Fan Luo


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A STEP towards Interpretable Multi-Hop Reasoning:Bridge Phrase Identification and Query Expansion
Fan Luo | Mihai Surdeanu
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

We propose an unsupervised method for the identification of bridge phrases in multi-hop question answering (QA). Our method constructs a graph of noun phrases from the question and the available context, and applies the Steiner tree algorithm to identify the minimal sub-graph that connects all question phrases. Nodes in the sub-graph that bridge loosely-connected or disjoint subsets of question phrases due to low-strength semantic relations are extracted as bridge phrases. The identified bridge phrases are then used to expand the query based on the initial question, helping in increasing the relevance of evidence that has little lexical overlap or semantic relation with the question. Through an evaluation on HotpotQA, a popular dataset for multi-hop QA, we show that our method yields: (a) improved evidence retrieval, (b) improved QA performance when using the retrieved sentences; and (c) effective and faithful explanations when answers are provided.


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Personalized Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease Detection: A Case Study of President Reagan’s Speeches
Ning Wang | Fan Luo | Vishal Peddagangireddy | Koduvayur Subbalakshmi | Rajarathnam Chandramouli
Proceedings of the 19th SIGBioMed Workshop on Biomedical Language Processing

Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related global healthcare cost is estimated to be $1 trillion by 2050. Currently, there is no cure for this disease; however, clinical studies show that early diagnosis and intervention helps to extend the quality of life and inform technologies for personalized mental healthcare. Clinical research indicates that the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease lead to dementia and other mental health issues. As a result, the language capabilities of patient start to decline. In this paper, we show that machine learning-based unsupervised clustering of and anomaly detection with linguistic biomarkers are promising approaches for intuitive visualization and personalized early stage detection of Alzheimer’s disease. We demonstrate this approach on 10 year’s (1980 to 1989) of President Ronald Reagan’s speech data set. Key linguistic biomarkers that indicate early-stage AD are identified. Experimental results show that Reagan had early onset of Alzheimer’s sometime between 1983 and 1987. This finding is corroborated by prior work that analyzed his interviews using a statistical technique. The proposed technique also identifies the exact speeches that reflect linguistic biomarkers for early stage AD.


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Eidos, INDRA, & Delphi: From Free Text to Executable Causal Models
Rebecca Sharp | Adarsh Pyarelal | Benjamin Gyori | Keith Alcock | Egoitz Laparra | Marco A. Valenzuela-Escárcega | Ajay Nagesh | Vikas Yadav | John Bachman | Zheng Tang | Heather Lent | Fan Luo | Mithun Paul | Steven Bethard | Kobus Barnard | Clayton Morrison | Mihai Surdeanu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Demonstrations)

Building causal models of complicated phenomena such as food insecurity is currently a slow and labor-intensive manual process. In this paper, we introduce an approach that builds executable probabilistic models from raw, free text. The proposed approach is implemented through three systems: Eidos, INDRA, and Delphi. Eidos is an open-domain machine reading system designed to extract causal relations from natural language. It is rule-based, allowing for rapid domain transfer, customizability, and interpretability. INDRA aggregates multiple sources of causal information and performs assembly to create a coherent knowledge base and assess its reliability. This assembled knowledge serves as the starting point for modeling. Delphi is a modeling framework that assembles quantified causal fragments and their contexts into executable probabilistic models that respect the semantics of the original text, and can be used to support decision making.

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Semi-Supervised Teacher-Student Architecture for Relation Extraction
Fan Luo | Ajay Nagesh | Rebecca Sharp | Mihai Surdeanu
Proceedings of the Third Workshop on Structured Prediction for NLP

Generating a large amount of training data for information extraction (IE) is either costly (if annotations are created manually), or runs the risk of introducing noisy instances (if distant supervision is used). On the other hand, semi-supervised learning (SSL) is a cost-efficient solution to combat lack of training data. In this paper, we adapt Mean Teacher (Tarvainen and Valpola, 2017), a denoising SSL framework to extract semantic relations between pairs of entities. We explore the sweet spot of amount of supervision required for good performance on this binary relation extraction task. Additionally, different syntax representations are incorporated into our models to enhance the learned representation of sentences. We evaluate our approach on the Google-IISc Distant Supervision (GDS) dataset, which removes test data noise present in all previous distance supervision datasets, which makes it a reliable evaluation benchmark (Jat et al., 2017). Our results show that the SSL Mean Teacher approach nears the performance of fully-supervised approaches even with only 10% of the labeled corpus. Further, the syntax-aware model outperforms other syntax-free approaches across all levels of supervision.


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Scientific Discovery as Link Prediction in Influence and Citation Graphs
Fan Luo | Marco A. Valenzuela-Escárcega | Gus Hahn-Powell | Mihai Surdeanu
Proceedings of the Twelfth Workshop on Graph-Based Methods for Natural Language Processing (TextGraphs-12)

We introduce a machine learning approach for the identification of “white spaces” in scientific knowledge. Our approach addresses this task as link prediction over a graph that contains over 2M influence statements such as “CTCF activates FOXA1”, which were automatically extracted using open-domain machine reading. We model this prediction task using graph-based features extracted from the above influence graph, as well as from a citation graph that captures scientific communities. We evaluated the proposed approach through backtesting. Although the data is heavily unbalanced (50 times more negative examples than positives), our approach predicts which influence links will be discovered in the “near future” with a F1 score of 27 points, and a mean average precision of 68%.