Fanchao Qi


2022

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QuoteR: A Benchmark of Quote Recommendation for Writing
Fanchao Qi | Yanhui Yang | Jing Yi | Zhili Cheng | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

It is very common to use quotations (quotes) to make our writings more elegant or convincing. To help people find appropriate quotes efficiently, the task of quote recommendation is presented, aiming to recommend quotes that fit the current context of writing. There have been various quote recommendation approaches, but they are evaluated on different unpublished datasets. To facilitate the research on this task, we build a large and fully open quote recommendation dataset called QuoteR, which comprises three parts including English, standard Chinese and classical Chinese. Any part of it is larger than previous unpublished counterparts. We conduct an extensive evaluation of existing quote recommendation methods on QuoteR. Furthermore, we propose a new quote recommendation model that significantly outperforms previous methods on all three parts of QuoteR. All the code and data of this paper can be obtained at https://github.com/thunlp/QuoteR.

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Pass off Fish Eyes for Pearls: Attacking Model Selection of Pre-trained Models
Biru Zhu | Yujia Qin | Fanchao Qi | Yangdong Deng | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun | Ming Gu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Selecting an appropriate pre-trained model (PTM) for a specific downstream task typically requires significant efforts of fine-tuning. To accelerate this process, researchers propose feature-based model selection (FMS) methods, which assess PTMs’ transferability to a specific task in a fast way without fine-tuning. In this work, we argue that current FMS methods are vulnerable, as the assessment mainly relies on the static features extracted from PTMs. However, such features are derived without training PTMs on downstream tasks, and are not necessarily reliable indicators for the PTM’s transferability. To validate our viewpoints, we design two methods to evaluate the robustness of FMS: (1) model disguise attack, which post-trains an inferior PTM with a contrastive objective, and (2) evaluation data selection, which selects a subset of the data points for FMS evaluation based on K-means clustering. Experimental results prove that both methods can successfully make FMS mistakenly judge the transferability of PTMs. Moreover, we find that these two methods can further be combined with the backdoor attack to misguide the FMS to select poisoned models. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to demonstrate the defects of current FMS algorithms and evaluate their potential security risks. By identifying previously unseen risks of FMS, our study indicates new directions for improving the robustness of FMS.

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Going “Deeper”: Structured Sememe Prediction via Transformer with Tree Attention
Yining Ye | Fanchao Qi | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Sememe knowledge bases (SKBs), which annotate words with the smallest semantic units (i.e., sememes), have proven beneficial to many NLP tasks. Building an SKB is very time-consuming and labor-intensive. Therefore, some studies have tried to automate the building process by predicting sememes for the unannotated words. However, all existing sememe prediction studies ignore the hierarchical structures of sememes, which are important in the sememe-based semantic description system. In this work, we tackle the structured sememe prediction problem for the first time, which is aimed at predicting a sememe tree with hierarchical structures rather than a set of sememes. We design a sememe tree generation model based on Transformer with adjusted attention mechanism, which shows its superiority over the baselines in experiments. We also conduct a series of quantitative and qualitative analyses of the effectiveness of our model. All the code and data of this paper are available at https://github.com/thunlp/STG.

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Sememe Prediction for BabelNet Synsets using Multilingual and Multimodal Information
Fanchao Qi | Chuancheng Lv | Zhiyuan Liu | Xiaojun Meng | Maosong Sun | Hai-Tao Zheng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

In linguistics, a sememe is defined as the minimum semantic unit of languages. Sememe knowledge bases (KBs), which are built by manually annotating words with sememes, have been successfully applied to various NLP tasks. However, existing sememe KBs only cover a few languages, which hinders the wide utilization of sememes. To address this issue, the task of sememe prediction for BabelNet synsets (SPBS) is presented, aiming to build a multilingual sememe KB based on BabelNet, a multilingual encyclopedia dictionary. By automatically predicting sememes for a BabelNet synset, the words in many languages in the synset would obtain sememe annotations simultaneously. However, previous SPBS methods have not taken full advantage of the abundant information in BabelNet. In this paper, we utilize the multilingual synonyms, multilingual glosses and images in BabelNet for SPBS. We design a multimodal information fusion model to encode and combine this information for sememe prediction. Experimental results show the substantial outperformance of our model over previous methods (about 10 MAP and F1 scores). All the code and data of this paper can be obtained at https://github.com/thunlp/MSGI.

2021

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Hidden Killer: Invisible Textual Backdoor Attacks with Syntactic Trigger
Fanchao Qi | Mukai Li | Yangyi Chen | Zhengyan Zhang | Zhiyuan Liu | Yasheng Wang | Maosong Sun
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)

Backdoor attacks are a kind of insidious security threat against machine learning models. After being injected with a backdoor in training, the victim model will produce adversary-specified outputs on the inputs embedded with predesigned triggers but behave properly on normal inputs during inference. As a sort of emergent attack, backdoor attacks in natural language processing (NLP) are investigated insufficiently. As far as we know, almost all existing textual backdoor attack methods insert additional contents into normal samples as triggers, which causes the trigger-embedded samples to be detected and the backdoor attacks to be blocked without much effort. In this paper, we propose to use the syntactic structure as the trigger in textual backdoor attacks. We conduct extensive experiments to demonstrate that the syntactic trigger-based attack method can achieve comparable attack performance (almost 100% success rate) to the insertion-based methods but possesses much higher invisibility and stronger resistance to defenses. These results also reveal the significant insidiousness and harmfulness of textual backdoor attacks. All the code and data of this paper can be obtained at https://github.com/thunlp/HiddenKiller.

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Turn the Combination Lock: Learnable Textual Backdoor Attacks via Word Substitution
Fanchao Qi | Yuan Yao | Sophia Xu | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
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)

Recent studies show that neural natural language processing (NLP) models are vulnerable to backdoor attacks. Injected with backdoors, models perform normally on benign examples but produce attacker-specified predictions when the backdoor is activated, presenting serious security threats to real-world applications. Since existing textual backdoor attacks pay little attention to the invisibility of backdoors, they can be easily detected and blocked. In this work, we present invisible backdoors that are activated by a learnable combination of word substitution. We show that NLP models can be injected with backdoors that lead to a nearly 100% attack success rate, whereas being highly invisible to existing defense strategies and even human inspections. The results raise a serious alarm to the security of NLP models, which requires further research to be resolved. All the data and code of this paper are released at https://github.com/thunlp/BkdAtk-LWS.

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OpenAttack: An Open-source Textual Adversarial Attack Toolkit
Guoyang Zeng | Fanchao Qi | Qianrui Zhou | Tingji Zhang | Zixian Ma | Bairu Hou | Yuan Zang | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Textual adversarial attacking has received wide and increasing attention in recent years. Various attack models have been proposed, which are enormously distinct and implemented with different programming frameworks and settings. These facts hinder quick utilization and fair comparison of attack models. In this paper, we present an open-source textual adversarial attack toolkit named OpenAttack to solve these issues. Compared with existing other textual adversarial attack toolkits, OpenAttack has its unique strengths in support for all attack types, multilinguality, and parallel processing. Currently, OpenAttack includes 15 typical attack models that cover all attack types. Its highly inclusive modular design not only supports quick utilization of existing attack models, but also enables great flexibility and extensibility. OpenAttack has broad uses including comparing and evaluating attack models, measuring robustness of a model, assisting in developing new attack models, and adversarial training. Source code and documentation can be obtained at https://github.com/thunlp/OpenAttack.

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Mind the Style of Text! Adversarial and Backdoor Attacks Based on Text Style Transfer
Fanchao Qi | Yangyi Chen | Xurui Zhang | Mukai Li | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Adversarial attacks and backdoor attacks are two common security threats that hang over deep learning. Both of them harness task-irrelevant features of data in their implementation. Text style is a feature that is naturally irrelevant to most NLP tasks, and thus suitable for adversarial and backdoor attacks. In this paper, we make the first attempt to conduct adversarial and backdoor attacks based on text style transfer, which is aimed at altering the style of a sentence while preserving its meaning. We design an adversarial attack method and a backdoor attack method, and conduct extensive experiments to evaluate them. Experimental results show that popular NLP models are vulnerable to both adversarial and backdoor attacks based on text style transfer—the attack success rates can exceed 90% without much effort. It reflects the limited ability of NLP models to handle the feature of text style that has not been widely realized. In addition, the style transfer-based adversarial and backdoor attack methods show superiority to baselines in many aspects. All the code and data of this paper can be obtained at https://github.com/thunlp/StyleAttack.

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ONION: A Simple and Effective Defense Against Textual Backdoor Attacks
Fanchao Qi | Yangyi Chen | Mukai Li | Yuan Yao | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Backdoor attacks are a kind of emergent training-time threat to deep neural networks (DNNs). They can manipulate the output of DNNs and possess high insidiousness. In the field of natural language processing, some attack methods have been proposed and achieve very high attack success rates on multiple popular models. Nevertheless, there are few studies on defending against textual backdoor attacks. In this paper, we propose a simple and effective textual backdoor defense named ONION, which is based on outlier word detection and, to the best of our knowledge, is the first method that can handle all the textual backdoor attack situations. Experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our model in defending BiLSTM and BERT against five different backdoor attacks. All the code and data of this paper can be obtained at https://github.com/thunlp/ONION.

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Better Robustness by More Coverage: Adversarial and Mixup Data Augmentation for Robust Finetuning
Chenglei Si | Zhengyan Zhang | Fanchao Qi | Zhiyuan Liu | Yasheng Wang | Qun Liu | Maosong Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Automatic Construction of Sememe Knowledge Bases via Dictionaries
Fanchao Qi | Yangyi Chen | Fengyu Wang | Zhiyuan Liu | Xiao Chen | Maosong Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

2020

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Try to Substitute: An Unsupervised Chinese Word Sense Disambiguation Method Based on HowNet
Bairu Hou | Fanchao Qi | Yuan Zang | Xurui Zhang | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Word sense disambiguation (WSD) is a fundamental natural language processing task. Unsupervised knowledge-based WSD only relies on a lexical knowledge base as the sense inventory and has wider practical use than supervised WSD that requires a mass of sense-annotated data. HowNet is the most widely used lexical knowledge base in Chinese WSD. Because of its uniqueness, however, most of existing unsupervised WSD methods cannot work for HowNet-based WSD, and the tailor-made methods have not obtained satisfying results. In this paper, we propose a new unsupervised method for HowNet-based Chinese WSD, which exploits the masked language model task of pre-trained language models. In experiments, considering existing evaluation dataset is small and out-of-date, we build a new and larger HowNet-based WSD dataset. Experimental results demonstrate that our model achieves significantly better performance than all the baseline methods. All the code and data of this paper are available at https://github.com/thunlp/SememeWSD.

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WantWords: An Open-source Online Reverse Dictionary System
Fanchao Qi | Lei Zhang | Yanhui Yang | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

A reverse dictionary takes descriptions of words as input and outputs words semantically matching the input descriptions. Reverse dictionaries have great practical value such as solving the tip-of-the-tongue problem and helping new language learners. There have been some online reverse dictionary systems, but they support English reverse dictionary queries only and their performance is far from perfect. In this paper, we present a new open-source online reverse dictionary system named WantWords (https://wantwords.thunlp.org/). It not only significantly outperforms other reverse dictionary systems on English reverse dictionary performance, but also supports Chinese and English-Chinese as well as Chinese-English cross-lingual reverse dictionary queries for the first time. Moreover, it has user-friendly front-end design which can help users find the words they need quickly and easily. All the code and data are available at https://github.com/thunlp/WantWords.

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Word-level Textual Adversarial Attacking as Combinatorial Optimization
Yuan Zang | Fanchao Qi | Chenghao Yang | Zhiyuan Liu | Meng Zhang | Qun Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Adversarial attacks are carried out to reveal the vulnerability of deep neural networks. Textual adversarial attacking is challenging because text is discrete and a small perturbation can bring significant change to the original input. Word-level attacking, which can be regarded as a combinatorial optimization problem, is a well-studied class of textual attack methods. However, existing word-level attack models are far from perfect, largely because unsuitable search space reduction methods and inefficient optimization algorithms are employed. In this paper, we propose a novel attack model, which incorporates the sememe-based word substitution method and particle swarm optimization-based search algorithm to solve the two problems separately. We conduct exhaustive experiments to evaluate our attack model by attacking BiLSTM and BERT on three benchmark datasets. Experimental results demonstrate that our model consistently achieves much higher attack success rates and crafts more high-quality adversarial examples as compared to baseline methods. Also, further experiments show our model has higher transferability and can bring more robustness enhancement to victim models by adversarial training. All the code and data of this paper can be obtained on https://github.com/thunlp/SememePSO-Attack.

2019

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Modeling Semantic Compositionality with Sememe Knowledge
Fanchao Qi | Junjie Huang | Chenghao Yang | Zhiyuan Liu | Xiao Chen | Qun Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Semantic compositionality (SC) refers to the phenomenon that the meaning of a complex linguistic unit can be composed of the meanings of its constituents. Most related works focus on using complicated compositionality functions to model SC while few works consider external knowledge in models. In this paper, we verify the effectiveness of sememes, the minimum semantic units of human languages, in modeling SC by a confirmatory experiment. Furthermore, we make the first attempt to incorporate sememe knowledge into SC models, and employ the sememe-incorporated models in learning representations of multiword expressions, a typical task of SC. In experiments, we implement our models by incorporating knowledge from a famous sememe knowledge base HowNet and perform both intrinsic and extrinsic evaluations. Experimental results show that our models achieve significant performance boost as compared to the baseline methods without considering sememe knowledge. We further conduct quantitative analysis and case studies to demonstrate the effectiveness of applying sememe knowledge in modeling SC.All the code and data of this paper can be obtained on https://github.com/thunlp/Sememe-SC.

2018

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Cross-lingual Lexical Sememe Prediction
Fanchao Qi | Yankai Lin | Maosong Sun | Hao Zhu | Ruobing Xie | Zhiyuan Liu
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Sememes are defined as the minimum semantic units of human languages. As important knowledge sources, sememe-based linguistic knowledge bases have been widely used in many NLP tasks. However, most languages still do not have sememe-based linguistic knowledge bases. Thus we present a task of cross-lingual lexical sememe prediction, aiming to automatically predict sememes for words in other languages. We propose a novel framework to model correlations between sememes and multi-lingual words in low-dimensional semantic space for sememe prediction. Experimental results on real-world datasets show that our proposed model achieves consistent and significant improvements as compared to baseline methods in cross-lingual sememe prediction. The codes and data of this paper are available at https://github.com/thunlp/CL-SP.