Dayiheng Liu


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UniTE: Unified Translation Evaluation
Yu Wan | Dayiheng Liu | Baosong Yang | Haibo Zhang | Boxing Chen | Derek Wong | Lidia Chao
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Translation quality evaluation plays a crucial role in machine translation. According to the input format, it is mainly separated into three tasks, i.e., reference-only, source-only and source-reference-combined. Recent methods, despite their promising results, are specifically designed and optimized on one of them. This limits the convenience of these methods, and overlooks the commonalities among tasks. In this paper, we propose , which is the first unified framework engaged with abilities to handle all three evaluation tasks. Concretely, we propose monotonic regional attention to control the interaction among input segments, and unified pretraining to better adapt multi-task training. We testify our framework on WMT 2019 Metrics and WMT 2020 Quality Estimation benchmarks. Extensive analyses show that our single model can universally surpass various state-of-the-art or winner methods across tasks.Both source code and associated models are available at

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Unsupervised Preference-Aware Language Identification
Xingzhang Ren | Baosong Yang | Dayiheng Liu | Haibo Zhang | Xiaoyu Lv | Liang Yao | Jun Xie
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Recognizing the language of ambiguous texts has become a main challenge in language identification (LID). When using multilingual applications, users have their own language preferences, which can be regarded as external knowledge for LID. Nevertheless, current studies do not consider the inter-personal variations due to the lack of user annotated training data. To fill this gap, we introduce preference-aware LID and propose a novel unsupervised learning strategy. Concretely, we construct pseudo training set for each user by extracting training samples from a standard LID corpus according to his/her historical language distribution. Besides, we contribute the first user labeled LID test set called “U-LID”. Experimental results reveal that our model can incarnate user traits and significantly outperforms existing LID systems on handling ambiguous texts. Our code and benchmark have been released.

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Attention Mechanism with Energy-Friendly Operations
Yu Wan | Baosong Yang | Dayiheng Liu | Rong Xiao | Derek Wong | Haibo Zhang | Boxing Chen | Lidia Chao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Attention mechanism has become the dominant module in natural language processing models. It is computationally intensive and depends on massive power-hungry multiplications. In this paper, we rethink variants of attention mechanism from the energy consumption aspects. After reaching the conclusion that the energy costs of several energy-friendly operations are far less than their multiplication counterparts, we build a novel attention model by replacing multiplications with either selective operations or additions. Empirical results on three machine translation tasks demonstrate that the proposed model, against the vanilla one, achieves competitable accuracy while saving 99% and 66% energy during alignment calculation and the whole attention procedure. Our code will be released upon the acceptance.

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GCPG: A General Framework for Controllable Paraphrase Generation
Kexin Yang | Dayiheng Liu | Wenqiang Lei | Baosong Yang | Haibo Zhang | Xue Zhao | Wenqing Yao | Boxing Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Controllable paraphrase generation (CPG) incorporates various external conditions to obtain desirable paraphrases. However, existing works only highlight a special condition under two indispensable aspects of CPG (i.e., lexically and syntactically CPG) individually, lacking a unified circumstance to explore and analyze their effectiveness. In this paper, we propose a general controllable paraphrase generation framework (GCPG), which represents both lexical and syntactical conditions as text sequences and uniformly processes them in an encoder-decoder paradigm. Under GCPG, we reconstruct commonly adopted lexical condition (i.e., Keywords) and syntactical conditions (i.e., Part-Of-Speech sequence, Constituent Tree, Masked Template and Sentential Exemplar) and study the combination of the two types. In particular, for Sentential Exemplar condition, we propose a novel exemplar construction method — Syntax-Similarity based Exemplar (SSE). SSE retrieves a syntactically similar but lexically different sentence as the exemplar for each target sentence, avoiding exemplar-side words copying problem. Extensive experiments demonstrate that GCPG with SSE achieves state-of-the-art performance on two popular benchmarks. In addition, the combination of lexical and syntactical conditions shows the significant controllable ability of paraphrase generation, and these empirical results could provide novel insight to user-oriented paraphrasing.


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RoBLEURT Submission for WMT2021 Metrics Task
Yu Wan | Dayiheng Liu | Baosong Yang | Tianchi Bi | Haibo Zhang | Boxing Chen | Weihua Luo | Derek F. Wong | Lidia S. Chao
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

In this paper, we present our submission to Shared Metrics Task: RoBLEURT (Robustly Optimizing the training of BLEURT). After investigating the recent advances of trainable metrics, we conclude several aspects of vital importance to obtain a well-performed metric model by: 1) jointly leveraging the advantages of source-included model and reference-only model, 2) continuously pre-training the model with massive synthetic data pairs, and 3) fine-tuning the model with data denoising strategy. Experimental results show that our model reaching state-of-the-art correlations with the WMT2020 human annotations upon 8 out of 10 to-English language pairs.

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GLGE: A New General Language Generation Evaluation Benchmark
Dayiheng Liu | Yu Yan | Yeyun Gong | Weizhen Qi | Hang Zhang | Jian Jiao | Weizhu Chen | Jie Fu | Linjun Shou | Ming Gong | Pengcheng Wang | Jiusheng Chen | Daxin Jiang | Jiancheng Lv | Ruofei Zhang | Winnie Wu | Ming Zhou | Nan Duan
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Mask Attention Networks: Rethinking and Strengthen Transformer
Zhihao Fan | Yeyun Gong | Dayiheng Liu | Zhongyu Wei | Siyuan Wang | Jian Jiao | Nan Duan | Ruofei Zhang | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Transformer is an attention-based neural network, which consists of two sublayers, namely, Self-Attention Network (SAN) and Feed-Forward Network (FFN). Existing research explores to enhance the two sublayers separately to improve the capability of Transformer for text representation. In this paper, we present a novel understanding of SAN and FFN as Mask Attention Networks (MANs) and show that they are two special cases of MANs with static mask matrices. However, their static mask matrices limit the capability for localness modeling in text representation learning. We therefore introduce a new layer named dynamic mask attention network (DMAN) with a learnable mask matrix which is able to model localness adaptively. To incorporate advantages of DMAN, SAN, and FFN, we propose a sequential layered structure to combine the three types of layers. Extensive experiments on various tasks, including neural machine translation and text summarization demonstrate that our model outperforms the original Transformer.

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Towards User-Driven Neural Machine Translation
Huan Lin | Liang Yao | Baosong Yang | Dayiheng Liu | Haibo Zhang | Weihua Luo | Degen Huang | Jinsong Su
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)

A good translation should not only translate the original content semantically, but also incarnate personal traits of the original text. For a real-world neural machine translation (NMT) system, these user traits (e.g., topic preference, stylistic characteristics and expression habits) can be preserved in user behavior (e.g., historical inputs). However, current NMT systems marginally consider the user behavior due to: 1) the difficulty of modeling user portraits in zero-shot scenarios, and 2) the lack of user-behavior annotated parallel dataset. To fill this gap, we introduce a novel framework called user-driven NMT. Specifically, a cache-based module and a user-driven contrastive learning method are proposed to offer NMT the ability to capture potential user traits from their historical inputs under a zero-shot learning fashion. Furthermore, we contribute the first Chinese-English parallel corpus annotated with user behavior called UDT-Corpus. Experimental results confirm that the proposed user-driven NMT can generate user-specific translations.

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POS-Constrained Parallel Decoding for Non-autoregressive Generation
Kexin Yang | Wenqiang Lei | Dayiheng Liu | Weizhen Qi | Jiancheng Lv
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)

The multimodality problem has become a major challenge of existing non-autoregressive generation (NAG) systems. A common solution often resorts to sequence-level knowledge distillation by rebuilding the training dataset through autoregressive generation (hereinafter known as “teacher AG”). The success of such methods may largely depend on a latent assumption, i.e., the teacher AG is superior to the NAG model. However, in this work, we experimentally reveal that this assumption does not always hold for the text generation tasks like text summarization and story ending generation. To provide a feasible solution to the multimodality problem of NAG, we propose incorporating linguistic structure (Part-of-Speech sequence in particular) into NAG inference instead of relying on teacher AG. More specifically, the proposed POS-constrained Parallel Decoding (POSPD) method aims at providing a specific POS sequence to constrain the NAG model during decoding. Our experiments demonstrate that POSPD consistently improves NAG models on four text generation tasks to a greater extent compared to knowledge distillation. This observation validates the necessity of exploring the alternatives for sequence-level knowledge distillation.

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Bridging Subword Gaps in Pretrain-Finetune Paradigm for Natural Language Generation
Xin Liu | Baosong Yang | Dayiheng Liu | Haibo Zhang | Weihua Luo | Min Zhang | Haiying Zhang | Jinsong Su
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)

A well-known limitation in pretrain-finetune paradigm lies in its inflexibility caused by the one-size-fits-all vocabulary.This potentially weakens the effect when applying pretrained models into natural language generation (NLG) tasks, especially for the subword distributions between upstream and downstream tasks with significant discrepancy. Towards approaching this problem, we extend the vanilla pretrain-finetune pipeline with an extra embedding transfer step. Specifically, a plug-and-play embedding generator is introduced to produce the representation of any input token, according to pre-trained embeddings of its morphologically similar ones.Thus, embeddings of mismatch tokens in downstream tasks can also be efficiently initialized.We conduct experiments on a variety of NLG tasks under the pretrain-finetune fashion. Experimental results and extensive analyses show that the proposed strategy offers us opportunities to feel free to transfer the vocabulary, leading to more efficient and better performed downstream NLG models.


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RikiNet: Reading Wikipedia Pages for Natural Question Answering
Dayiheng Liu | Yeyun Gong | Jie Fu | Yu Yan | Jiusheng Chen | Daxin Jiang | Jiancheng Lv | Nan Duan
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Reading long documents to answer open-domain questions remains challenging in natural language understanding. In this paper, we introduce a new model, called RikiNet, which reads Wikipedia pages for natural question answering. RikiNet contains a dynamic paragraph dual-attention reader and a multi-level cascaded answer predictor. The reader dynamically represents the document and question by utilizing a set of complementary attention mechanisms. The representations are then fed into the predictor to obtain the span of the short answer, the paragraph of the long answer, and the answer type in a cascaded manner. On the Natural Questions (NQ) dataset, a single RikiNet achieves 74.3 F1 and 57.9 F1 on long-answer and short-answer tasks. To our best knowledge, it is the first single model that outperforms the single human performance. Furthermore, an ensemble RikiNet obtains 76.1 F1 and 61.3 F1 on long-answer and short-answer tasks, achieving the best performance on the official NQ leaderboard.

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Tell Me How to Ask Again: Question Data Augmentation with Controllable Rewriting in Continuous Space
Dayiheng Liu | Yeyun Gong | Jie Fu | Yu Yan | Jiusheng Chen | Jiancheng Lv | Nan Duan | Ming Zhou
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

In this paper, we propose a novel data augmentation method, referred to as Controllable Rewriting based Question Data Augmentation (CRQDA), for machine reading comprehension (MRC), question generation, and question-answering natural language inference tasks. We treat the question data augmentation task as a constrained question rewriting problem to generate context-relevant, high-quality, and diverse question data samples. CRQDA utilizes a Transformer Autoencoder to map the original discrete question into a continuous embedding space. It then uses a pre-trained MRC model to revise the question representation iteratively with gradient-based optimization. Finally, the revised question representations are mapped back into the discrete space, which serve as additional question data. Comprehensive experiments on SQuAD 2.0, SQuAD 1.1 question generation, and QNLI tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of CRQDA.

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Diverse, Controllable, and Keyphrase-Aware: A Corpus and Method for News Multi-Headline Generation
Dayiheng Liu | Yeyun Gong | Yu Yan | Jie Fu | Bo Shao | Daxin Jiang | Jiancheng Lv | Nan Duan
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

News headline generation aims to produce a short sentence to attract readers to read the news. One news article often contains multiple keyphrases that are of interest to different users, which can naturally have multiple reasonable headlines. However, most existing methods focus on the single headline generation. In this paper, we propose generating multiple headlines with keyphrases of user interests, whose main idea is to generate multiple keyphrases of interest to users for the news first, and then generate multiple keyphrase-relevant headlines. We propose a multi-source Transformer decoder, which takes three sources as inputs: (a) keyphrase, (b) keyphrase-filtered article, and (c) original article to generate keyphrase-relevant, high-quality, and diverse headlines. Furthermore, we propose a simple and effective method to mine the keyphrases of interest in the news article and build a first large-scale keyphrase-aware news headline corpus, which contains over 180K aligned triples of <news article, headline, keyphrase>. Extensive experimental comparisons on the real-world dataset show that the proposed method achieves state-of-the-art results in terms of quality and diversity.

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ProphetNet: Predicting Future N-gram for Sequence-to-SequencePre-training
Weizhen Qi | Yu Yan | Yeyun Gong | Dayiheng Liu | Nan Duan | Jiusheng Chen | Ruofei Zhang | Ming Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

This paper presents a new sequence-to-sequence pre-training model called ProphetNet, which introduces a novel self-supervised objective named future n-gram prediction and the proposed n-stream self-attention mechanism. Instead of optimizing one-step-ahead prediction in the traditional sequence-to-sequence model, the ProphetNet is optimized by n-step ahead prediction that predicts the next n tokens simultaneously based on previous context tokens at each time step. The future n-gram prediction explicitly encourages the model to plan for the future tokens and prevent overfitting on strong local correlations. We pre-train ProphetNet using a base scale dataset (16GB) and a large-scale dataset (160GB), respectively. Then we conduct experiments on CNN/DailyMail, Gigaword, and SQuAD 1.1 benchmarks for abstractive summarization and question generation tasks. Experimental results show that ProphetNet achieves new state-of-the-art results on all these datasets compared to the models using the same scale pre-training corpus.


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TIGS: An Inference Algorithm for Text Infilling with Gradient Search
Dayiheng Liu | Jie Fu | Pengfei Liu | Jiancheng Lv
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Text infilling aims at filling in the missing part of a sentence or paragraph, which has been applied to a variety of real-world natural language generation scenarios. Given a well-trained sequential generative model, it is challenging for its unidirectional decoder to generate missing symbols conditioned on the past and future information around the missing part. In this paper, we propose an iterative inference algorithm based on gradient search, which could be the first inference algorithm that can be broadly applied to any neural sequence generative models for text infilling tasks. Extensive experimental comparisons show the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed method on three different text infilling tasks with various mask ratios and different mask strategies, comparing with five state-of-the-art methods.