Fandong Meng


2024

pdf bib
DC-MBR: Distributional Cooling for Minimum Bayesian Risk Decoding
Jianhao Yan | Jin Xu | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou | Yue Zhang
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Minimum Bayesian Risk Decoding (MBR) emerges as a promising decoding algorithm in Neural Machine Translation. However, MBR performs poorly with label smoothing, which is surprising as label smoothing provides decent improvement with beam search and improves generality in various tasks. In this work, we show that the issue arises from the inconsistency of label smoothing on the token-level and sequence-level distributions. We demonstrate that even though label smoothing only causes a slight change in the token level, the sequence-level distribution is highly skewed. We coin the issue autoregressive over-smoothness. To address this issue, we propose a simple and effective method, Distributional Cooling MBR (DC-MBR), which manipulates the entropy of output distributions by tuning down the Softmax temperature. We theoretically prove the equivalence between the pre-tuning label smoothing factor and distributional cooling. Extensive experiments on NMT benchmarks validate that distributional cooling improves MBR in various settings.

pdf bib
UMTIT: Unifying Recognition, Translation, and Generation for Multimodal Text Image Translation
Liqiang Niu | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2024 Joint International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC-COLING 2024)

Prior research in Image Machine Translation (IMT) has focused on either translating the source image solely into the target language text or exclusively into the target image. As a result, the former approach lacked the capacity to generate target images, while the latter was insufficient in producing target text. In this paper, we present a Unified Multimodal Text Image Translation (UMTIT) model that not only translates text images into the target language but also generates consistent target images. The UMTIT model consists of two image-text modality conversion steps: the first step converts images to text to recognize the source text and generate translations, while the second step transforms text to images to create target images based on the translations. Due to the limited availability of public datasets, we have constructed two multimodal image translation datasets. Experimental results show that our UMTIT model is versatile enough to handle tasks across multiple modalities and outperforms previous methods. Notably, UMTIT surpasses the state-of-the-art TrOCR in text recognition tasks, achieving a lower Character Error Rate (CER); it also outperforms cascading methods in text translation tasks, obtaining a higher BLEU score; and, most importantly, UMTIT can generate high-quality target text images.

pdf bib
On Large Language Models’ Hallucination with Regard to Known Facts
Che Jiang | Biqing Qi | Xiangyu Hong | Dayuan Fu | Yang Cheng | Fandong Meng | Mo Yu | Bowen Zhou | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Large language models are successful in answering factoid questions but are also prone to hallucination.We investigate the phenomenon of LLMs possessing correct answer knowledge yet still hallucinating from the perspective of inference dynamics, an area not previously covered in studies on hallucinations.We are able to conduct this analysis via two key ideas.First, we identify the factual questions that query the same triplet knowledge but result in different answers. The difference between the model behaviors on the correct and incorrect outputs hence suggests the patterns when hallucinations happen.Second, to measure the pattern, we utilize mappings from the residual streams to vocabulary space.We reveal the different dynamics of the output token probabilities along the depths of layers between the correct and hallucinated cases. In hallucinated cases, the output token’s information rarely demonstrates abrupt increases and consistent superiority in the later stages of the model.Leveraging the dynamic curve as a feature, we build a classifier capable of accurately detecting hallucinatory predictions with an 88% success rate. Our study shed light on understanding the reasons for LLMs’ hallucinations on their known facts, and more importantly, on accurately predicting when they are hallucinating.

pdf bib
XAL: EXplainable Active Learning Makes Classifiers Better Low-resource Learners
Yun Luo | Zhen Yang | Fandong Meng | Yingjie Li | Fang Guo | Qinglin Qi | Jie Zhou | Yue Zhang
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Active learning (AL), which aims to construct an effective training set by iteratively curating the most formative unlabeled data for annotation, has been widely used in low-resource tasks. Most active learning techniques in classification rely on the model’s uncertainty or disagreement to choose unlabeled data, suffering from the problem of over-confidence in superficial patterns and a lack of exploration.Inspired by the cognitive processes in which humans deduce and predict through causal information, we take an initial attempt towards integrating rationales into AL and propose a novel Explainable Active Learning framework (XAL) for low-resource text classification, which aims to encourage classifiers to justify their inferences and delve into unlabeled data for which they cannot provide reasonable explanations. Specifically, besides using a pre-trained bi-directional encoder for classification, we employ a pre-trained uni-directional decoder to generate and score the explanation. We further facilitate the alignment of the model with human reasoning preference through a proposed ranking loss. During the selection of unlabeled data, the predicted uncertainty of the encoder and the explanation score of the decoder complement each other as the final metric to acquire informative data. Extensive experiments on six datasets show that XAL achieves consistent improvement over 9 strong baselines. Analysis indicates that the proposed method can generate corresponding explanations for its predictions.

2023

pdf bib
Rethinking the Word-level Quality Estimation for Machine Translation from Human Judgement
Zhen Yang | Fandong Meng | Yuanmeng Yan | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Word-level Quality Estimation (QE) of Machine Translation (MT) aims to detect potential translation errors in the translated sentence without reference. Typically, conventional works on word-level QE are usually designed to predict the quality of translated words in terms of the post-editing effort, where the word labels in the dataset, i.e., OK or BAD, are automatically generated by comparing words between MT sentences and the post-edited sentences through a Translation Error Rate (TER) toolkit. While the post-editing effort can be used to measure the translation quality to some extent, we find it usually conflicts with human judgment on whether the word is well or poorly translated. To investigate this conflict, we first create a golden benchmark dataset, namely HJQE (Human Judgement on Quality Estimation), where the source and MT sentences are identical to the original TER-based dataset and the expert translators directly annotate the poorly translated words on their judgments. Based on our analysis, we further propose two tag-correcting strategies which can make the TER-based artificial QE corpus closer to HJQE. We conduct substantial experiments based on the publicly available WMT En-De and En-Zh corpora. The results not only show our proposed dataset is more consistent with human judgment but also confirm the effectiveness of the proposed tag-correcting strategies.For reviewers, the corpora and codes can be found in the attached files.

pdf bib
Diffusion Theory as a Scalpel: Detecting and Purifying Poisonous Dimensions in Pre-trained Language Models Caused by Backdoor or Bias
Zhiyuan Zhang | Deli Chen | Hao Zhou | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou | Xu Sun
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Pre-trained Language Models (PLMs) may be poisonous with backdoors or bias injected by the suspicious attacker during the fine-tuning process. A core challenge of purifying potentially poisonous PLMs is precisely finding poisonous dimensions. To settle this issue, we propose the Fine-purifying approach, which utilizes the diffusion theory to study the dynamic process of fine-tuning for finding potentially poisonous dimensions. According to the relationship between parameter drifts and Hessians of different dimensions, we can detect poisonous dimensions with abnormal dynamics, purify them by resetting them to clean pre-trained weights, and then fine-tune the purified weights on a small clean dataset. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to study the dynamics guided by the diffusion theory for safety or defense purposes. Experimental results validate the effectiveness of Fine-purifying even with a small clean dataset.

pdf bib
Question-Interlocutor Scope Realized Graph Modeling over Key Utterances for Dialogue Reading Comprehension
Jiangnan Li | Mo Yu | Fandong Meng | Zheng Lin | Peng Fu | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

We focus on dialogue reading comprehension (DRC) that extracts answers from dialogues. Compared to standard RC tasks, DRC has raised challenges because of the complex speaker information and noisy dialogue context. Essentially, the challenges come from the speaker-centric nature of dialogue utterances — an utterance is usually insufficient in its surface form, but requires to incorporate the role of its speaker and the dialogue context to fill the latent pragmatic and intention information. We propose to deal with these problems in two folds. First, we propose a new key-utterances-extracting method, which can realize more answer-contained utterances. Second, based on the extracted utterances, we then propose a Question-Interlocutor Scope Realized Graph (QuISG). QuISG involves the question and question-mentioning speaker as nodes. To realize interlocutor scopes, utterances are connected with corresponding speakers in the dialogue. Experiments on the benchmarks show that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance against previous works.

pdf bib
RC3: Regularized Contrastive Cross-lingual Cross-modal Pre-training
Chulun Zhou | Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Jinan Xu | Jinsong Su | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Multilingual vision-language (V&L) pre-training has achieved remarkable progress in learning universal representations across different modalities and languages. In spite of recent success, there still remain challenges limiting further improvements of V&L pre-trained models in multilingual settings. Particularly, current V&L pre-training methods rely heavily on strictly-aligned multilingual image-text pairs generated from English-centric datasets through machine translation. However, the cost of collecting and translating such strictly-aligned datasets is usually unbearable. In this paper, we propose Regularized Contrastive Cross-lingual Cross-modal (RC3) pre-training, which further exploits more abundant weakly-aligned multilingual image-text pairs. Specifically, we design a regularized cross-lingual visio-textual contrastive learning objective that constrains the representation proximity of weakly-aligned visio-textual inputs according to textual relevance. Besides, existing V&L pre-training approaches mainly deal with visual inputs by either region-of-interest (ROI) features or patch embeddings. We flexibly integrate the two forms of visual features into our model for pre-training and downstream multi-modal tasks. Extensive experiments on 5 downstream multi-modal tasks across 6 languages demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed method over competitive contrast models with strong zero-shot capability.

pdf bib
Understanding Translationese in Cross-Lingual Summarization
Jiaan Wang | Fandong Meng | Yunlong Liang | Tingyi Zhang | Jiarong Xu | Zhixu Li | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Given a document in a source language, cross-lingual summarization (CLS) aims at generating a concise summary in a different target language. Unlike monolingual summarization (MS), naturally occurring source-language documents paired with target-language summaries are rare. To collect large-scale CLS data, existing datasets typically involve translation in their creation. However, the translated text is distinguished from the text originally written in that language, i.e., translationese. In this paper, we first confirm that different approaches of constructing CLS datasets will lead to different degrees of translationese. Then we systematically investigate how translationese affects CLS model evaluation and performance when it appears in source documents or target summaries. In detail, we find that (1) the translationese in documents or summaries of test sets might lead to the discrepancy between human judgment and automatic evaluation; (2) the translationese in training sets would harm model performance in real-world applications; (3) though machine-translated documents involve translationese, they are very useful for building CLS systems on low-resource languages under specific training strategies. Lastly, we give suggestions for future CLS research including dataset and model developments. We hope that our work could let researchers notice the phenomenon of translationese in CLS and take it into account in the future.

pdf bib
Enhancing Argument Structure Extraction with Efficient Leverage of Contextual Information
Yun Luo | Zhen Yang | Fandong Meng | Yingjie Li | Jie Zhou | Yue Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Argument structure extraction (ASE) aims to identify the discourse structure of arguments within documents. Previous research has demonstrated that contextual information is crucial for developing an effective ASE model. However, we observe that merely concatenating sentences in a contextual window does not fully utilize contextual information and can sometimes lead to excessive attention on less informative sentences. To tackle this challenge, we propose an Efficient Context-aware ASE model (ECASE) that fully exploits contextual information by enhancing modeling capacity and augmenting training data. Specifically, we introduce a sequence-attention module and distance-weighted similarity loss to aggregate contextual information and argumentative information. Additionally, we augment the training data by randomly masking discourse markers and sentences, which reduces the model’s reliance on specific words or less informative sentences. Our experiments on five datasets from various domains demonstrate that our model achieves state-of-the-art performance. Furthermore, ablation studies confirm the effectiveness of each module in our model.

pdf bib
D2TV: Dual Knowledge Distillation and Target-oriented Vision Modeling for Many-to-Many Multimodal Summarization
Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Jiaan Wang | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Many-to-many multimodal summarization (M3S) task aims to generate summaries in any language with document inputs in any language and the corresponding image sequence, which essentially comprises of multimodal monolingual summarization (MMS) and multimodal cross-lingual summarization (MXLS) tasks. Although much work has been devoted to either MMS or MXLS, little research pays attention to the M3S task. Besides, existing studies mainly focus on 1) utilizing MMS to enhance MXLS via knowledge distillation without considering the performance of MMS or 2) improving MMS models by filtering summary-unrelated visual features with implicit learning or explicitly complex training objectives. In this paper, we first introduce a general and practical task, i.e., M3S. Further, we propose a dual knowledge distillation and target-oriented vision modeling framework for the M3S task. Specifically, the dual knowledge distillation method guarantees that the knowledge of MMS and MXLS can be transferred to each other and thus mutually prompt both of them. To offer target-oriented visual features, a simple yet effective target-oriented contrastive objective is designed and responsible for discarding needless visual information. Extensive experiments on the many-to-many setting show the effectiveness of the proposed approach. Additionally, we contribute a many-to-many multimodal summarization (lmttM3Sum) dataset with 44 languages to facilitate future research.

pdf bib
Is ChatGPT a Good NLG Evaluator? A Preliminary Study
Jiaan Wang | Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Zengkui Sun | Haoxiang Shi | Zhixu Li | Jinan Xu | Jianfeng Qu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 4th New Frontiers in Summarization Workshop

Recently, the emergence of ChatGPT has attracted wide attention from the computational linguistics community. Many prior studies have shown that ChatGPT achieves remarkable performance on various NLP tasks in terms of automatic evaluation metrics. However, the ability of ChatGPT to serve as an evaluation metric is still underexplored. Considering assessing the quality of natural language generation (NLG) models is an arduous task and NLG metrics notoriously show their poor correlation with human judgments, we wonder whether ChatGPT is a good NLG evaluation metric. In this report, we provide a preliminary meta-evaluation on ChatGPT to show its reliability as an NLG metric. In detail, we regard ChatGPT as a human evaluator and give task-specific (e.g., summarization) and aspect-specific (e.g., relevance) instruction to prompt ChatGPT to evaluate the generated results of NLG models. We conduct experiments on five NLG meta-evaluation datasets (including summarization, story generation and data-to-text tasks). Experimental results show that compared with previous automatic metrics, ChatGPT achieves state-of-the-art or competitive correlation with human judgments in most cases. In addition, we find that the effectiveness of the ChatGPT evaluator might be influenced by the creation method of the meta-evaluation datasets. For the meta-evaluation datasets which are created greatly depending on the reference and thus are biased, the ChatGPT evaluator might lose its effectiveness. We hope our preliminary study could prompt the emergence of a general-purposed reliable NLG metric.

pdf bib
Zero-Shot Cross-Lingual Summarization via Large Language Models
Jiaan Wang | Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Beiqi Zou | Zhixu Li | Jianfeng Qu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 4th New Frontiers in Summarization Workshop

Given a document in a source language, cross-lingual summarization (CLS) aims to generate a summary in a different target language. Recently, the emergence of Large Language Models (LLMs), such as GPT-3.5, ChatGPT and GPT-4, has attracted wide attention from the computational linguistics community. However, it is not yet known the performance of LLMs on CLS. In this report, we empirically use various prompts to guide LLMs to perform zero-shot CLS from different paradigms (i.e., end-to-end and pipeline), and provide a preliminary evaluation on the generated summaries. We find that ChatGPT and GPT-4 originally prefer to produce lengthy summaries with detailed information. These two LLMs can further balance informativeness and conciseness with the help of an interactive prompt, significantly improving their CLS performance. Experimental results on three widely-used CLS datasets show that GPT-4 achieves state-of-the-art zero-shot CLS performance, and performs competitively compared with the fine-tuned mBART-50. Moreover, we also find some multi-lingual and bilingual LLMs (i.e., BLOOMZ, ChatGLM-6B, Vicuna-13B and ChatYuan) have limited zero-shot CLS ability. Due to the composite nature of CLS, which requires models to perform summarization and translation simultaneously, accomplishing this task in a zero-shot manner is even a challenge for LLMs. Therefore, we sincerely hope and recommend future LLM research could use CLS as a testbed.

pdf bib
HyperNetwork-based Decoupling to Improve Model Generalization for Few-Shot Relation Extraction
Liang Zhang | Chulun Zhou | Fandong Meng | Jinsong Su | Yidong Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Few-shot relation extraction (FSRE) aims to train a model that can deal with new relations using only a few labeled examples. Most existing studies employ Prototypical Networks for FSRE, which usually overfits the relation classes in the training set and cannot generalize well to unseen relations. By investigating the class separation of an FSRE model, we find that model upper layers are prone to learn relation-specific knowledge. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a HyperNetwork-based Decoupling approach to improve the generalization of FSRE models. Specifically, our model consists of an encoder, a network generator (for producing relation classifiers) and the produced-then-finetuned classifiers for every N-way-K-shot episode. Meanwhile, we design a two-step training framework along with a class-agnostic aligner, in which the generated classifiers focus on acquiring relation-specific knowledge and the encoder is encouraged to learn more general relation knowledge. In this way, the roles of upper and lower layers in an FSRE model are explicitly decoupled, thus enhancing its generalizing capability during testing. Experiments on two public datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.

pdf bib
Label Words are Anchors: An Information Flow Perspective for Understanding In-Context Learning
Lean Wang | Lei Li | Damai Dai | Deli Chen | Hao Zhou | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou | Xu Sun
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In-context learning (ICL) emerges as a promising capability of large language models (LLMs) by providing them with demonstration examples to perform diverse tasks. However, the underlying mechanism of how LLMs learn from the provided context remains under-explored. In this paper, we investigate the working mechanism of ICL through an information flow lens. Our findings reveal that label words in the demonstration examples function as anchors: (1) semantic information aggregates into label word representations during the shallow computation layers’ processing; (2) the consolidated information in label words serves as a reference for LLMs’ final predictions. Based on these insights, we introduce an anchor re-weighting method to improve ICL performance, a demonstration compression technique to expedite inference, and an analysis framework for diagnosing ICL errors in GPT2-XL. The promising applications of our findings again validate the uncovered ICL working mechanism and pave the way for future studies.

pdf bib
Consistency Regularization Training for Compositional Generalization
Yongjing Yin | Jiali Zeng | Yafu Li | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou | Yue Zhang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Existing neural models have difficulty generalizing to unseen combinations of seen components. To achieve compositional generalization, models are required to consistently interpret (sub)expressions across contexts. Without modifying model architectures, we improve the capability of Transformer on compositional generalization through consistency regularization training, which promotes representation consistency across samples and prediction consistency for a single sample. Experimental results on semantic parsing and machine translation benchmarks empirically demonstrate the effectiveness and generality of our method. In addition, we find that the prediction consistency scores on in-distribution validation sets can be an alternative for evaluating models during training, when commonly-used metrics are not informative.

pdf bib
Summary-Oriented Vision Modeling for Multimodal Abstractive Summarization
Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Jinan Xu | Jiaan Wang | Yufeng Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The goal of multimodal abstractive summarization (MAS) is to produce a concise summary given the multimodal data (text and vision). Existing studies on MAS mainly focus on how to effectively use the extracted visual features, having achieved impressive success on the high-resource English dataset. However, less attention has been paid to the quality of the visual features to the summary, which may limit the model performance, especially in the low- and zero-resource scenarios. In this paper, we propose to improve the summary quality through summary-oriented visual features. To this end, we devise two auxiliary tasks including vision to summary task and masked image modeling task. Together with the main summarization task, we optimize the MAS model via the training objectives of all these tasks. By these means, the MAS model can be enhanced by capturing the summary-oriented visual features, thereby yielding more accurate summaries. Experiments on 44 languages, covering mid-high-, low-, and zero-resource scenarios, verify the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed approach, which achieves state-of-the-art performance under all scenarios. Additionally, we will contribute a large-scale multilingual multimodal abstractive summarization (MM-Sum) dataset to the research community.

pdf bib
Soft Language Clustering for Multilingual Model Pre-training
Jiali Zeng | Yufan Jiang | Yongjing Yin | Yi Jing | Fandong Meng | Binghuai Lin | Yunbo Cao | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Multilingual pre-trained language models have demonstrated impressive (zero-shot) cross-lingual transfer abilities, however, their performance is hindered when the target language has distant typologyfrom the source language or when pre-training data is limited in size. In this paper, we propose XLM-P, a method that contextually retrieves prompts as flexible guidance for encoding instances conditionally. Our space-efficient and model-agnostic XLM-P approach enables (1) lightweight modeling of language-invariant and language-specific knowledge across languages, and (2) easy integration with other multilingual pre-training methods. On the tasks of XTREME, which include text classification, sequence labeling, question answering, and sentence retrieval, both base- and large-size language models pre-trained with our proposed method exhibit consistent performance improvement. Furthermore, it provides substantial advantages for low-resource languages in unsupervised sentence retrieval and for target languages that differ greatly from the source language in cross-lingual transfer.

pdf bib
Personality Understanding of Fictional Characters during Book Reading
Mo Yu | Jiangnan Li | Shunyu Yao | Wenjie Pang | Xiaochen Zhou | Zhou Xiao | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Comprehending characters’ personalities is a crucial aspect of story reading. As readers engage with a story, their understanding of a character evolves based on new events and information; and multiple fine-grained aspects of personalities can be perceived. This leads to a natural problem of situated and fine-grained personality understanding. The problem has not been studied in the NLP field, primarily due to the lack of appropriate datasets mimicking the process of book reading. We present the first labeled dataset PersoNet for this problem. Our novel annotation strategy involves annotating user notes from online reading apps as a proxy for the original books. Experiments and human studies indicate that our dataset construction is both efficient and accurate; and our task heavily relies on long-term context to achieve accurate predictions for both machines and humans.

pdf bib
Towards Unifying Multi-Lingual and Cross-Lingual Summarization
Jiaan Wang | Fandong Meng | Duo Zheng | Yunlong Liang | Zhixu Li | Jianfeng Qu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

To adapt text summarization to the multilingual world, previous work proposes multi-lingual summarization (MLS) and cross-lingual summarization (CLS). However, these two tasks have been studied separately due to the different definitions, which limits the compatible and systematic research on both of them. In this paper, we aim to unify MLS and CLS into a more general setting, i.e., many-to-many summarization (M2MS), where a single model could process documents in any language and generate their summaries also in any language. As the first step towards M2MS, we conduct preliminary studies to show that M2MS can better transfer task knowledge across different languages than MLS and CLS. Furthermore, we propose Pisces, a pre-trained M2MS model that learns language modeling, cross-lingual ability and summarization ability via three-stage pre-training. Experimental results indicate that our Pisces significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art baselines, especially in the zero-shot directions, where there is no training data from the source-language documents to the target-language summaries.

2022

pdf bib
A Survey on Cross-Lingual Summarization
Jiaan Wang | Fandong Meng | Duo Zheng | Yunlong Liang | Zhixu Li | Jianfeng Qu | Jie Zhou
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 10

Cross-lingual summarization is the task of generating a summary in one language (e.g., English) for the given document(s) in a different language (e.g., Chinese). Under the globalization background, this task has attracted increasing attention of the computational linguistics community. Nevertheless, there still remains a lack of comprehensive review for this task. Therefore, we present the first systematic critical review on the datasets, approaches, and challenges in this field. Specifically, we carefully organize existing datasets and approaches according to different construction methods and solution paradigms, respectively. For each type of dataset or approach, we thoroughly introduce and summarize previous efforts and further compare them with each other to provide deeper analyses. In the end, we also discuss promising directions and offer our thoughts to facilitate future research. This survey is for both beginners and experts in cross-lingual summarization, and we hope it will serve as a starting point as well as a source of new ideas for researchers and engineers interested in this area.

pdf bib
Cross-Align: Modeling Deep Cross-lingual Interactions for Word Alignment
Siyu Lai | Zhen Yang | Fandong Meng | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Word alignment which aims to extract lexicon translation equivalents between source and target sentences, serves as a fundamental tool for natural language processing. Recent studies in this area have yielded substantial improvements by generating alignments from contextualized embeddings of the pre-trained multilingual language models. However, we find that the existing approaches capture few interactions between the input sentence pairs, which degrades the word alignment quality severely, especially for the ambiguous words in the monolingual context. To remedy this problem, we propose Cross-Align to model deep interactions between the input sentence pairs, in which the source and target sentences are encoded separately with the shared self-attention modules in the shallow layers, while cross-lingual interactions are explicitly constructed by the cross-attention modules in the upper layers. Besides, to train our model effectively, we propose a two-stage training framework, where the model is trained with a simple Translation Language Modeling (TLM) objective in the first stage and then finetuned with a self-supervised alignment objective in the second stage. Experiments show that the proposed Cross-Align achieves the state-of-the-art (SOTA) performance on four out of five language pairs.

pdf bib
WeTS: A Benchmark for Translation Suggestion
Zhen Yang | Fandong Meng | Yingxue Zhang | Ernan Li | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Translation suggestion (TS), which provides alternatives for specific words or phrases given the entire documents generated by machine translation (MT), has been proven to play a significant role in post-editing (PE). There are two main pitfalls for existing researches in this line. First, most conventional works only focus on the overall performance of PE but ignore the exact performance of TS, which makes the progress of PE sluggish and less explainable; Second, as no publicly available golden dataset exists to support in-depth research for TS, almost all of the previous works conduct experiments on their in-house datasets or the noisy datasets built automatically, which makes their experiments hard to be reproduced and compared. To break these limitations mentioned above and spur the research in TS, we create a benchmark dataset, called WeTS, which is a golden corpus annotated by expert translators on four translation directions. Apart from the golden corpus, we also propose several methods to generate synthetic corpora which can be used to improve the performance substantially through pre-training. As for the model, we propose the segment-aware self-attention based Transformer for TS. Experimental results show that our approach achieves the best results on all four directions, including English-to-German, German-to-English, Chinese-to-English, and English-to-Chinese.

pdf bib
Towards Robust k-Nearest-Neighbor Machine Translation
Hui Jiang | Ziyao Lu | Fandong Meng | Chulun Zhou | Jie Zhou | Degen Huang | Jinsong Su
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

k-Nearest-Neighbor Machine Translation (kNN-MT) becomes an important research direction of NMT in recent years. Its main idea is to retrieve useful key-value pairs from an additional datastore to modify translations without updating the NMT model. However, the underlying retrieved noisy pairs will dramatically deteriorate the model performance. In this paper, we conduct a preliminary study and find that this problem results from not fully exploiting the prediction of the NMT model. To alleviate the impact of noise, we propose a confidence-enhanced kNN-MT model with robust training. Concretely, we introduce the NMT confidence to refine the modeling of two important components of kNN-MT: kNN distribution and the interpolation weight. Meanwhile we inject two types of perturbations into the retrieved pairs for robust training. Experimental results on four benchmark datasets demonstrate that our model not only achieves significant improvements over current kNN-MT models, but also exhibits better robustness. Our code is available at https://github.com/DeepLearnXMU/Robust-knn-mt.

pdf bib
ClidSum: A Benchmark Dataset for Cross-Lingual Dialogue Summarization
Jiaan Wang | Fandong Meng | Ziyao Lu | Duo Zheng | Zhixu Li | Jianfeng Qu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We present ClidSum, a benchmark dataset towards building cross-lingual summarization systems on dialogue documents. It consists of 67k+ dialogue documents and 112k+ annotated summaries in different target languages. Based on the proposed ClidSum, we introduce two benchmark settings for supervised and semi-supervised scenarios, respectively. We then build various baseline systems in different paradigms (pipeline and end-to-end) and conduct extensive experiments on ClidSum to provide deeper analyses. Furthermore, we propose mDialBART which extends mBART via further pre-training, where the multiple objectives help the pre-trained model capture the structural characteristics as well as key content in dialogues and the transformation from source to the target language. Experimental results show the superiority of mDialBART, as an end-to-end model, outperforms strong pipeline models on ClidSum. Finally, we discuss specific challenges that current approaches faced with this task and give multiple promising directions for future research. We have released the dataset and code at https://github.com/krystalan/ClidSum.

pdf bib
Digging Errors in NMT: Evaluating and Understanding Model Errors from Partial Hypothesis Space
Jianhao Yan | Chenming Wu | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Solid evaluation of neural machine translation (NMT) is key to its understanding and improvement. Current evaluation of an NMT system is usually built upon a heuristic decoding algorithm (e.g., beam search) and an evaluation metric assessing similarity between the translation and golden reference. However, this system-level evaluation framework is limited by evaluating only one best hypothesis and search errors brought by heuristic decoding algorithms. To better understand NMT models, we propose a novel evaluation protocol, which defines model errors with model’s ranking capability over hypothesis space. To tackle the problem of exponentially large space, we propose two approximation methods, top region evaluation along with an exact top-k decoding algorithm, which finds top-ranked hypotheses in the whole hypothesis space, and Monte Carlo sampling evaluation, which simulates hypothesis space from a broader perspective. To quantify errors, we define our NMT model errors by measuring distance between the hypothesis array ranked by the model and the ideally ranked hypothesis array. After confirming the strong correlation with human judgment, we apply our evaluation to various NMT benchmarks and model architectures. We show that the state-of-the-art Transformer models face serious ranking issues and only perform at the random chance level in the top region. We further analyze model errors on architectures with different depths and widths, as well as different data-augmentation techniques, showing how these factors affect model errors. Finally, we connect model errors with the search algorithms and provide interesting findings of beam search inductive bias and correlation with Minimum Bayes Risk (MBR) decoding.

pdf bib
TAKE: Topic-shift Aware Knowledge sElection for Dialogue Generation
Chenxu Yang | Zheng Lin | Jiangnan Li | Fandong Meng | Weiping Wang | Lanrui Wang | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Knowledge-grounded dialogue generation consists of two subtasks: knowledge selection and response generation. The knowledge selector generally constructs a query based on the dialogue context and selects the most appropriate knowledge to help response generation. Recent work finds that realizing who (the user or the agent) holds the initiative and utilizing the role-initiative information to instruct the query construction can help select knowledge. It depends on whether the knowledge connection between two adjacent rounds is smooth to assign the role. However, whereby the user takes the initiative only when there is a strong semantic transition between two rounds, probably leading to initiative misjudgment. Therefore, it is necessary to seek a more sensitive reason beyond the initiative role for knowledge selection. To address the above problem, we propose a Topic-shift Aware Knowledge sElector(TAKE). Specifically, we first annotate the topic shift and topic inheritance labels in multi-round dialogues with distant supervision. Then, we alleviate the noise problem in pseudo labels through curriculum learning and knowledge distillation. Extensive experiments on WoW show that TAKE performs better than strong baselines.

pdf bib
Categorizing Semantic Representations for Neural Machine Translation
Yongjing Yin | Yafu Li | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou | Yue Zhang
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Modern neural machine translation (NMT) models have achieved competitive performance in standard benchmarks. However, they have recently been shown to suffer limitation in compositional generalization, failing to effectively learn the translation of atoms (e.g., words) and their semantic composition (e.g., modification) from seen compounds (e.g., phrases), and thus suffering from significantly weakened translation performance on unseen compounds during inference. We address this issue by introducing categorization to the source contextualized representations. The main idea is to enhance generalization by reducing sparsity and overfitting, which is achieved by finding prototypes of token representations over the training set and integrating their embeddings into the source encoding. Experiments on a dedicated MT dataset (i.e., CoGnition) show that our method reduces compositional generalization error rates by 24% error reduction. In addition, our conceptually simple method gives consistently better results than the Transformer baseline on a range of general MT datasets.

pdf bib
TSAM: A Two-Stream Attention Model for Causal Emotion Entailment
Duzhen Zhang | Zhen Yang | Fandong Meng | Xiuyi Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Causal Emotion Entailment (CEE) aims to discover the potential causes behind an emotion in a conversational utterance. Previous works formalize CEE as independent utterance pair classification problems, with emotion and speaker information neglected. From a new perspective, this paper considers CEE in a joint framework. We classify multiple utterances synchronously to capture the correlations between utterances in a global view and propose a Two-Stream Attention Model (TSAM) to effectively model the speaker’s emotional influences in the conversational history. Specifically, the TSAM comprises three modules: Emotion Attention Network (EAN), Speaker Attention Network (SAN), and interaction module. The EAN and SAN incorporate emotion and speaker information in parallel, and the subsequent interaction module effectively interchanges relevant information between the EAN and SAN via a mutual BiAffine transformation. Extensive experimental results demonstrate that our model achieves new State-Of-The-Art (SOTA) performance and outperforms baselines remarkably.

pdf bib
Language Prior Is Not the Only Shortcut: A Benchmark for Shortcut Learning in VQA
Qingyi Si | Fandong Meng | Mingyu Zheng | Zheng Lin | Yuanxin Liu | Peng Fu | Yanan Cao | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Visual Question Answering (VQA) models are prone to learn the shortcut solution formed by dataset biases rather than the intended solution. To evaluate the VQA models’ reasoning ability beyond shortcut learning, the VQA-CP v2 dataset introduces a distribution shift between the training and test set given a question type. In this way, the model cannot use the training set shortcut (from question type to answer) to perform well on the test set. However, VQA-CP v2 only considers one type of shortcut and thus still cannot guarantee that the model relies on the intended solution rather than a solution specific to this shortcut. To overcome this limitation, we propose a new dataset that considers varying types of shortcuts by constructing different distribution shifts in multiple OOD test sets. In addition, we overcome the three troubling practices in the use of VQA-CP v2, e.g., selecting models using OOD test sets, and further standardize OOD evaluation procedure. Our benchmark provides a more rigorous and comprehensive testbed for shortcut learning in VQA. We benchmark recent methods and find that methods specifically designed for particular shortcuts fail to simultaneously generalize to our varying OOD test sets. We also systematically study the varying shortcuts and provide several valuable findings, which may promote the exploration of shortcut learning in VQA.

pdf bib
Empathetic Dialogue Generation via Sensitive Emotion Recognition and Sensible Knowledge Selection
Lanrui Wang | Jiangnan Li | Zheng Lin | Fandong Meng | Chenxu Yang | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Empathy, which is widely used in psychological counseling, is a key trait of everyday human conversations. Equipped with commonsense knowledge, current approaches to empathetic response generation focus on capturing implicit emotion within dialogue context, where the emotions are treated as a static variable throughout the conversations. However, emotions change dynamically between utterances, which makes previous works difficult to perceive the emotion flow and predict the correct emotion of the target response, leading to inappropriate response. Furthermore, simply importing commonsense knowledge without harmonization may trigger the conflicts between knowledge and emotion, which confuse the model to choose the correct information to guide the generation process. To address the above problems, we propose a Serial Encoding and Emotion-Knowledge interaction (SEEK) method for empathetic dialogue generation. We use a fine-grained encoding strategy which is more sensitive to the emotion dynamics (emotion flow) in the conversations to predict the emotion-intent characteristic of response. Besides, we design a novel framework to model the interaction between knowledge and emotion to solve the conflicts generate more sensible response. Extensive experiments on the utterance-level annotated EMPATHETICDIALOGUES demonstrate that SEEK outperforms the strong baseline in both automatic and manual evaluations.

pdf bib
Towards Robust Visual Question Answering: Making the Most of Biased Samples via Contrastive Learning
Qingyi Si | Yuanxin Liu | Fandong Meng | Zheng Lin | Peng Fu | Yanan Cao | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Models for Visual Question Answering (VQA) often rely on the spurious correlations, i.e., the language priors, that appear in the biased samples of training set, which make them brittle against the out-of-distribution (OOD) test data. Recent methods have achieved promising progress in overcoming this problem by reducing the impact of biased samples on model training. However, these models reveal a trade-off that the improvements on OOD data severely sacrifice the performance on the in-distribution (ID) data (which is dominated by the biased samples). Therefore, we propose a novel contrastive learning approach, MMBS, for building robust VQA models by Making the Most of Biased Samples. Specifically, we construct positive samples for contrastive learning by eliminating the information related to spurious correlation from the original training samples and explore several strategies to use the constructed positive samples for training. Instead of undermining the importance of biased samples in model training, our approach precisely exploits the biased samples for unbiased information that contributes to reasoning. The proposed method is compatible with various VQA backbones. We validate our contributions by achieving competitive performance on the OOD dataset VQA-CP v2 while preserving robust performance on the ID dataset VQA v2.

pdf bib
Findings of the WMT 2022 Shared Task on Translation Suggestion
Zhen Yang | Fandong Meng | Yingxue Zhang | Ernan Li | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

We report the result of the first edition of the WMT shared task on Translation Suggestion (TS). The task aims to provide alternatives for specific words or phrases given the entire documents generated by machine translation (MT). It consists two sub-tasks, namely, the naive translation suggestion and translation suggestion with hints. The main difference is that some hints are provided in sub-task two, therefore, it is easier for the model to generate more accurate suggestions. For sub-task one, we provide the corpus for the language pairs English-German and English-Chinese. And only English-Chinese corpus is provided for the sub-task two. We received 92 submissions from 5 participating teams in sub-task one and 6 submissions for the sub-task 2, most of them covering all of the translation directions. We used the automatic metric BLEU for evaluating the performance of each submission.

pdf bib
Summer: WeChat Neural Machine Translation Systems for the WMT22 Biomedical Translation Task
Ernan Li | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

This paper introduces WeChat’s participation in WMT 2022 shared biomedical translationtask on Chinese→English. Our systems are based on the Transformer(Vaswani et al., 2017),and use several different Transformer structures to improve the quality of translation. In our experiments, we employ data filtering, data generation, several variants of Transformer,fine-tuning and model ensemble. Our Chinese→English system, named Summer, achieves the highest BLEU score among all submissions.

pdf bib
BJTU-WeChat’s Systems for the WMT22 Chat Translation Task
Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the Seventh Conference on Machine Translation (WMT)

This paper introduces the joint submission of the Beijing Jiaotong University and WeChat AI to the WMT’22 chat translation task for English-German. Based on the Transformer, we apply several effective variants. In our experiments, we apply the pre-training-then-fine-tuning paradigm. In the first pre-training stage, we employ data filtering and synthetic data generation (i.e., back-translation, forward-translation, and knowledge distillation). In the second fine-tuning stage, we investigate speaker-aware in-domain data generation, speaker adaptation, prompt-based context modeling, target denoising fine-tuning, and boosted self-COMET-based model ensemble. Our systems achieve 81.0 and 94.6 COMET scores on English-German and German-English, respectively. The COMET scores of English-German and German-English are the highest among all submissions.

pdf bib
A Variational Hierarchical Model for Neural Cross-Lingual Summarization
Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Chulun Zhou | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen | Jinsong Su | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The goal of the cross-lingual summarization (CLS) is to convert a document in one language (e.g., English) to a summary in another one (e.g., Chinese). The CLS task is essentially the combination of machine translation (MT) and monolingual summarization (MS), and thus there exists the hierarchical relationship between MT&MS and CLS. Existing studies on CLS mainly focus on utilizing pipeline methods or jointly training an end-to-end model through an auxiliary MT or MS objective. However, it is very challenging for the model to directly conduct CLS as it requires both the abilities to translate and summarize. To address this issue, we propose a hierarchical model for the CLS task, based on the conditional variational auto-encoder. The hierarchical model contains two kinds of latent variables at the local and global levels, respectively. At the local level, there are two latent variables, one for translation and the other for summarization. As for the global level, there is another latent variable for cross-lingual summarization conditioned on the two local-level variables. Experiments on two language directions (English-Chinese) verify the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed approach. In addition, we show that our model is able to generate better cross-lingual summaries than comparison models in the few-shot setting.

pdf bib
Conditional Bilingual Mutual Information Based Adaptive Training for Neural Machine Translation
Songming Zhang | Yijin Liu | Fandong Meng | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu | Jian Liu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Token-level adaptive training approaches can alleviate the token imbalance problem and thus improve neural machine translation, through re-weighting the losses of different target tokens based on specific statistical metrics (e.g., token frequency or mutual information). Given that standard translation models make predictions on the condition of previous target contexts, we argue that the above statistical metrics ignore target context information and may assign inappropriate weights to target tokens. While one possible solution is to directly take target contexts into these statistical metrics, the target-context-aware statistical computing is extremely expensive, and the corresponding storage overhead is unrealistic. To solve the above issues, we propose a target-context-aware metric, named conditional bilingual mutual information (CBMI), which makes it feasible to supplement target context information for statistical metrics. Particularly, our CBMI can be formalized as the log quotient of the translation model probability and language model probability by decomposing the conditional joint distribution. Thus CBMI can be efficiently calculated during model training without any pre-specific statistical calculations and large storage overhead. Furthermore, we propose an effective adaptive training approach based on both the token- and sentence-level CBMI. Experimental results on WMT14 English-German and WMT19 Chinese-English tasks show our approach can significantly outperform the Transformer baseline and other related methods.

pdf bib
MSCTD: A Multimodal Sentiment Chat Translation Dataset
Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Multimodal machine translation and textual chat translation have received considerable attention in recent years. Although the conversation in its natural form is usually multimodal, there still lacks work on multimodal machine translation in conversations. In this work, we introduce a new task named Multimodal Chat Translation (MCT), aiming to generate more accurate translations with the help of the associated dialogue history and visual context. To this end, we firstly construct a Multimodal Sentiment Chat Translation Dataset (MSCTD) containing 142,871 English-Chinese utterance pairs in 14,762 bilingual dialogues. Each utterance pair, corresponding to the visual context that reflects the current conversational scene, is annotated with a sentiment label. Then, we benchmark the task by establishing multiple baseline systems that incorporate multimodal and sentiment features for MCT. Preliminary experiments on two language directions (English-Chinese) verify the potential of contextual and multimodal information fusion and the positive impact of sentiment on the MCT task. Additionally, we provide a new benchmark on multimodal dialogue sentiment analysis with the constructed MSCTD. Our work can facilitate researches on both multimodal chat translation and multimodal dialogue sentiment analysis.

pdf bib
Confidence Based Bidirectional Global Context Aware Training Framework for Neural Machine Translation
Chulun Zhou | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou | Min Zhang | Hongji Wang | Jinsong Su
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Most dominant neural machine translation (NMT) models are restricted to make predictions only according to the local context of preceding words in a left-to-right manner. Although many previous studies try to incorporate global information into NMT models, there still exist limitations on how to effectively exploit bidirectional global context. In this paper, we propose a Confidence Based Bidirectional Global Context Aware (CBBGCA) training framework for NMT, where the NMT model is jointly trained with an auxiliary conditional masked language model (CMLM). The training consists of two stages: (1) multi-task joint training; (2) confidence based knowledge distillation. At the first stage, by sharing encoder parameters, the NMT model is additionally supervised by the signal from the CMLM decoder that contains bidirectional global contexts. Moreover, at the second stage, using the CMLM as teacher, we further pertinently incorporate bidirectional global context to the NMT model on its unconfidently-predicted target words via knowledge distillation. Experimental results show that our proposed CBBGCA training framework significantly improves the NMT model by +1.02, +1.30 and +0.57 BLEU scores on three large-scale translation datasets, namely WMT’14 English-to-German, WMT’19 Chinese-to-English and WMT’14 English-to-French, respectively.

pdf bib
Scheduled Multi-task Learning for Neural Chat Translation
Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Neural Chat Translation (NCT) aims to translate conversational text into different languages. Existing methods mainly focus on modeling the bilingual dialogue characteristics (e.g., coherence) to improve chat translation via multi-task learning on small-scale chat translation data. Although the NCT models have achieved impressive success, it is still far from satisfactory due to insufficient chat translation data and simple joint training manners. To address the above issues, we propose a scheduled multi-task learning framework for NCT. Specifically, we devise a three-stage training framework to incorporate the large-scale in-domain chat translation data into training by adding a second pre-training stage between the original pre-training and fine-tuning stages. Further, we investigate where and how to schedule the dialogue-related auxiliary tasks in multiple training stages to effectively enhance the main chat translation task. Extensive experiments on four language directions (English-Chinese and English-German) verify the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed approach. Additionally, we will make the large-scale in-domain paired bilingual dialogue dataset publicly available for the research community.

pdf bib
EAG: Extract and Generate Multi-way Aligned Corpus for Complete Multi-lingual Neural Machine Translation
Yulin Xu | Zhen Yang | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Complete Multi-lingual Neural Machine Translation (C-MNMT) achieves superior performance against the conventional MNMT by constructing multi-way aligned corpus, i.e., aligning bilingual training examples from different language pairs when either their source or target sides are identical. However, since exactly identical sentences from different language pairs are scarce, the power of the multi-way aligned corpus is limited by its scale. To handle this problem, this paper proposes “Extract and Generate” (EAG), a two-step approach to construct large-scale and high-quality multi-way aligned corpus from bilingual data. Specifically, we first extract candidate aligned examples by pairing the bilingual examples from different language pairs with highly similar source or target sentences; and then generate the final aligned examples from the candidates with a well-trained generation model. With this two-step pipeline, EAG can construct a large-scale and multi-way aligned corpus whose diversity is almost identical to the original bilingual corpus. Experiments on two publicly available datasets i.e., WMT-5 and OPUS-100, show that the proposed method achieves significant improvements over strong baselines, with +1.1 and +1.4 BLEU points improvements on the two datasets respectively.

pdf bib
Generating Authentic Adversarial Examples beyond Meaning-preserving with Doubly Round-trip Translation
Siyu Lai | Zhen Yang | Fandong Meng | Xue Zhang | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Generating adversarial examples for Neural Machine Translation (NMT) with single Round-Trip Translation (RTT) has achieved promising results by releasing the meaning-preserving restriction. However, a potential pitfall for this approach is that we cannot decide whether the generated examples are adversarial to the target NMT model or the auxiliary backward one, as the reconstruction error through the RTT can be related to either. To remedy this problem, we propose a new definition for NMT adversarial examples based on the Doubly Round-Trip Translation (DRTT). Specifically, apart from the source-target-source RTT, we also consider the target-source-target one, which is utilized to pick out the authentic adversarial examples for the target NMT model. Additionally, to enhance the robustness of the NMT model, we introduce the masked language models to construct bilingual adversarial pairs based on DRTT, which are used to train the NMT model directly. Extensive experiments on both the clean and noisy test sets (including the artificial and natural noise) show that our approach substantially improves the robustness of NMT models.

pdf bib
Learning to Win Lottery Tickets in BERT Transfer via Task-agnostic Mask Training
Yuanxin Liu | Fandong Meng | Zheng Lin | Peng Fu | Yanan Cao | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Recent studies on the lottery ticket hypothesis (LTH) show that pre-trained language models (PLMs) like BERT contain matching subnetworks that have similar transfer learning performance as the original PLM. These subnetworks are found using magnitude-based pruning. In this paper, we find that the BERT subnetworks have even more potential than these studies have shown. Firstly, we discover that the success of magnitude pruning can be attributed to the preserved pre-training performance, which correlates with the downstream transferability. Inspired by this, we propose to directly optimize the subnetwork structure towards the pre-training objectives, which can better preserve the pre-training performance. Specifically, we train binary masks over model weights on the pre-training tasks, with the aim of preserving the universal transferability of the subnetwork, which is agnostic to any specific downstream tasks. We then fine-tune the subnetworks on the GLUE benchmark and the SQuAD dataset. The results show that, compared with magnitude pruning, mask training can effectively find BERT subnetworks with improved overall performance on downstream tasks. Moreover, our method is also more efficient in searching subnetworks and more advantageous when fine-tuning within a certain range of data scarcity. Our code is available at https://github.com/llyx97/TAMT.

2021

pdf bib
GoG: Relation-aware Graph-over-Graph Network for Visual Dialog
Feilong Chen | Xiuyi Chen | Fandong Meng | Peng Li | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

pdf bib
Multimodal Incremental Transformer with Visual Grounding for Visual Dialogue Generation
Feilong Chen | Fandong Meng | Xiuyi Chen | Peng Li | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

pdf bib
Unsupervised Knowledge Selection for Dialogue Generation
Xiuyi Chen | Feilong Chen | Fandong Meng | Peng Li | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

pdf bib
Target-oriented Fine-tuning for Zero-Resource Named Entity Recognition
Ying Zhang | Fandong Meng | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

pdf bib
Confidence-Aware Scheduled Sampling for Neural Machine Translation
Yijin Liu | Fandong Meng | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

pdf bib
An Iterative Multi-Knowledge Transfer Network for Aspect-Based Sentiment Analysis
Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Jinchao Zhang | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Aspect-based sentiment analysis (ABSA) mainly involves three subtasks: aspect term extraction, opinion term extraction, and aspect-level sentiment classification, which are typically handled in a separate or joint manner. However, previous approaches do not well exploit the interactive relations among three subtasks and do not pertinently leverage the easily available document-level labeled domain/sentiment knowledge, which restricts their performances. To address these issues, we propose a novel Iterative Multi-Knowledge Transfer Network (IMKTN) for end-to-end ABSA. For one thing, through the interactive correlations between the ABSA subtasks, our IMKTN transfers the task-specific knowledge from any two of the three subtasks to another one at the token level by utilizing a well-designed routing algorithm, that is, any two of the three subtasks will help the third one. For another, our IMKTN pertinently transfers the document-level knowledge, i.e., domain-specific and sentiment-related knowledge, to the aspect-level subtasks to further enhance the corresponding performance. Experimental results on three benchmark datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and superiority of our approach.

pdf bib
Enhancing Visual Dialog Questioner with Entity-based Strategy Learning and Augmented Guesser
Duo Zheng | Zipeng Xu | Fandong Meng | Xiaojie Wang | Jiaan Wang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Considering the importance of building a good Visual Dialog (VD) Questioner, many researchers study the topic under a Q-Bot-A-Bot image-guessing game setting, where the Questioner needs to raise a series of questions to collect information of an undisclosed image. Despite progress has been made in Supervised Learning (SL) and Reinforcement Learning (RL), issues still exist. Firstly, previous methods do not provide explicit and effective guidance for Questioner to generate visually related and informative questions. Secondly, the effect of RL is hampered by an incompetent component, i.e., the Guesser, who makes image predictions based on the generated dialogs and assigns rewards accordingly. To enhance VD Questioner: 1) we propose a Related entity enhanced Questioner (ReeQ) that generates questions under the guidance of related entities and learns entity-based questioning strategy from human dialogs; 2) we propose an Augmented Guesser that is strong and is optimized for VD especially. Experimental results on the VisDial v1.0 dataset show that our approach achieves state-of-the-art performance on both image-guessing task and question diversity. Human study further verifies that our model generates more visually related, informative and coherent questions.

pdf bib
Competence-based Curriculum Learning for Multilingual Machine Translation
Mingliang Zhang | Fandong Meng | Yunhai Tong | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Currently, multilingual machine translation is receiving more and more attention since it brings better performance for low resource languages (LRLs) and saves more space. However, existing multilingual machine translation models face a severe challenge: imbalance. As a result, the translation performance of different languages in multilingual translation models are quite different. We argue that this imbalance problem stems from the different learning competencies of different languages. Therefore, we focus on balancing the learning competencies of different languages and propose Competence-based Curriculum Learning for Multilingual Machine Translation, named CCL-M. Specifically, we firstly define two competencies to help schedule the high resource languages (HRLs) and the low resource languages: 1) Self-evaluated Competence, evaluating how well the language itself has been learned; and 2) HRLs-evaluated Competence, evaluating whether an LRL is ready to be learned according to HRLs’ Self-evaluated Competence. Based on the above competencies, we utilize the proposed CCL-M algorithm to gradually add new languages into the training set in a curriculum learning manner. Furthermore, we propose a novel competence-aware dynamic balancing sampling strategy for better selecting training samples in multilingual training. Experimental results show that our approach has achieved a steady and significant performance gain compared to the previous state-of-the-art approach on the TED talks dataset.

pdf bib
Context Tracking Network: Graph-based Context Modeling for Implicit Discourse Relation Recognition
Yingxue Zhang | Fandong Meng | Peng Li | Ping Jian | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Implicit discourse relation recognition (IDRR) aims to identify logical relations between two adjacent sentences in the discourse. Existing models fail to fully utilize the contextual information which plays an important role in interpreting each local sentence. In this paper, we thus propose a novel graph-based Context Tracking Network (CT-Net) to model the discourse context for IDRR. The CT-Net firstly converts the discourse into the paragraph association graph (PAG), where each sentence tracks their closely related context from the intricate discourse through different types of edges. Then, the CT-Net extracts contextual representation from the PAG through a specially designed cross-grained updating mechanism, which can effectively integrate both sentence-level and token-level contextual semantics. Experiments on PDTB 2.0 show that the CT-Net gains better performance than models that roughly model the context.

pdf bib
Sequence-Level Training for Non-Autoregressive Neural Machine Translation
Chenze Shao | Yang Feng | Jinchao Zhang | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou
Computational Linguistics, Volume 47, Issue 4 - December 2021

In recent years, Neural Machine Translation (NMT) has achieved notable results in various translation tasks. However, the word-by-word generation manner determined by the autoregressive mechanism leads to high translation latency of the NMT and restricts its low-latency applications. Non-Autoregressive Neural Machine Translation (NAT) removes the autoregressive mechanism and achieves significant decoding speedup by generating target words independently and simultaneously. Nevertheless, NAT still takes the word-level cross-entropy loss as the training objective, which is not optimal because the output of NAT cannot be properly evaluated due to the multimodality problem. In this article, we propose using sequence-level training objectives to train NAT models, which evaluate the NAT outputs as a whole and correlates well with the real translation quality. First, we propose training NAT models to optimize sequence-level evaluation metrics (e.g., BLEU) based on several novel reinforcement algorithms customized for NAT, which outperform the conventional method by reducing the variance of gradient estimation. Second, we introduce a novel training objective for NAT models, which aims to minimize the Bag-of-N-grams (BoN) difference between the model output and the reference sentence. The BoN training objective is differentiable and can be calculated efficiently without doing any approximations. Finally, we apply a three-stage training strategy to combine these two methods to train the NAT model. We validate our approach on four translation tasks (WMT14 En↔De, WMT16 En↔Ro), which shows that our approach largely outperforms NAT baselines and achieves remarkable performance on all translation tasks. The source code is available at https://github.com/ictnlp/Seq-NAT.

pdf bib
Marginal Utility Diminishes: Exploring the Minimum Knowledge for BERT Knowledge Distillation
Yuanxin Liu | Fandong Meng | Zheng Lin | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
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)

Recently, knowledge distillation (KD) has shown great success in BERT compression. Instead of only learning from the teacher’s soft label as in conventional KD, researchers find that the rich information contained in the hidden layers of BERT is conducive to the student’s performance. To better exploit the hidden knowledge, a common practice is to force the student to deeply mimic the teacher’s hidden states of all the tokens in a layer-wise manner. In this paper, however, we observe that although distilling the teacher’s hidden state knowledge (HSK) is helpful, the performance gain (marginal utility) diminishes quickly as more HSK is distilled. To understand this effect, we conduct a series of analysis. Specifically, we divide the HSK of BERT into three dimensions, namely depth, length and width. We first investigate a variety of strategies to extract crucial knowledge for each single dimension and then jointly compress the three dimensions. In this way, we show that 1) the student’s performance can be improved by extracting and distilling the crucial HSK, and 2) using a tiny fraction of HSK can achieve the same performance as extensive HSK distillation. Based on the second finding, we further propose an efficient KD paradigm to compress BERT, which does not require loading the teacher during the training of student. For two kinds of student models and computing devices, the proposed KD paradigm gives rise to training speedup of 2.7x 3.4x.

pdf bib
Prevent the Language Model from being Overconfident in Neural Machine Translation
Mengqi Miao | Fandong Meng | Yijin Liu | Xiao-Hua Zhou | Jie Zhou
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 Neural Machine Translation (NMT) model is essentially a joint language model conditioned on both the source sentence and partial translation. Therefore, the NMT model naturally involves the mechanism of the Language Model (LM) that predicts the next token only based on partial translation. Despite its success, NMT still suffers from the hallucination problem, generating fluent but inadequate translations. The main reason is that NMT pays excessive attention to the partial translation while neglecting the source sentence to some extent, namely overconfidence of the LM. Accordingly, we define the Margin between the NMT and the LM, calculated by subtracting the predicted probability of the LM from that of the NMT model for each token. The Margin is negatively correlated to the overconfidence degree of the LM. Based on the property, we propose a Margin-based Token-level Objective (MTO) and a Margin-based Sentence-level Objective (MSO) to maximize the Margin for preventing the LM from being overconfident. Experiments on WMT14 English-to-German, WMT19 Chinese-to-English, and WMT14 English-to-French translation tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach, with 1.36, 1.50, and 0.63 BLEU improvements, respectively, compared to the Transformer baseline. The human evaluation further verifies that our approaches improve translation adequacy as well as fluency.

pdf bib
GTM: A Generative Triple-wise Model for Conversational Question Generation
Lei Shen | Fandong Meng | Jinchao Zhang | Yang Feng | Jie Zhou
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)

Generating some appealing questions in open-domain conversations is an effective way to improve human-machine interactions and lead the topic to a broader or deeper direction. To avoid dull or deviated questions, some researchers tried to utilize answer, the “future” information, to guide question generation. However, they separate a post-question-answer (PQA) triple into two parts: post-question (PQ) and question-answer (QA) pairs, which may hurt the overall coherence. Besides, the QA relationship is modeled as a one-to-one mapping that is not reasonable in open-domain conversations. To tackle these problems, we propose a generative triple-wise model with hierarchical variations for open-domain conversational question generation (CQG). Latent variables in three hierarchies are used to represent the shared background of a triple and one-to-many semantic mappings in both PQ and QA pairs. Experimental results on a large-scale CQG dataset show that our method significantly improves the quality of questions in terms of fluency, coherence and diversity over competitive baselines.

pdf bib
Exploring Dynamic Selection of Branch Expansion Orders for Code Generation
Hui Jiang | Chulun Zhou | Fandong Meng | Biao Zhang | Jie Zhou | Degen Huang | Qingqiang Wu | 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)

Due to the great potential in facilitating software development, code generation has attracted increasing attention recently. Generally, dominant models are Seq2Tree models, which convert the input natural language description into a sequence of tree-construction actions corresponding to the pre-order traversal of an Abstract Syntax Tree (AST). However, such a traversal order may not be suitable for handling all multi-branch nodes. In this paper, we propose to equip the Seq2Tree model with a context-based Branch Selector, which is able to dynamically determine optimal expansion orders of branches for multi-branch nodes. Particularly, since the selection of expansion orders is a non-differentiable multi-step operation, we optimize the selector through reinforcement learning, and formulate the reward function as the difference of model losses obtained through different expansion orders. Experimental results and in-depth analysis on several commonly-used datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and generality of our approach. We have released our code at https://github.com/DeepLearnXMU/CG-RL.

pdf bib
Modeling Bilingual Conversational Characteristics for Neural Chat Translation
Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu | Jie Zhou
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)

Neural chat translation aims to translate bilingual conversational text, which has a broad application in international exchanges and cooperation. Despite the impressive performance of sentence-level and context-aware Neural Machine Translation (NMT), there still remain challenges to translate bilingual conversational text due to its inherent characteristics such as role preference, dialogue coherence, and translation consistency. In this paper, we aim to promote the translation quality of conversational text by modeling the above properties. Specifically, we design three latent variational modules to learn the distributions of bilingual conversational characteristics. Through sampling from these learned distributions, the latent variables, tailored for role preference, dialogue coherence, and translation consistency, are incorporated into the NMT model for better translation. We evaluate our approach on the benchmark dataset BConTrasT (English<->German) and a self-collected bilingual dialogue corpus, named BMELD (English<->Chinese). Extensive experiments show that our approach notably boosts the performance over strong baselines by a large margin and significantly surpasses some state-of-the-art context-aware NMT models in terms of BLEU and TER. Additionally, we make the BMELD dataset publicly available for the research community.

pdf bib
Selective Knowledge Distillation for Neural Machine Translation
Fusheng Wang | Jianhao Yan | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou
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)

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) models achieve state-of-the-art performance on many translation benchmarks. As an active research field in NMT, knowledge distillation is widely applied to enhance the model’s performance by transferring teacher model’s knowledge on each training sample. However, previous work rarely discusses the different impacts and connections among these samples, which serve as the medium for transferring teacher knowledge. In this paper, we design a novel protocol that can effectively analyze the different impacts of samples by comparing various samples’ partitions. Based on above protocol, we conduct extensive experiments and find that the teacher’s knowledge is not the more, the better. Knowledge over specific samples may even hurt the whole performance of knowledge distillation. Finally, to address these issues, we propose two simple yet effective strategies, i.e., batch-level and global-level selections, to pick suitable samples for distillation. We evaluate our approaches on two large-scale machine translation tasks, WMT’14 English-German and WMT’19 Chinese-English. Experimental results show that our approaches yield up to +1.28 and +0.89 BLEU points improvements over the Transformer baseline, respectively.

pdf bib
Bilingual Mutual Information Based Adaptive Training for Neural Machine Translation
Yangyifan Xu | Yijin Liu | Fandong Meng | Jiajun Zhang | Jinan Xu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Recently, token-level adaptive training has achieved promising improvement in machine translation, where the cross-entropy loss function is adjusted by assigning different training weights to different tokens, in order to alleviate the token imbalance problem. However, previous approaches only use static word frequency information in the target language without considering the source language, which is insufficient for bilingual tasks like machine translation. In this paper, we propose a novel bilingual mutual information (BMI) based adaptive objective, which measures the learning difficulty for each target token from the perspective of bilingualism, and assigns an adaptive weight accordingly to improve token-level adaptive training. This method assigns larger training weights to tokens with higher BMI, so that easy tokens are updated with coarse granularity while difficult tokens are updated with fine granularity. Experimental results on WMT14 English-to-German and WMT19 Chinese-to-English demonstrate the superiority of our approach compared with the Transformer baseline and previous token-level adaptive training approaches. Further analyses confirm that our method can improve the lexical diversity.

pdf bib
WeChat Neural Machine Translation Systems for WMT21
Xianfeng Zeng | Yijin Liu | Ernan Li | Qiu Ran | Fandong Meng | Peng Li | Jinan Xu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Machine Translation

This paper introduces WeChat AI’s participation in WMT 2021 shared news translation task on English->Chinese, English->Japanese, Japanese->English and English->German. Our systems are based on the Transformer (Vaswani et al., 2017) with several novel and effective variants. In our experiments, we employ data filtering, large-scale synthetic data generation (i.e., back-translation, knowledge distillation, forward-translation, iterative in-domain knowledge transfer), advanced finetuning approaches, and boosted Self-BLEU based model ensemble. Our constrained systems achieve 36.9, 46.9, 27.8 and 31.3 case-sensitive BLEU scores on English->Chinese, English->Japanese, Japanese->English and English->German, respectively. The BLEU scores of English->Chinese, English->Japanese and Japanese->English are the highest among all submissions, and that of English->German is the highest among all constrained submissions.

pdf bib
Towards Making the Most of Dialogue Characteristics for Neural Chat Translation
Yunlong Liang | Chulun Zhou | Fandong Meng | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen | Jinsong Su | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Neural Chat Translation (NCT) aims to translate conversational text between speakers of different languages. Despite the promising performance of sentence-level and context-aware neural machine translation models, there still remain limitations in current NCT models because the inherent dialogue characteristics of chat, such as dialogue coherence and speaker personality, are neglected. In this paper, we propose to promote the chat translation by introducing the modeling of dialogue characteristics into the NCT model. To this end, we design four auxiliary tasks including monolingual response generation, cross-lingual response generation, next utterance discrimination, and speaker identification. Together with the main chat translation task, we optimize the enhanced NCT model through the training objectives of all these tasks. By this means, the NCT model can be enhanced by capturing the inherent dialogue characteristics, thus generating more coherent and speaker-relevant translations. Comprehensive experiments on four language directions (English<->German and English<->Chinese) verify the effectiveness and superiority of the proposed approach.

pdf bib
Improving Graph-based Sentence Ordering with Iteratively Predicted Pairwise Orderings
Shaopeng Lai | Ante Wang | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou | Yubin Ge | Jiali Zeng | Junfeng Yao | Degen Huang | Jinsong Su
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Dominant sentence ordering models can be classified into pairwise ordering models and set-to-sequence models. However, there is little attempt to combine these two types of models, which inituitively possess complementary advantages. In this paper, we propose a novel sentence ordering framework which introduces two classifiers to make better use of pairwise orderings for graph-based sentence ordering (Yin et al. 2019, 2021). Specially, given an initial sentence-entity graph, we first introduce a graph-based classifier to predict pairwise orderings between linked sentences. Then, in an iterative manner, based on the graph updated by previously predicted high-confident pairwise orderings, another classifier is used to predict the remaining uncertain pairwise orderings. At last, we adapt a GRN-based sentence ordering model (Yin et al. 2019, 2021) on the basis of final graph. Experiments on five commonly-used datasets demonstrate the effectiveness and generality of our model. Particularly, when equipped with BERT (Devlin et al. 2019) and FHDecoder (Yin et al. 2020), our model achieves state-of-the-art performance. Our code is available at https://github.com/DeepLearnXMU/IRSEG.

pdf bib
Scheduled Sampling Based on Decoding Steps for Neural Machine Translation
Yijin Liu | Fandong Meng | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Scheduled sampling is widely used to mitigate the exposure bias problem for neural machine translation. Its core motivation is to simulate the inference scene during training by replacing ground-truth tokens with predicted tokens, thus bridging the gap between training and inference. However, vanilla scheduled sampling is merely based on training steps and equally treats all decoding steps. Namely, it simulates an inference scene with uniform error rates, which disobeys the real inference scene, where larger decoding steps usually have higher error rates due to error accumulations. To alleviate the above discrepancy, we propose scheduled sampling methods based on decoding steps, increasing the selection chance of predicted tokens with the growth of decoding steps. Consequently, we can more realistically simulate the inference scene during training, thus better bridging the gap between training and inference. Moreover, we investigate scheduled sampling based on both training steps and decoding steps for further improvements. Experimentally, our approaches significantly outperform the Transformer baseline and vanilla scheduled sampling on three large-scale WMT tasks. Additionally, our approaches also generalize well to the text summarization task on two popular benchmarks.

2020

pdf bib
A Sentiment-Controllable Topic-to-Essay Generator with Topic Knowledge Graph
Lin Qiao | Jianhao Yan | Fandong Meng | Zhendong Yang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Generating a vivid, novel, and diverse essay with only several given topic words is a promising task of natural language generation. Previous work in this task exists two challenging problems: neglect of sentiment beneath the text and insufficient utilization of topic-related knowledge. Therefore, we propose a novel Sentiment Controllable topic-to- essay generator with a Topic Knowledge Graph enhanced decoder, named SCTKG, which is based on the conditional variational auto-encoder (CVAE) framework. We firstly inject the sentiment information into the generator for controlling sentiment for each sentence, which leads to various generated essays. Then we design a Topic Knowledge Graph enhanced decoder. Unlike existing models that use knowledge entities separately, our model treats knowledge graph as a whole and encodes more structured, connected semantic information in the graph to generate a more relevant essay. Experimental results show that our SCTKG can generate sentiment controllable essays and outperform the state-of-the-art approach in terms of topic relevance, fluency, and diversity on both automatic and human evaluation.

pdf bib
WeChat Neural Machine Translation Systems for WMT20
Fandong Meng | Jianhao Yan | Yijin Liu | Yuan Gao | Xianfeng Zeng | Qinsong Zeng | Peng Li | Ming Chen | Jie Zhou | Sifan Liu | Hao Zhou
Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Machine Translation

We participate in the WMT 2020 shared newstranslation task on Chinese→English. Our system is based on the Transformer (Vaswaniet al., 2017a) with effective variants and the DTMT (Meng and Zhang, 2019) architecture. In our experiments, we employ data selection, several synthetic data generation approaches (i.e., back-translation, knowledge distillation, and iterative in-domain knowledge transfer), advanced finetuning approaches and self-bleu based model ensemble. Our constrained Chinese→English system achieves 36.9 case-sensitive BLEU score, which is thehighest among all submissions.

pdf bib
Unsupervised Paraphrasing by Simulated Annealing
Xianggen Liu | Lili Mou | Fandong Meng | Hao Zhou | Jie Zhou | Sen Song
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We propose UPSA, a novel approach that accomplishes Unsupervised Paraphrasing by Simulated Annealing. We model paraphrase generation as an optimization problem and propose a sophisticated objective function, involving semantic similarity, expression diversity, and language fluency of paraphrases. UPSA searches the sentence space towards this objective by performing a sequence of local editing. We evaluate our approach on various datasets, namely, Quora, Wikianswers, MSCOCO, and Twitter. Extensive results show that UPSA achieves the state-of-the-art performance compared with previous unsupervised methods in terms of both automatic and human evaluations. Further, our approach outperforms most existing domain-adapted supervised models, showing the generalizability of UPSA.

pdf bib
A Novel Graph-based Multi-modal Fusion Encoder for Neural Machine Translation
Yongjing Yin | Fandong Meng | Jinsong Su | Chulun Zhou | Zhengyuan Yang | Jie Zhou | Jiebo Luo
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Multi-modal neural machine translation (NMT) aims to translate source sentences into a target language paired with images. However, dominant multi-modal NMT models do not fully exploit fine-grained semantic correspondences between semantic units of different modalities, which have potential to refine multi-modal representation learning. To deal with this issue, in this paper, we propose a novel graph-based multi-modal fusion encoder for NMT. Specifically, we first represent the input sentence and image using a unified multi-modal graph, which captures various semantic relationships between multi-modal semantic units (words and visual objects). We then stack multiple graph-based multi-modal fusion layers that iteratively perform semantic interactions to learn node representations. Finally, these representations provide an attention-based context vector for the decoder. We evaluate our proposed encoder on the Multi30K datasets. Experimental results and in-depth analysis show the superiority of our multi-modal NMT model.

pdf bib
Token-level Adaptive Training for Neural Machine Translation
Shuhao Gu | Jinchao Zhang | Fandong Meng | Yang Feng | Wanying Xie | Jie Zhou | Dong Yu
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

There exists a token imbalance phenomenon in natural language as different tokens appear with different frequencies, which leads to different learning difficulties for tokens in Neural Machine Translation (NMT). The vanilla NMT model usually adopts trivial equal-weighted objectives for target tokens with different frequencies and tends to generate more high-frequency tokens and less low-frequency tokens compared with the golden token distribution. However, low-frequency tokens may carry critical semantic information that will affect the translation quality once they are neglected. In this paper, we explored target token-level adaptive objectives based on token frequencies to assign appropriate weights for each target token during training. We aimed that those meaningful but relatively low-frequency words could be assigned with larger weights in objectives to encourage the model to pay more attention to these tokens. Our method yields consistent improvements in translation quality on ZH-EN, EN-RO, and EN-DE translation tasks, especially on sentences that contain more low-frequency tokens where we can get 1.68, 1.02, and 0.52 BLEU increases compared with baseline, respectively. Further analyses show that our method can also improve the lexical diversity of translation.

pdf bib
Multi-Unit Transformers for Neural Machine Translation
Jianhao Yan | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Transformer models achieve remarkable success in Neural Machine Translation. Many efforts have been devoted to deepening the Transformer by stacking several units (i.e., a combination of Multihead Attentions and FFN) in a cascade, while the investigation over multiple parallel units draws little attention. In this paper, we propose the Multi-Unit Transformer (MUTE) , which aim to promote the expressiveness of the Transformer by introducing diverse and complementary units. Specifically, we use several parallel units and show that modeling with multiple units improves model performance and introduces diversity. Further, to better leverage the advantage of the multi-unit setting, we design biased module and sequential dependency that guide and encourage complementariness among different units. Experimental results on three machine translation tasks, the NIST Chinese-to-English, WMT’14 English-to-German and WMT’18 Chinese-to-English, show that the MUTE models significantly outperform the Transformer-Base, by up to +1.52, +1.90 and +1.10 BLEU points, with only a mild drop in inference speed (about 3.1%). In addition, our methods also surpass the Transformer-Big model, with only 54% of its parameters. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the MUTE, as well as its efficiency in both the inference process and parameter usage.

pdf bib
Bridging the Gap between Prior and Posterior Knowledge Selection for Knowledge-Grounded Dialogue Generation
Xiuyi Chen | Fandong Meng | Peng Li | Feilong Chen | Shuang Xu | Bo Xu | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Knowledge selection plays an important role in knowledge-grounded dialogue, which is a challenging task to generate more informative responses by leveraging external knowledge. Recently, latent variable models have been proposed to deal with the diversity of knowledge selection by using both prior and posterior distributions over knowledge and achieve promising performance. However, these models suffer from a huge gap between prior and posterior knowledge selection. Firstly, the prior selection module may not learn to select knowledge properly because of lacking the necessary posterior information. Secondly, latent variable models suffer from the exposure bias that dialogue generation is based on the knowledge selected from the posterior distribution at training but from the prior distribution at inference. Here, we deal with these issues on two aspects: (1) We enhance the prior selection module with the necessary posterior information obtained from the specially designed Posterior Information Prediction Module (PIPM); (2) We propose a Knowledge Distillation Based Training Strategy (KDBTS) to train the decoder with the knowledge selected from the prior distribution, removing the exposure bias of knowledge selection. Experimental results on two knowledge-grounded dialogue datasets show that both PIPM and KDBTS achieve performance improvement over the state-of-the-art latent variable model and their combination shows further improvement.

2019

pdf bib
CM-Net: A Novel Collaborative Memory Network for Spoken Language Understanding
Yijin Liu | Fandong Meng | Jinchao Zhang | Jie Zhou | Yufeng Chen | Jinan Xu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Spoken Language Understanding (SLU) mainly involves two tasks, intent detection and slot filling, which are generally modeled jointly in existing works. However, most existing models fail to fully utilize cooccurrence relations between slots and intents, which restricts their potential performance. To address this issue, in this paper we propose a novel Collaborative Memory Network (CM-Net) based on the well-designed block, named CM-block. The CM-block firstly captures slot-specific and intent-specific features from memories in a collaborative manner, and then uses these enriched features to enhance local context representations, based on which the sequential information flow leads to more specific (slot and intent) global utterance representations. Through stacking multiple CM-blocks, our CM-Net is able to alternately perform information exchange among specific memories, local contexts and the global utterance, and thus incrementally enriches each other. We evaluate the CM-Net on two standard benchmarks (ATIS and SNIPS) and a self-collected corpus (CAIS). Experimental results show that the CM-Net achieves the state-of-the-art results on the ATIS and SNIPS in most of criteria, and significantly outperforms the baseline models on the CAIS. Additionally, we make the CAIS dataset publicly available for the research community.

pdf bib
Enhancing Context Modeling with a Query-Guided Capsule Network for Document-level Translation
Zhengxin Yang | Jinchao Zhang | Fandong Meng | Shuhao Gu | Yang Feng | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Context modeling is essential to generate coherent and consistent translation for Document-level Neural Machine Translations. The widely used method for document-level translation usually compresses the context information into a representation via hierarchical attention networks. However, this method neither considers the relationship between context words nor distinguishes the roles of context words. To address this problem, we propose a query-guided capsule networks to cluster context information into different perspectives from which the target translation may concern. Experiment results show that our method can significantly outperform strong baselines on multiple data sets of different domains.

pdf bib
A Novel Aspect-Guided Deep Transition Model for Aspect Based Sentiment Analysis
Yunlong Liang | Fandong Meng | Jinchao Zhang | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Aspect based sentiment analysis (ABSA) aims to identify the sentiment polarity towards the given aspect in a sentence, while previous models typically exploit an aspect-independent (weakly associative) encoder for sentence representation generation. In this paper, we propose a novel Aspect-Guided Deep Transition model, named AGDT, which utilizes the given aspect to guide the sentence encoding from scratch with the specially-designed deep transition architecture. Furthermore, an aspect-oriented objective is designed to enforce AGDT to reconstruct the given aspect with the generated sentence representation. In doing so, our AGDT can accurately generate aspect-specific sentence representation, and thus conduct more accurate sentiment predictions. Experimental results on multiple SemEval datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed approach, which significantly outperforms the best reported results with the same setting.

pdf bib
Incremental Transformer with Deliberation Decoder for Document Grounded Conversations
Zekang Li | Cheng Niu | Fandong Meng | Yang Feng | Qian Li | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Document Grounded Conversations is a task to generate dialogue responses when chatting about the content of a given document. Obviously, document knowledge plays a critical role in Document Grounded Conversations, while existing dialogue models do not exploit this kind of knowledge effectively enough. In this paper, we propose a novel Transformer-based architecture for multi-turn document grounded conversations. In particular, we devise an Incremental Transformer to encode multi-turn utterances along with knowledge in related documents. Motivated by the human cognitive process, we design a two-pass decoder (Deliberation Decoder) to improve context coherence and knowledge correctness. Our empirical study on a real-world Document Grounded Dataset proves that responses generated by our model significantly outperform competitive baselines on both context coherence and knowledge relevance.

pdf bib
GCDT: A Global Context Enhanced Deep Transition Architecture for Sequence Labeling
Yijin Liu | Fandong Meng | Jinchao Zhang | Jinan Xu | Yufeng Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Current state-of-the-art systems for sequence labeling are typically based on the family of Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs). However, the shallow connections between consecutive hidden states of RNNs and insufficient modeling of global information restrict the potential performance of those models. In this paper, we try to address these issues, and thus propose a Global Context enhanced Deep Transition architecture for sequence labeling named GCDT. We deepen the state transition path at each position in a sentence, and further assign every token with a global representation learned from the entire sentence. Experiments on two standard sequence labeling tasks show that, given only training data and the ubiquitous word embeddings (Glove), our GCDT achieves 91.96 F1 on the CoNLL03 NER task and 95.43 F1 on the CoNLL2000 Chunking task, which outperforms the best reported results under the same settings. Furthermore, by leveraging BERT as an additional resource, we establish new state-of-the-art results with 93.47 F1 on NER and 97.30 F1 on Chunking.

pdf bib
Retrieving Sequential Information for Non-Autoregressive Neural Machine Translation
Chenze Shao | Yang Feng | Jinchao Zhang | Fandong Meng | Xilin Chen | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Non-Autoregressive Transformer (NAT) aims to accelerate the Transformer model through discarding the autoregressive mechanism and generating target words independently, which fails to exploit the target sequential information. Over-translation and under-translation errors often occur for the above reason, especially in the long sentence translation scenario. In this paper, we propose two approaches to retrieve the target sequential information for NAT to enhance its translation ability while preserving the fast-decoding property. Firstly, we propose a sequence-level training method based on a novel reinforcement algorithm for NAT (Reinforce-NAT) to reduce the variance and stabilize the training procedure. Secondly, we propose an innovative Transformer decoder named FS-decoder to fuse the target sequential information into the top layer of the decoder. Experimental results on three translation tasks show that the Reinforce-NAT surpasses the baseline NAT system by a significant margin on BLEU without decelerating the decoding speed and the FS-decoder achieves comparable translation performance to the autoregressive Transformer with considerable speedup.

pdf bib
Bridging the Gap between Training and Inference for Neural Machine Translation
Wen Zhang | Yang Feng | Fandong Meng | Di You | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) generates target words sequentially in the way of predicting the next word conditioned on the context words. At training time, it predicts with the ground truth words as context while at inference it has to generate the entire sequence from scratch. This discrepancy of the fed context leads to error accumulation among the way. Furthermore, word-level training requires strict matching between the generated sequence and the ground truth sequence which leads to overcorrection over different but reasonable translations. In this paper, we address these issues by sampling context words not only from the ground truth sequence but also from the predicted sequence by the model during training, where the predicted sequence is selected with a sentence-level optimum. Experiment results on Chinese->English and WMT’14 English->German translation tasks demonstrate that our approach can achieve significant improvements on multiple datasets.

2018

pdf bib
Towards Robust Neural Machine Translation
Yong Cheng | Zhaopeng Tu | Fandong Meng | Junjie Zhai | Yang Liu
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Small perturbations in the input can severely distort intermediate representations and thus impact translation quality of neural machine translation (NMT) models. In this paper, we propose to improve the robustness of NMT models with adversarial stability training. The basic idea is to make both the encoder and decoder in NMT models robust against input perturbations by enabling them to behave similarly for the original input and its perturbed counterpart. Experimental results on Chinese-English, English-German and English-French translation tasks show that our approaches can not only achieve significant improvements over strong NMT systems but also improve the robustness of NMT models.

pdf bib
Modeling Localness for Self-Attention Networks
Baosong Yang | Zhaopeng Tu | Derek F. Wong | Fandong Meng | Lidia S. Chao | Tong Zhang
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Self-attention networks have proven to be of profound value for its strength of capturing global dependencies. In this work, we propose to model localness for self-attention networks, which enhances the ability of capturing useful local context. We cast localness modeling as a learnable Gaussian bias, which indicates the central and scope of the local region to be paid more attention. The bias is then incorporated into the original attention distribution to form a revised distribution. To maintain the strength of capturing long distance dependencies while enhance the ability of capturing short-range dependencies, we only apply localness modeling to lower layers of self-attention networks. Quantitative and qualitative analyses on Chinese-English and English-German translation tasks demonstrate the effectiveness and universality of the proposed approach.

2016

pdf bib
Interactive Attention for Neural Machine Translation
Fandong Meng | Zhengdong Lu | Hang Li | Qun Liu
Proceedings of COLING 2016, the 26th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

Conventional attention-based Neural Machine Translation (NMT) conducts dynamic alignment in generating the target sentence. By repeatedly reading the representation of source sentence, which keeps fixed after generated by the encoder (Bahdanau et al., 2015), the attention mechanism has greatly enhanced state-of-the-art NMT. In this paper, we propose a new attention mechanism, called INTERACTIVE ATTENTION, which models the interaction between the decoder and the representation of source sentence during translation by both reading and writing operations. INTERACTIVE ATTENTION can keep track of the interaction history and therefore improve the translation performance. Experiments on NIST Chinese-English translation task show that INTERACTIVE ATTENTION can achieve significant improvements over both the previous attention-based NMT baseline and some state-of-the-art variants of attention-based NMT (i.e., coverage models (Tu et al., 2016)). And neural machine translator with our INTERACTIVE ATTENTION can outperform the open source attention-based NMT system Groundhog by 4.22 BLEU points and the open source phrase-based system Moses by 3.94 BLEU points averagely on multiple test sets.

2015

pdf bib
Encoding Source Language with Convolutional Neural Network for Machine Translation
Fandong Meng | Zhengdong Lu | Mingxuan Wang | Hang Li | Wenbin Jiang | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 7th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

2014

pdf bib
A Dependency Edge-based Transfer Model for Statistical Machine Translation
Hongshen Chen | Jun Xie | Fandong Meng | Wenbin Jiang | Qun Liu
Proceedings of COLING 2014, the 25th International Conference on Computational Linguistics: Technical Papers

pdf bib
Modeling Term Translation for Document-informed Machine Translation
Fandong Meng | Deyi Xiong | Wenbin Jiang | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 2014 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

2013

pdf bib
Translation with Source Constituency and Dependency Trees
Fandong Meng | Jun Xie | Linfeng Song | Yajuan Lü | Qun Liu
Proceedings of the 2013 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

2012

pdf bib
ICT: A Translation based Method for Cross-lingual Textual Entailment
Fandong Meng | Hao Xiong | Qun Liu
*SEM 2012: The First Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics – Volume 1: Proceedings of the main conference and the shared task, and Volume 2: Proceedings of the Sixth International Workshop on Semantic Evaluation (SemEval 2012)

pdf bib
Discriminative Boosting from Dictionary and Raw Text – A Novel Approach to Build A Chinese Word Segmenter
Fandong Meng | Wenbin Jiang | Hao Xiong | Qun Liu
Proceedings of COLING 2012: Posters

pdf bib
Iterative Annotation Transformation with Predict-Self Reestimation for Chinese Word Segmentation
Wenbin Jiang | Fandong Meng | Qun Liu | Yajuan Lü
Proceedings of the 2012 Joint Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and Computational Natural Language Learning

2011

pdf bib
ETS: An Error Tolerable System for Coreference Resolution
Hao Xiong | Linfeng Song | Fandong Meng | Yang Liu | Qun Liu | Yajuan Lv
Proceedings of the Fifteenth Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning: Shared Task

Search
Co-authors