation using latent variable models. Specifically, we turn to generative flow, an elegant technique to model complex distributions using neural networks, and design several layers of flow tailored for modeling the conditional density of sequential latent variables. We evaluate this model on three neural machine translation (NMT) benchmark datasets, achieving comparable performance with state-of-the-art non-autoregressive NMT models and almost constant decoding time w.r.t the sequence length.

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Density Matching for Bilingual Word Embedding
Chunting Zhou | Xuezhe Ma | Di Wang | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Recent approaches to cross-lingual word embedding have generally been based on linear transformations between the sets of embedding vectors in the two languages. In this paper, we propose an approach that instead expresses the two monolingual embedding spaces as probability densities defined by a Gaussian mixture model, and matches the two densities using a method called normalizing flow. The method requires no explicit supervision, and can be learned with only a seed dictionary of words that have identical strings. We argue that this formulation has several intuitively attractive properties, particularly with the respect to improving robustness and generalization to mappings between difficult language pairs or word pairs. On a benchmark data set of bilingual lexicon induction and cross-lingual word similarity, our approach can achieve competitive or superior performance compared to state-of-the-art published results, with particularly strong results being found on etymologically distant and/or morphologically rich languages.


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Adapting Word Embeddings to New Languages with Morphological and Phonological Subword Representations
Aditi Chaudhary | Chunting Zhou | Lori Levin | Graham Neubig | David R. Mortensen | Jaime Carbonell
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Much work in Natural Language Processing (NLP) has been for resource-rich languages, making generalization to new, less-resourced languages challenging. We present two approaches for improving generalization to low-resourced languages by adapting continuous word representations using linguistically motivated subword units: phonemes, morphemes and graphemes. Our method requires neither parallel corpora nor bilingual dictionaries and provides a significant gain in performance over previous methods relying on these resources. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approaches on Named Entity Recognition for four languages, namely Uyghur, Turkish, Bengali and Hindi, of which Uyghur and Bengali are low resource languages, and also perform experiments on Machine Translation. Exploiting subwords with transfer learning gives us a boost of +15.2 NER F1 for Uyghur and +9.7 F1 for Bengali. We also show improvements in the monolingual setting where we achieve (avg.) +3 F1 and (avg.) +1.35 BLEU.

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StructVAE: Tree-structured Latent Variable Models for Semi-supervised Semantic Parsing
Pengcheng Yin | Chunting Zhou | Junxian He | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Semantic parsing is the task of transducing natural language (NL) utterances into formal meaning representations (MRs), commonly represented as tree structures. Annotating NL utterances with their corresponding MRs is expensive and time-consuming, and thus the limited availability of labeled data often becomes the bottleneck of data-driven, supervised models. We introduce StructVAE, a variational auto-encoding model for semi-supervised semantic parsing, which learns both from limited amounts of parallel data, and readily-available unlabeled NL utterances. StructVAE models latent MRs not observed in the unlabeled data as tree-structured latent variables. Experiments on semantic parsing on the ATIS domain and Python code generation show that with extra unlabeled data, StructVAE outperforms strong supervised models.


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Morphological Inflection Generation with Multi-space Variational Encoder-Decoders
Chunting Zhou | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the CoNLL SIGMORPHON 2017 Shared Task: Universal Morphological Reinflection

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Multi-space Variational Encoder-Decoders for Semi-supervised Labeled Sequence Transduction
Chunting Zhou | Graham Neubig
Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Labeled sequence transduction is a task of transforming one sequence into another sequence that satisfies desiderata specified by a set of labels. In this paper we propose multi-space variational encoder-decoders, a new model for labeled sequence transduction with semi-supervised learning. The generative model can use neural networks to handle both discrete and continuous latent variables to exploit various features of data. Experiments show that our model provides not only a powerful supervised framework but also can effectively take advantage of the unlabeled data. On the SIGMORPHON morphological inflection benchmark, our model outperforms single-model state-of-art results by a large margin for the majority of languages.