Handong Zhao


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Federated Domain Adaptation for Named Entity Recognition via Distilling with Heterogeneous Tag Sets
Rui Wang | Tong Yu | Junda Wu | Handong Zhao | Sungchul Kim | Ruiyi Zhang | Subrata Mitra | Ricardo Henao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Federated learning involves collaborative training with private data from multiple platforms, while not violating data privacy. We study the problem of federated domain adaptation for Named Entity Recognition (NER), where we seek to transfer knowledge across different platforms with data of multiple domains. In addition, we consider a practical and challenging scenario, where NER datasets of different platforms of federated learning are annotated with heterogeneous tag sets, i.e., different sets of entity types. The goal is to train a global model with federated learning, such that it can predict with a complete tag set, i.e., with all the occurring entity types for data across all platforms. To cope with the heterogeneous tag sets in a multi-domain setting, we propose a distillation approach along with a mechanism of instance weighting to facilitate knowledge transfer across platforms. Besides, we release two re-annotated clinic NER datasets, for testing the proposed method in the clinic domain. Our method shows superior empirical performance for NER with federated learning.

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A Critical Analysis of Document Out-of-Distribution Detection
Jiuxiang Gu | Yifei Ming | Yi Zhou | Jason Kuen | Vlad Morariu | Handong Zhao | Ruiyi Zhang | Nikolaos Barmpalios | Anqi Liu | Yixuan Li | Tong Sun | Ani Nenkova
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Large-scale pre-training is widely used in recent document understanding tasks. During deployment, one may expect that models should trigger a conservative fallback policy when encountering out-of-distribution (OOD) samples, which highlights the importance of OOD detection. However, most existing OOD detection methods focus on single-modal inputs such as images or texts. While documents are multi-modal in nature, it is underexplored if and how multi-modal information in documents can be exploited for OOD detection. In this work, we first provide a systematic and in-depth analysis on OOD detection for document understanding models. We study the effects of model modality, pre-training, and fine-tuning across various types of OOD inputs. In particular, we find that spatial information is critical for document OOD detection. To better exploit spatial information, we propose a spatial-aware adapter, which serves as a parameter-efficient add-on module to adapt transformer-based language models to the document domain. Extensive experiments show that adding the spatial-aware adapter significantly improves the OOD detection performance compared to directly using the language model and achieves superior performance compared to competitive baselines.


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Few-Shot Class-Incremental Learning for Named Entity Recognition
Rui Wang | Tong Yu | Handong Zhao | Sungchul Kim | Subrata Mitra | Ruiyi Zhang | Ricardo Henao
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Previous work of class-incremental learning for Named Entity Recognition (NER) relies on the assumption that there exists abundance of labeled data for the training of new classes. In this work, we study a more challenging but practical problem, i.e., few-shot class-incremental learning for NER, where an NER model is trained with only few labeled samples of the new classes, without forgetting knowledge of the old ones. To alleviate the problem of catastrophic forgetting in few-shot class-incremental learning, we reconstruct synthetic training data of the old classes using the trained NER model, augmenting the training of new classes. We further develop a framework that distills from the existing model with both synthetic data, and real data from the current training set. Experimental results show that our approach achieves significant improvements over existing baselines.

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Discovering Low-rank Subspaces for Language-agnostic Multilingual Representations
Zhihui Xie | Handong Zhao | Tong Yu | Shuai Li
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Large pretrained multilingual language models (ML-LMs) have shown remarkable capabilities of zero-shot cross-lingual transfer, without direct cross-lingual supervision. While these results are promising, follow-up works found that, within the multilingual embedding spaces, there exists strong language identity information which hinders the expression of linguistic factors shared across languages. For semantic tasks like cross-lingual sentence retrieval, it is desired to remove such language identity signals to fully leverage semantic information. In this work, we provide a novel view of projecting away language-specific factors from a multilingual embedding space. Specifically, we discover that there exists a low-rank subspace that primarily encodes information irrelevant to semantics (e.g., syntactic information). To identify this subspace, we present a simple but effective unsupervised method based on singular value decomposition with multiple monolingual corpora as input. Once the subspace is found, we can directly project the original embeddings into the null space to boost language agnosticism without finetuning. We systematically evaluate our method on various tasks including the challenging language-agnostic QA retrieval task. Empirical results show that applying our method consistently leads to improvements over commonly used ML-LMs.

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Learning Adaptive Axis Attentions in Fine-tuning: Beyond Fixed Sparse Attention Patterns
Zihan Wang | Jiuxiang Gu | Jason Kuen | Handong Zhao | Vlad Morariu | Ruiyi Zhang | Ani Nenkova | Tong Sun | Jingbo Shang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

We present a comprehensive study of sparse attention patterns in Transformer models. We first question the need for pre-training with sparse attention and present experiments showing that an efficient fine-tuning only approach yields a slightly worse but still competitive model. Then we compare the widely used local attention pattern and the less-well-studied global attention pattern, demonstrating that global patterns have several unique advantages. We also demonstrate that a flexible approach to attention, with different patterns across different layers of the model, is beneficial for some tasks. Drawing on this insight, we propose a novel Adaptive Axis Attention method, which learns—during fine-tuning—different attention patterns for each Transformer layer depending on the downstream task. Rather than choosing a fixed attention pattern, the adaptive axis attention method identifies important tokens—for each task and model layer—and focuses attention on those. It does not require pre-training to accommodate the sparse patterns and demonstrates competitive and sometimes better performance against fixed sparse attention patterns that require resource-intensive pre-training.

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Context-aware Information-theoretic Causal De-biasing for Interactive Sequence Labeling
Junda Wu | Rui Wang | Tong Yu | Ruiyi Zhang | Handong Zhao | Shuai Li | Ricardo Henao | Ani Nenkova
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Supervised training of existing deep learning models for sequence labeling relies on large scale labeled datasets. Such datasets are generally created with crowd-source labeling. However, crowd-source labeling for tasks of sequence labeling can be expensive and time-consuming. Further, crowd-source labeling by external annotators may not be appropriate for data that contains user private information. Considering the above limitations of crowd-source labeling, we study interactive sequence labeling that allows training directly with the user feedback, which alleviates the annotation cost and maintains the user privacy. We identify two bias, namely, context bias and feedback bias, by formulating interactive sequence labeling via a Structural Causal Model (SCM). To alleviate the context and feedback bias based on the SCM, we identify the frequent context tokens as confounders in the backdoor adjustment and further propose an entropy-based modulation that is inspired by information theory. entities more sample-efficiently. With extensive experiments, we validate that our approach can effectively alleviate the biases and our models can be efficiently learnt with the user feedback.


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Edge: Enriching Knowledge Graph Embeddings with External Text
Saed Rezayi | Handong Zhao | Sungchul Kim | Ryan Rossi | Nedim Lipka | Sheng Li
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Knowledge graphs suffer from sparsity which degrades the quality of representations generated by various methods. While there is an abundance of textual information throughout the web and many existing knowledge bases, aligning information across these diverse data sources remains a challenge in the literature. Previous work has partially addressed this issue by enriching knowledge graph entities based on “hard” co-occurrence of words present in the entities of the knowledge graphs and external text, while we achieve “soft” augmentation by proposing a knowledge graph enrichment and embedding framework named Edge. Given an original knowledge graph, we first generate a rich but noisy augmented graph using external texts in semantic and structural level. To distill the relevant knowledge and suppress the introduced noise, we design a graph alignment term in a shared embedding space between the original graph and augmented graph. To enhance the embedding learning on the augmented graph, we further regularize the locality relationship of target entity based on negative sampling. Experimental results on four benchmark datasets demonstrate the robustness and effectiveness of Edge in link prediction and node classification.

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Learning Contextualized Knowledge Structures for Commonsense Reasoning
Jun Yan | Mrigank Raman | Aaron Chan | Tianyu Zhang | Ryan Rossi | Handong Zhao | Sungchul Kim | Nedim Lipka | Xiang Ren
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021