Hang Yan


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UTC-IE: A Unified Token-pair Classification Architecture for Information Extraction
Hang Yan | Yu Sun | Xiaonan Li | Yunhua Zhou | Xuanjing Huang | Xipeng Qiu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Information Extraction (IE) spans several tasks with different output structures, such as named entity recognition, relation extraction and event extraction. Previously, those tasks were solved with different models because of diverse task output structures. Through re-examining IE tasks, we find that all of them can be interpreted as extracting spans and span relations. They can further be decomposed into token-pair classification tasks by using the start and end token of a span to pinpoint the span, and using the start-to-start and end-to-end token pairs of two spans to determine the relation. Based on the reformulation, we propose a Unified Token-pair Classification architecture for Information Extraction (UTC-IE), where we introduce Plusformer on top of the token-pair feature matrix. Specifically, it models axis-aware interaction with plus-shaped self-attention and local interaction with Convolutional Neural Network over token pairs. Experiments show that our approach outperforms task-specific and unified models on all tasks in 10 datasets, and achieves better or comparable results on 2 joint IE datasets. Moreover, UTC-IE speeds up over state-of-the-art models on IE tasks significantly in most datasets, which verifies the effectiveness of our architecture.

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Unified Demonstration Retriever for In-Context Learning
Xiaonan Li | Kai Lv | Hang Yan | Tianyang Lin | Wei Zhu | Yuan Ni | Guotong Xie | Xiaoling Wang | Xipeng Qiu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In-context learning is a new learning paradigm where a language model conditions on a few input-output pairs (demonstrations) and a test input, and directly outputs the prediction. It has been shown sensitive to the provided demonstrations and thus promotes the research of demonstration retrieval: given a test input, relevant examples are retrieved from the training set to serve as informative demonstrations for in-context learning. While previous works train task-specific retrievers for several tasks separately, these methods are hard to transfer and scale on various tasks, and separately trained retrievers will cause a lot of parameter storage and deployment cost. In this paper, we propose Unified Demonstration Retriever (UDR), a single model to retrieve demonstrations for a wide range of tasks. To train UDR, we cast various tasks’ training signals into a unified list-wise ranking formulation by language model’s feedback. Then we propose a multi-task list-wise ranking training framework with an iterative mining strategy to find high-quality candidates, which can help UDR fully incorporate various tasks’ signals. Experiments on 30+ tasks across 13 task families and multiple data domains show that UDR significantly outperforms baselines. Further analyses show the effectiveness of each proposed component and UDR’s strong ability in various scenarios including different LMs (1.3B 175B), unseen datasets, varying demonstration quantities, etc. We will release the code and model checkpoint after review.

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CodeIE: Large Code Generation Models are Better Few-Shot Information Extractors
Peng Li | Tianxiang Sun | Qiong Tang | Hang Yan | Yuanbin Wu | Xuanjing Huang | Xipeng Qiu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Large language models (LLMs) pre-trained on massive corpora have demonstrated impressive few-shot learning ability on many NLP tasks. A common practice is to recast the task into a text-to-text format such that generative LLMs of natural language (NL-LLMs) like GPT-3 can be prompted to solve it. However, it is nontrivial to perform information extraction (IE) tasks with NL-LLMs since the output of the IE task is usually structured and therefore is hard to be converted into plain text. In this paper, we propose to recast the structured output in the form of code instead of natural language and utilize generative LLMs of code (Code-LLMs) such as Codex to perform IE tasks, in particular, named entity recognition and relation extraction. In contrast to NL-LLMs, we show that Code-LLMs can be well-aligned with these IE tasks by designing code-style prompts and formulating these IE tasks as code generation tasks. Experiment results on seven benchmarks show that our method consistently outperforms fine-tuning moderate-size pre-trained models specially designed for IE tasks (e.g., UIE) and prompting NL-LLMs under few-shot settings. We further conduct a series of in-depth analyses to demonstrate the merits of leveraging Code-LLMs for IE tasks.

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An Embarrassingly Easy but Strong Baseline for Nested Named Entity Recognition
Hang Yan | Yu Sun | Xiaonan Li | Xipeng Qiu
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Named entity recognition (NER) is the task to detect and classify entity spans in the text. When entity spans overlap between each other, the task is named as nested NER. Span-based methods have been widely used to tackle nested NER. Most of these methods get a score matrix, where each entry corresponds to a span. However, previous work ignores spatial relations in the score matrix. In this paper, we propose using Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) to model these spatial relations. Despite being simple, experiments in three commonly used nested NER datasets show that our model surpasses several recently proposed methods with the same pre-trained encoders. Further analysis shows that using CNN can help the model find more nested entities. Besides, we find that different papers use different sentence tokenizations for the three nested NER datasets, which will influence the comparison. Thus, we release a pre-processing script to facilitate future comparison.

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基座模型训练中的数据与模型架构(Data and Model Architecture in Base Model Training)
Hang Yan (航 颜) | Yang Gao (扬 高) | Chaoye Fei (朝烨 费) | Xiaopeng Yang (小珪 杨) | Xipeng Qiu (锡鹏 邱)
Proceedings of the 22nd Chinese National Conference on Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Frontier Forum)


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Investigating Glyph-Phonetic Information for Chinese Spell Checking: What Works and What’s Next?
Xiaotian Zhang | Yanjun Zheng | Hang Yan | Xipeng Qiu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

While pre-trained Chinese language models have demonstrated impressive performance on a wide range of NLP tasks, the Chinese Spell Checking (CSC) task remains a challenge. Previous research has explored using information such as glyphs and phonetics to improve the ability of CSC models to distinguish misspelled characters, with good results at the accuracy level on public datasets. However, the generalization ability of these CSC models has not been well understood: it is unclear whether they incorporate glyph-phonetic information and, if so, whether this information is fully utilized. In this paper, we aim to better understand the role of glyph-phonetic information in the CSC task and suggest directions for improvement. Additionally, we propose a new, more challenging, and practical setting for testing the generalizability of CSC models. All code is made publicly available.

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Watermarking LLMs with Weight Quantization
Linyang Li | Botian Jiang | Pengyu Wang | Ke Ren | Hang Yan | Xipeng Qiu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Abuse of large language models reveals high risks as large language models are being deployed at an astonishing speed. It is important to protect the model weights to avoid malicious usage that violates licenses of open-source large language models. This paper proposes a novel watermarking strategy that plants watermarks in the quantization process of large language models without pre-defined triggers during inference. The watermark works when the model is used in the fp32 mode and remains hidden when the model is quantized to int8, in this way, the users can only inference the model without further supervised fine-tuning of the model. We successfully plant the watermark into open-source large language model weights including GPT-Neo and LLaMA. We hope our proposed method can provide a potential direction for protecting model weights in the era of large language model applications.

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CoLLiE: Collaborative Training of Large Language Models in an Efficient Way
Kai Lv | Shuo Zhang | Tianle Gu | Shuhao Xing | Jiawei Hong | Keyu Chen | Xiaoran Liu | Yuqing Yang | Honglin Guo | Tengxiao Liu | Yu Sun | Qipeng Guo | Hang Yan | Xipeng Qiu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Large language models (LLMs) are increasingly pivotal in a wide range of natural language processing tasks. Access to pre-trained models, courtesy of the open-source community, has made it possible to adapt these models to specific applications for enhanced performance. However, the substantial resources required for training these models necessitate efficient solutions. This paper introduces CoLLiE, an efficient library that facilitates collaborative training of large language models using 3D parallelism, parameter-efficient fine-tuning (PEFT) methods, and optimizers such as Lion, Adan, Sophia, and LOMO. With its modular design and comprehensive functionality, CoLLiE offers a balanced blend of efficiency, ease of use, and customization. CoLLiE has proven superior training efficiency in comparison with prevalent solutions in pre-training and fine-tuning scenarios. Furthermore, we provide an empirical evaluation of the correlation between model size and GPU memory consumption under different optimization methods, as well as an analysis of the throughput. Lastly, we carry out a comprehensive comparison of various optimizers and PEFT methods within the instruction-tuning context. CoLLiE is available at https://github.com/OpenLMLab/collie.


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Dialogue Meaning Representation for Task-Oriented Dialogue Systems
Xiangkun Hu | Junqi Dai | Hang Yan | Yi Zhang | Qipeng Guo | Xipeng Qiu | Zheng Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Dialogue meaning representation formulates natural language utterance semantics in their conversational context in an explicit and machine-readable form. Previous work typically follows the intent-slot framework, which is easy for annotation yet limited in scalability for complex linguistic expressions. A line of works alleviates the representation issue by introducing hierarchical structures but challenging to express complex compositional semantics, such as negation and coreference. We propose Dialogue Meaning Representation (DMR), a pliable and easily extendable representation for task-oriented dialogue. Our representation contains a set of nodes and edges to represent rich compositional semantics. Moreover, we propose an inheritance hierarchy mechanism focusing on domain extensibility. Additionally, we annotated DMR-FastFood, a multi-turn dialogue dataset with more than 70k utterances, with DMR. We propose two evaluation tasks to evaluate different dialogue models and a novel coreference resolution model GNNCoref for the graph-based coreference resolution task. Experiments show that DMR can be parsed well with pre-trained Seq2Seq models, and GNNCoref outperforms the baseline models by a large margin. The dataset and code are available at https://github.com/amazon-research/dialogue-meaning-representation

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DORE: Document Ordered Relation Extraction based on Generative Framework
Qipeng Guo | Yuqing Yang | Hang Yan | Xipeng Qiu | Zheng Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

In recent years, there is a surge of generation-based information extraction work, which allows a more direct use of pre-trained language models and efficiently captures output dependencies. However, previous generative methods using lexical representation do not naturally fit document-level relation extraction (DocRE) where there are multiple entities and relational facts. In this paper, we investigate the root cause of the underwhelming performance of the existing generative DocRE models and discover that the culprit is the inadequacy of the training paradigm, instead of the capacities of the models. We propose to generate a symbolic and ordered sequence from the relation matrix which is deterministic and easier for model to learn. Moreover, we design a parallel row generation method to process overlong target sequences. Besides, we introduce several negative sampling strategies to improve the performance with balanced signals. Experimental results on four datasets show that our proposed method can improve the performance of the generative DocRE models.


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Accelerating BERT Inference for Sequence Labeling via Early-Exit
Xiaonan Li | Yunfan Shao | Tianxiang Sun | Hang Yan | Xipeng Qiu | Xuanjing Huang
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)

Both performance and efficiency are crucial factors for sequence labeling tasks in many real-world scenarios. Although the pre-trained models (PTMs) have significantly improved the performance of various sequence labeling tasks, their computational cost is expensive. To alleviate this problem, we extend the recent successful early-exit mechanism to accelerate the inference of PTMs for sequence labeling tasks. However, existing early-exit mechanisms are specifically designed for sequence-level tasks, rather than sequence labeling. In this paper, we first propose a simple extension of sentence-level early-exit for sequence labeling tasks. To further reduce the computational cost, we also propose a token-level early-exit mechanism that allows partial tokens to exit early at different layers. Considering the local dependency inherent in sequence labeling, we employed a window-based criterion to decide for a token whether or not to exit. The token-level early-exit brings the gap between training and inference, so we introduce an extra self-sampling fine-tuning stage to alleviate it. The extensive experiments on three popular sequence labeling tasks show that our approach can save up to 66%∼75% inference cost with minimal performance degradation. Compared with competitive compressed models such as DistilBERT, our approach can achieve better performance under the same speed-up ratios of 2×, 3×, and 4×.

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A Unified Generative Framework for Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis
Hang Yan | Junqi Dai | Tuo Ji | Xipeng Qiu | Zheng Zhang
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)

Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis (ABSA) aims to identify the aspect terms, their corresponding sentiment polarities, and the opinion terms. There exist seven subtasks in ABSA. Most studies only focus on the subsets of these subtasks, which leads to various complicated ABSA models while hard to solve these subtasks in a unified framework. In this paper, we redefine every subtask target as a sequence mixed by pointer indexes and sentiment class indexes, which converts all ABSA subtasks into a unified generative formulation. Based on the unified formulation, we exploit the pre-training sequence-to-sequence model BART to solve all ABSA subtasks in an end-to-end framework. Extensive experiments on four ABSA datasets for seven subtasks demonstrate that our framework achieves substantial performance gain and provides a real unified end-to-end solution for the whole ABSA subtasks, which could benefit multiple tasks.

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A Unified Generative Framework for Various NER Subtasks
Hang Yan | Tao Gui | Junqi Dai | Qipeng Guo | Zheng Zhang | Xipeng Qiu
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)

Named Entity Recognition (NER) is the task of identifying spans that represent entities in sentences. Whether the entity spans are nested or discontinuous, the NER task can be categorized into the flat NER, nested NER, and discontinuous NER subtasks. These subtasks have been mainly solved by the token-level sequence labelling or span-level classification. However, these solutions can hardly tackle the three kinds of NER subtasks concurrently. To that end, we propose to formulate the NER subtasks as an entity span sequence generation task, which can be solved by a unified sequence-to-sequence (Seq2Seq) framework. Based on our unified framework, we can leverage the pre-trained Seq2Seq model to solve all three kinds of NER subtasks without the special design of the tagging schema or ways to enumerate spans. We exploit three types of entity representations to linearize entities into a sequence. Our proposed framework is easy-to-implement and achieves state-of-the-art (SoTA) or near SoTA performance on eight English NER datasets, including two flat NER datasets, three nested NER datasets, and three discontinuous NER datasets.

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fastHan: A BERT-based Multi-Task Toolkit for Chinese NLP
Zhichao Geng | Hang Yan | Xipeng Qiu | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

We present fastHan, an open-source toolkit for four basic tasks in Chinese natural language processing: Chinese word segmentation (CWS), Part-of-Speech (POS) tagging, named entity recognition (NER), and dependency parsing. The backbone of fastHan is a multi-task model based on a pruned BERT, which uses the first 8 layers in BERT. We also provide a 4-layer base model compressed from the 8-layer model. The joint-model is trained and evaluated on 13 corpora of four tasks, yielding near state-of-the-art (SOTA) performance in dependency parsing and NER, achieving SOTA performance in CWS and POS. Besides, fastHan’s transferability is also strong, performing much better than popular segmentation tools on a non-training corpus. To better meet the need of practical application, we allow users to use their own labeled data to further fine-tune fastHan. In addition to its small size and excellent performance, fastHan is user-friendly. Implemented as a python package, fastHan isolates users from the internal technical details and is convenient to use. The project is released on Github.

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Does syntax matter? A strong baseline for Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis with RoBERTa
Junqi Dai | Hang Yan | Tianxiang Sun | Pengfei Liu | Xipeng Qiu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Aspect-based Sentiment Analysis (ABSA), aiming at predicting the polarities for aspects, is a fine-grained task in the field of sentiment analysis. Previous work showed syntactic information, e.g. dependency trees, can effectively improve the ABSA performance. Recently, pre-trained models (PTMs) also have shown their effectiveness on ABSA. Therefore, the question naturally arises whether PTMs contain sufficient syntactic information for ABSA so that we can obtain a good ABSA model only based on PTMs. In this paper, we firstly compare the induced trees from PTMs and the dependency parsing trees on several popular models for the ABSA task, showing that the induced tree from fine-tuned RoBERTa (FT-RoBERTa) outperforms the parser-provided tree. The further analysis experiments reveal that the FT-RoBERTa Induced Tree is more sentiment-word-oriented and could benefit the ABSA task. The experiments also show that the pure RoBERTa-based model can outperform or approximate to the previous SOTA performances on six datasets across four languages since it implicitly incorporates the task-oriented syntactic information.

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SpellBERT: A Lightweight Pretrained Model for Chinese Spelling Check
Tuo Ji | Hang Yan | Xipeng Qiu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Chinese Spelling Check (CSC) is to detect and correct Chinese spelling errors. Many models utilize a predefined confusion set to learn a mapping between correct characters and its visually similar or phonetically similar misuses but the mapping may be out-of-domain. To that end, we propose SpellBERT, a pretrained model with graph-based extra features and independent on confusion set. To explicitly capture the two erroneous patterns, we employ a graph neural network to introduce radical and pinyin information as visual and phonetic features. For better fusing these features with character representations, we devise masked language model alike pre-training tasks. With this feature-rich pre-training, SpellBERT with only half size of BERT can show competitive performance and make a state-of-the-art result on the OCR dataset where most of the errors are not covered by the existing confusion set.


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FLAT: Chinese NER Using Flat-Lattice Transformer
Xiaonan Li | Hang Yan | Xipeng Qiu | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Recently, the character-word lattice structure has been proved to be effective for Chinese named entity recognition (NER) by incorporating the word information. However, since the lattice structure is complex and dynamic, the lattice-based models are hard to fully utilize the parallel computation of GPUs and usually have a low inference speed. In this paper, we propose FLAT: Flat-LAttice Transformer for Chinese NER, which converts the lattice structure into a flat structure consisting of spans. Each span corresponds to a character or latent word and its position in the original lattice. With the power of Transformer and well-designed position encoding, FLAT can fully leverage the lattice information and has an excellent parallel ability. Experiments on four datasets show FLAT outperforms other lexicon-based models in performance and efficiency.

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A Concise Model for Multi-Criteria Chinese Word Segmentation with Transformer Encoder
Xipeng Qiu | Hengzhi Pei | Hang Yan | Xuanjing Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Multi-criteria Chinese word segmentation (MCCWS) aims to exploit the relations among the multiple heterogeneous segmentation criteria and further improve the performance of each single criterion. Previous work usually regards MCCWS as different tasks, which are learned together under the multi-task learning framework. In this paper, we propose a concise but effective unified model for MCCWS, which is fully-shared for all the criteria. By leveraging the powerful ability of the Transformer encoder, the proposed unified model can segment Chinese text according to a unique criterion-token indicating the output criterion. Besides, the proposed unified model can segment both simplified and traditional Chinese and has an excellent transfer capability. Experiments on eight datasets with different criteria show that our model outperforms our single-criterion baseline model and other multi-criteria models. Source codes of this paper are available on Github.

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BERT for Monolingual and Cross-Lingual Reverse Dictionary
Hang Yan | Xiaonan Li | Xipeng Qiu | Bocao Deng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Reverse dictionary is the task to find the proper target word given the word description. In this paper, we tried to incorporate BERT into this task. However, since BERT is based on the byte-pair-encoding (BPE) subword encoding, it is nontrivial to make BERT generate a word given the description. We propose a simple but effective method to make BERT generate the target word for this specific task. Besides, the cross-lingual reverse dictionary is the task to find the proper target word described in another language. Previous models have to keep two different word embeddings and learn to align these embeddings. Nevertheless, by using the Multilingual BERT (mBERT), we can efficiently conduct the cross-lingual reverse dictionary with one subword embedding, and the alignment between languages is not necessary. More importantly, mBERT can achieve remarkable cross-lingual reverse dictionary performance even without the parallel corpus, which means it can conduct the cross-lingual reverse dictionary with only corresponding monolingual data. Code is publicly available at https://github.com/yhcc/BertForRD.git.

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A Graph-based Model for Joint Chinese Word Segmentation and Dependency Parsing
Hang Yan | Xipeng Qiu | Xuanjing Huang
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 8

Chinese word segmentation and dependency parsing are two fundamental tasks for Chinese natural language processing. The dependency parsing is defined at the word-level. Therefore word segmentation is the precondition of dependency parsing, which makes dependency parsing suffer from error propagation and unable to directly make use of character-level pre-trained language models (such as BERT). In this paper, we propose a graph-based model to integrate Chinese word segmentation and dependency parsing. Different from previous transition-based joint models, our proposed model is more concise, which results in fewer efforts of feature engineering. Our graph-based joint model achieves better performance than previous joint models and state-of-the-art results in both Chinese word segmentation and dependency parsing. Additionally, when BERT is combined, our model can substantially reduce the performance gap of dependency parsing between joint models and gold-segmented word-based models. Our code is publicly available at https://github.com/fastnlp/JointCwsParser