Fan Yin


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On the Sensitivity and Stability of Model Interpretations in NLP
Fan Yin | Zhouxing Shi | Cho-Jui Hsieh | Kai-Wei Chang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Recent years have witnessed the emergence of a variety of post-hoc interpretations that aim to uncover how natural language processing (NLP) models make predictions. Despite the surge of new interpretation methods, it remains an open problem how to define and quantitatively measure the faithfulness of interpretations, i.e., to what extent interpretations reflect the reasoning process by a model. We propose two new criteria, sensitivity and stability, that provide complementary notions of faithfulness to the existed removal-based criteria. Our results show that the conclusion for how faithful interpretations are could vary substantially based on different notions. Motivated by the desiderata of sensitivity and stability, we introduce a new class of interpretation methods that adopt techniques from adversarial robustness. Empirical results show that our proposed methods are effective under the new criteria and overcome limitations of gradient-based methods on removal-based criteria. Besides text classification, we also apply interpretation methods and metrics to dependency parsing. Our results shed light on understanding the diverse set of interpretations.


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On the Robustness of Language Encoders against Grammatical Errors
Fan Yin | Quanyu Long | Tao Meng | Kai-Wei Chang
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We conduct a thorough study to diagnose the behaviors of pre-trained language encoders (ELMo, BERT, and RoBERTa) when confronted with natural grammatical errors. Specifically, we collect real grammatical errors from non-native speakers and conduct adversarial attacks to simulate these errors on clean text data. We use this approach to facilitate debugging models on downstream applications. Results confirm that the performance of all tested models is affected but the degree of impact varies. To interpret model behaviors, we further design a linguistic acceptability task to reveal their abilities in identifying ungrammatical sentences and the position of errors. We find that fixed contextual encoders with a simple classifier trained on the prediction of sentence correctness are able to locate error positions. We also design a cloze test for BERT and discover that BERT captures the interaction between errors and specific tokens in context. Our results shed light on understanding the robustness and behaviors of language encoders against grammatical errors.


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Entity-Relation Extraction as Multi-Turn Question Answering
Xiaoya Li | Fan Yin | Zijun Sun | Xiayu Li | Arianna Yuan | Duo Chai | Mingxin Zhou | Jiwei Li
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

In this paper, we propose a new paradigm for the task of entity-relation extraction. We cast the task as a multi-turn question answering problem, i.e., the extraction of entities and elations is transformed to the task of identifying answer spans from the context. This multi-turn QA formalization comes with several key advantages: firstly, the question query encodes important information for the entity/relation class we want to identify; secondly, QA provides a natural way of jointly modeling entity and relation; and thirdly, it allows us to exploit the well developed machine reading comprehension (MRC) models. Experiments on the ACE and the CoNLL04 corpora demonstrate that the proposed paradigm significantly outperforms previous best models. We are able to obtain the state-of-the-art results on all of the ACE04, ACE05 and CoNLL04 datasets, increasing the SOTA results on the three datasets to 49.6 (+1.2), 60.3 (+0.7) and 69.2 (+1.4), respectively. Additionally, we construct and will release a newly developed dataset RESUME, which requires multi-step reasoning to construct entity dependencies, as opposed to the single-step dependency extraction in the triplet exaction in previous datasets. The proposed multi-turn QA model also achieves the best performance on the RESUME dataset.