Guangtao Zeng


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One Network, Many Masks: Towards More Parameter-Efficient Transfer Learning
Guangtao Zeng | Peiyuan Zhang | Wei Lu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Fine-tuning pre-trained language models for multiple tasks can be expensive in terms of storage. Parameter-efficient transfer learning (PETL) methods have been proposed to address this issue, but they still require a significant number of parameters when being applied to broader ranges of tasks. To achieve even greater storage reduction, we propose ProPETL, a novel method that enables efficient sharing of a single prototype PETL network (e.g. adapter, LoRA, and prefix-tuning) across layers and tasks. We learn binary masks to select different sub-networks from the prototype network and apply them as PETL modules into different layers. We find that the binary masks can determine crucial structural information from the network, which is often ignored in previous studies. Our work can also be seen as a type of pruning method, where we find that overparameterization also exists in the seemingly small PETL modules. We evaluate ProPETL on various downstream tasks and show that it can outperform other PETL methods with around 10% parameters required by the latter.


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Unsupervised Non-transferable Text Classification
Guangtao Zeng | Wei Lu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Training a good deep learning model requires substantial data and computing resources, which makes the resulting neural model a valuable intellectual property. To prevent the neural network from being undesirably exploited, non-transferable learning has been proposed to reduce the model generalization ability in specific target domains. However, existing approaches require labeled data for the target domain which can be difficult to obtain. Furthermore, they do not have the mechanism to still recover the model’s ability to access the target domain. In this paper, we propose a novel unsupervised non-transferable learning method for the text classification task that does not require annotated target domain data. We further introduce a secret key component in our approach for recovering the access to the target domain, where we design both an explicit and an implicit method for doing so. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach.


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On the Generation of Medical Dialogs for COVID-19
Meng Zhou | Zechen Li | Bowen Tan | Guangtao Zeng | Wenmian Yang | Xuehai He | Zeqian Ju | Subrato Chakravorty | Shu Chen | Xingyi Yang | Yichen Zhang | Qingyang Wu | Zhou Yu | Kun Xu | Eric Xing | Pengtao Xie
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)

Under the pandemic of COVID-19, people experiencing COVID19-related symptoms have a pressing need to consult doctors. Because of the shortage of medical professionals, many people cannot receive online consultations timely. To address this problem, we aim to develop a medical dialog system that can provide COVID19-related consultations. We collected two dialog datasets – CovidDialog – (in English and Chinese respectively) containing conversations between doctors and patients about COVID-19. While the largest of their kind, these two datasets are still relatively small compared with general-domain dialog datasets. Training complex dialog generation models on small datasets bears high risk of overfitting. To alleviate overfitting, we develop a multi-task learning approach, which regularizes the data-deficient dialog generation task with a masked token prediction task. Experiments on the CovidDialog datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach. We perform both human evaluation and automatic evaluation of dialogs generated by our method. Results show that the generated responses are promising in being doctor-like, relevant to conversation history, clinically informative and correct. The code and the data are available at


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MedDialog: Large-scale Medical Dialogue Datasets
Guangtao Zeng | Wenmian Yang | Zeqian Ju | Yue Yang | Sicheng Wang | Ruisi Zhang | Meng Zhou | Jiaqi Zeng | Xiangyu Dong | Ruoyu Zhang | Hongchao Fang | Penghui Zhu | Shu Chen | Pengtao Xie
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Medical dialogue systems are promising in assisting in telemedicine to increase access to healthcare services, improve the quality of patient care, and reduce medical costs. To facilitate the research and development of medical dialogue systems, we build large-scale medical dialogue datasets – MedDialog, which contain 1) a Chinese dataset with 3.4 million conversations between patients and doctors, 11.3 million utterances, 660.2 million tokens, covering 172 specialties of diseases, and 2) an English dataset with 0.26 million conversations, 0.51 million utterances, 44.53 million tokens, covering 96 specialties of diseases. To our best knowledge, MedDialog is the largest medical dialogue dataset to date. We pretrain several dialogue generation models on the Chinese MedDialog dataset, including Transformer, GPT, BERT-GPT, and compare their performance. It is shown that models trained on MedDialog are able to generate clinically correct and doctor-like medical dialogues. We also study the transferability of models trained on MedDialog to low-resource medical dialogue generation tasks. It is shown that via transfer learning which finetunes the models pretrained on MedDialog, the performance on medical dialogue generation tasks with small datasets can be greatly improved, as shown in human evaluation and automatic evaluation. The datasets and code are available at