Fuzheng Zhang


2021

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Enhancing Document Ranking with Task-adaptive Training and Segmented Token Recovery Mechanism
Xingwu Sun | Yanling Cui | Hongyin Tang | Fuzheng Zhang | Beihong Jin | Shi Wang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In this paper, we propose a new ranking model DR-BERT, which improves the Document Retrieval (DR) task by a task-adaptive training process and a Segmented Token Recovery Mechanism (STRM). In the task-adaptive training, we first pre-train DR-BERT to be domain-adaptive and then make the two-phase fine-tuning. In the first-phase fine-tuning, the model learns query-document matching patterns regarding different query types in a pointwise way. Next, in the second-phase fine-tuning, the model learns document-level ranking features and ranks documents with regard to a given query in a listwise manner. Such pointwise plus listwise fine-tuning enables the model to minimize errors in the document ranking by incorporating ranking-specific supervisions. Meanwhile, the model derived from pointwise fine-tuning is also used to reduce noise in the training data of the listwise fine-tuning. On the other hand, we present STRM which can compute OOV word representation and contextualization more precisely in BERT-based models. As an effective strategy in DR-BERT, STRM improves the matching perfromance of OOV words between a query and a document. Notably, our DR-BERT model keeps in the top three on the MS MARCO leaderboard since May 20, 2020.

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Large-Scale Relation Learning for Question Answering over Knowledge Bases with Pre-trained Language Models
Yuanmeng Yan | Rumei Li | Sirui Wang | Hongzhi Zhang | Zan Daoguang | Fuzheng Zhang | Wei Wu | Weiran Xu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The key challenge of question answering over knowledge bases (KBQA) is the inconsistency between the natural language questions and the reasoning paths in the knowledge base (KB). Recent graph-based KBQA methods are good at grasping the topological structure of the graph but often ignore the textual information carried by the nodes and edges. Meanwhile, pre-trained language models learn massive open-world knowledge from the large corpus, but it is in the natural language form and not structured. To bridge the gap between the natural language and the structured KB, we propose three relation learning tasks for BERT-based KBQA, including relation extraction, relation matching, and relation reasoning. By relation-augmented training, the model learns to align the natural language expressions to the relations in the KB as well as reason over the missing connections in the KB. Experiments on WebQSP show that our method consistently outperforms other baselines, especially when the KB is incomplete.

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Virtual Data Augmentation: A Robust and General Framework for Fine-tuning Pre-trained Models
Kun Zhou | Wayne Xin Zhao | Sirui Wang | Fuzheng Zhang | Wei Wu | Ji-Rong Wen
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent works have shown that powerful pre-trained language models (PLM) can be fooled by small perturbations or intentional attacks. To solve this issue, various data augmentation techniques are proposed to improve the robustness of PLMs. However, it is still challenging to augment semantically relevant examples with sufficient diversity. In this work, we present Virtual Data Augmentation (VDA), a general framework for robustly fine-tuning PLMs. Based on the original token embeddings, we construct a multinomial mixture for augmenting virtual data embeddings, where a masked language model guarantees the semantic relevance and the Gaussian noise provides the augmentation diversity. Furthermore, a regularized training strategy is proposed to balance the two aspects. Extensive experiments on six datasets show that our approach is able to improve the robustness of PLMs and alleviate the performance degradation under adversarial attacks. Our codes and data are publicly available at bluehttps://github.com/RUCAIBox/VDA.

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Improving Document Representations by Generating Pseudo Query Embeddings for Dense Retrieval
Hongyin Tang | Xingwu Sun | Beihong Jin | Jingang Wang | Fuzheng Zhang | Wei Wu
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, the retrieval models based on dense representations have been gradually applied in the first stage of the document retrieval tasks, showing better performance than traditional sparse vector space models. To obtain high efficiency, the basic structure of these models is Bi-encoder in most cases. However, this simple structure may cause serious information loss during the encoding of documents since the queries are agnostic. To address this problem, we design a method to mimic the queries to each of the documents by an iterative clustering process and represent the documents by multiple pseudo queries (i.e., the cluster centroids). To boost the retrieval process using approximate nearest neighbor search library, we also optimize the matching function with a two-step score calculation procedure. Experimental results on several popular ranking and QA datasets show that our model can achieve state-of-the-art results while still remaining high efficiency.

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ConSERT: A Contrastive Framework for Self-Supervised Sentence Representation Transfer
Yuanmeng Yan | Rumei Li | Sirui Wang | Fuzheng Zhang | Wei Wu | Weiran Xu
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)

Learning high-quality sentence representations benefits a wide range of natural language processing tasks. Though BERT-based pre-trained language models achieve high performance on many downstream tasks, the native derived sentence representations are proved to be collapsed and thus produce a poor performance on the semantic textual similarity (STS) tasks. In this paper, we present ConSERT, a Contrastive Framework for Self-Supervised SEntence Representation Transfer, that adopts contrastive learning to fine-tune BERT in an unsupervised and effective way. By making use of unlabeled texts, ConSERT solves the collapse issue of BERT-derived sentence representations and make them more applicable for downstream tasks. Experiments on STS datasets demonstrate that ConSERT achieves an 8% relative improvement over the previous state-of-the-art, even comparable to the supervised SBERT-NLI. And when further incorporating NLI supervision, we achieve new state-of-the-art performance on STS tasks. Moreover, ConSERT obtains comparable results with only 1000 samples available, showing its robustness in data scarcity scenarios.

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ASAP: A Chinese Review Dataset Towards Aspect Category Sentiment Analysis and Rating Prediction
Jiahao Bu | Lei Ren | Shuang Zheng | Yang Yang | Jingang Wang | Fuzheng Zhang | Wei Wu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Sentiment analysis has attracted increasing attention in e-commerce. The sentiment polarities underlying user reviews are of great value for business intelligence. Aspect category sentiment analysis (ACSA) and review rating prediction (RP) are two essential tasks to detect the fine-to-coarse sentiment polarities. ACSA and RP are highly correlated and usually employed jointly in real-world e-commerce scenarios. While most public datasets are constructed for ACSA and RP separately, which may limit the further exploitation of both tasks. To address the problem and advance related researches, we present a large-scale Chinese restaurant review dataset ASAP including 46, 730 genuine reviews from a leading online-to-offline (O2O) e-commerce platform in China. Besides a 5-star scale rating, each review is manually annotated according to its sentiment polarities towards 18 pre-defined aspect categories. We hope the release of the dataset could shed some light on the field of sentiment analysis. Moreover, we propose an intuitive yet effective joint model for ACSA and RP. Experimental results demonstrate that the joint model outperforms state-of-the-art baselines on both tasks.

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TITA: A Two-stage Interaction and Topic-Aware Text Matching Model
Xingwu Sun | Yanling Cui | Hongyin Tang | Qiuyu Zhu | Fuzheng Zhang | Beihong Jin
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

In this paper, we focus on the problem of keyword and document matching by considering different relevance levels. In our recommendation system, different people follow different hot keywords with interest. We need to attach documents to each keyword and then distribute the documents to people who follow these keywords. The ideal documents should have the same topic with the keyword, which we call topic-aware relevance. In other words, topic-aware relevance documents are better than partially-relevance ones in this application. However, previous tasks never define topic-aware relevance clearly. To tackle this problem, we define a three-level relevance in keyword-document matching task: topic-aware relevance, partially-relevance and irrelevance. To capture the relevance between the short keyword and the document at above-mentioned three levels, we should not only combine the latent topic of the document with its deep neural representation, but also model complex interactions between the keyword and the document. To this end, we propose a Two-stage Interaction and Topic-Aware text matching model (TITA). In terms of “topic-aware”, we introduce neural topic model to analyze the topic of the document and then use it to further encode the document. In terms of “two-stage interaction”, we propose two successive stages to model complex interactions between the keyword and the document. Extensive experiments reveal that TITA outperforms other well-designed baselines and shows excellent performance in our recommendation system.

2020

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Table Fact Verification with Structure-Aware Transformer
Hongzhi Zhang | Yingyao Wang | Sirui Wang | Xuezhi Cao | Fuzheng Zhang | Zhongyuan Wang
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Verifying fact on semi-structured evidence like tables requires the ability to encode structural information and perform symbolic reasoning. Pre-trained language models trained on natural language could not be directly applied to encode tables, because simply linearizing tables into sequences will lose the cell alignment information. To better utilize pre-trained transformers for table representation, we propose a Structure-Aware Transformer (SAT), which injects the table structural information into the mask of the self-attention layer. A method to combine symbolic and linguistic reasoning is also explored for this task. Our method outperforms baseline with 4.93% on TabFact, a large scale table verification dataset.

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Learn with Noisy Data via Unsupervised Loss Correction for Weakly Supervised Reading Comprehension
Xuemiao Zhang | Kun Zhou | Sirui Wang | Fuzheng Zhang | Zhongyuan Wang | Junfei Liu
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Weakly supervised machine reading comprehension (MRC) task is practical and promising for its easily available and massive training data, but inevitablely introduces noise. Existing related methods usually incorporate extra submodels to help filter noise before the noisy data is input to main models. However, these multistage methods often make training difficult, and the qualities of submodels are hard to be controlled. In this paper, we first explore and analyze the essential characteristics of noise from the perspective of loss distribution, and find that in the early stage of training, noisy samples usually lead to significantly larger loss values than clean ones. Based on the observation, we propose a hierarchical loss correction strategy to avoid fitting noise and enhance clean supervision signals, including using an unsupervisedly fitted Gaussian mixture model to calculate the weight factors for all losses to correct the loss distribution, and employ a hard bootstrapping loss to modify loss function. Experimental results on different weakly supervised MRC datasets show that the proposed methods can help improve models significantly.