Erguang Yang


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Long Text Generation with Topic-aware Discrete Latent Variable Model
Erguang Yang | Mingtong Liu | Deyi Xiong | Yujie Zhang | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Generating coherent long texts is an important yet challenging task, particularly forthe open-ended generation. Prior work based on discrete latent codes focuses on the modeling of discourse relation, resulting in discrete codes only learning shallow semantics (Ji and Huang, 2021). A natural text always revolves around several related topics and the transition across them is natural and smooth. In this work, we investigate whether discrete latent codes can learn information of topics. To this end, we build a topic-aware latent code-guided text generation model. To encourage discrete codes to model information about topics, we propose a span-level bag-of-words training objective for the model. Automatic and manual evaluation experiments show that our method can generate more topic-relevant and coherent texts.

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Learning Structural Information for Syntax-Controlled Paraphrase Generation
Erguang Yang | Chenglin Bai | Deyi Xiong | Yujie Zhang | Yao Meng | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Syntax-controlled paraphrase generation aims to produce paraphrase conform to given syntactic patterns. To address this task, recent works have started to use parse trees (or syntactic templates) to guide generation.A constituency parse tree contains abundant structural information, such as parent-child relation, sibling relation, and the alignment relation between words and nodes. Previous works have only utilized parent-child and alignment relations, which may affect the generation quality. To address this limitation, we propose a Structural Information-augmented Syntax-Controlled Paraphrasing (SI-SCP) model. Particularly, we design a syntax encoder based on tree-transformer to capture parent-child and sibling relations. To model the alignment relation between words and nodes, we propose an attention regularization objective, which makes the decoder accurately select corresponding syntax nodes to guide the generation of words. Experiments show that SI-SCP achieves state-of-the-art performances in terms of semantic and syntactic quality on two popular benchmark datasets. Additionally, we propose a Syntactic Template Retriever (STR) to retrieve compatible syntactic structures. We validate that STR is capable of retrieving compatible syntactic structures. We further demonstrate the effectiveness of SI-SCP to generate diverse paraphrases with retrieved syntactic structures.


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Syntactically-Informed Unsupervised Paraphrasing with Non-Parallel Data
Erguang Yang | Mingtong Liu | Deyi Xiong | Yujie Zhang | Yao Meng | Changjian Hu | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Previous works on syntactically controlled paraphrase generation heavily rely on large-scale parallel paraphrase data that is not easily available for many languages and domains. In this paper, we take this research direction to the extreme and investigate whether it is possible to learn syntactically controlled paraphrase generation with nonparallel data. We propose a syntactically-informed unsupervised paraphrasing model based on conditional variational auto-encoder (VAE) which can generate texts in a specified syntactic structure. Particularly, we design a two-stage learning method to effectively train the model using non-parallel data. The conditional VAE is trained to reconstruct the input sentence according to the given input and its syntactic structure. Furthermore, to improve the syntactic controllability and semantic consistency of the pre-trained conditional VAE, we fine-tune it using syntax controlling and cycle reconstruction learning objectives, and employ Gumbel-Softmax to combine these new learning objectives. Experiment results demonstrate that the proposed model trained only on non-parallel data is capable of generating diverse paraphrases with specified syntactic structure. Additionally, we validate the effectiveness of our method for generating syntactically adversarial examples on the sentiment analysis task.


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A Learning-Exploring Method to Generate Diverse Paraphrases with Multi-Objective Deep Reinforcement Learning
Mingtong Liu | Erguang Yang | Deyi Xiong | Yujie Zhang | Yao Meng | Changjian Hu | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Paraphrase generation (PG) is of great importance to many downstream tasks in natural language processing. Diversity is an essential nature to PG for enhancing generalization capability and robustness of downstream applications. Recently, neural sequence-to-sequence (Seq2Seq) models have shown promising results in PG. However, traditional model training for PG focuses on optimizing model prediction against single reference and employs cross-entropy loss, which objective is unable to encourage model to generate diverse paraphrases. In this work, we present a novel approach with multi-objective learning to PG. We propose a learning-exploring method to generate sentences as learning objectives from the learned data distribution, and employ reinforcement learning to combine these new learning objectives for model training. We first design a sample-based algorithm to explore diverse sentences. Then we introduce several reward functions to evaluate the sampled sentences as learning signals in terms of expressive diversity and semantic fidelity, aiming to generate diverse and high-quality paraphrases. To effectively optimize model performance satisfying different evaluating aspects, we use a GradNorm-based algorithm that automatically balances these training objectives. Experiments and analyses on Quora and Twitter datasets demonstrate that our proposed method not only gains a significant increase in diversity but also improves generation quality over several state-of-the-art baselines.