Hanzhang Zhou


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PromptExplainer: Explaining Language Models through Prompt-based Learning
Zijian Feng | Hanzhang Zhou | Zixiao Zhu | Kezhi Mao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2024

Pretrained language models have become workhorses for various natural language processing (NLP) tasks, sparking a growing demand for enhanced interpretability and transparency. However, prevailing explanation methods, such as attention-based and gradient-based strategies, largely rely on linear approximations, potentially causing inaccuracies such as accentuating irrelevant input tokens. To mitigate the issue, we develop PromptExplainer, a novel method for explaining language models through prompt-based learning. PromptExplainer aligns the explanation process with the masked language modeling (MLM) task of pretrained language models and leverages the prompt-based learning framework for explanation generation. It disentangles token representations into the explainable embedding space using the MLM head and extracts discriminative features with a verbalizer to generate class-dependent explanations. Extensive experiments demonstrate that PromptExplainer significantly outperforms state-of-the-art explanation methods.

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EDEntail: An Entailment-based Few-shot Text Classification with Extensional Definition
Zixiao Zhu | Junlang Qian | Zijian Feng | Hanzhang Zhou | Kezhi Mao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2024

Few-shot text classification has seen significant advancements, particularly with entailment-based methods, which typically use either class labels or intensional definitions of class labels in hypotheses for label semantics expression. In this paper, we propose EDEntail, a method that employs extensional definition (EDef) of class labels in hypotheses, aiming to express the semantics of class labels more explicitly. To achieve the above goal, we develop an algorithm to gather and select extensional descriptive words of class labels and then order and format them into a sequence to form hypotheses. Our method has been evaluated and compared with state-of-the-art models on five classification datasets. The results demonstrate that our approach surpasses the supervised-learning methods and prompt-based methods under the few-shot setting, which underlines the potential of using an extensional definition of class labels for entailment-based few-shot text classification. Our code is available at https://github.com/MidiyaZhu/EDEntail.


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Closed Boundary Learning for Classification Tasks with the Universum Class
Hanzhang Zhou | Zijian Feng | Kezhi Mao
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

The Universum class, often known as the *other* class or the*miscellaneous* class, is defined as a collection of samples that do not belong to any class of interest. It is a typical class that exists in many classification-based tasks in NLP, such as relation extraction, named entity recognition, sentiment analysis, etc. The Universum class exhibits very different properties, namely heterogeneity and lack of representativeness in training data; however, existing methods often treat the Universum class equally with the classes of interest, leading to problems such as overfitting, misclassification, and diminished model robustness. In this work, we propose a closed boundary learning method that applies closed decision boundaries to classes of interest and designates the area outside all closed boundaries in the feature space as the space of the Universum class. Specifically, we formulate closed boundaries as arbitrary shapes, propose the inter-class rule-based probability estimation for the Universum class to cater to its unique properties, and propose a boundary learning loss to adjust decision boundaries based on the balance of misclassified samples inside and outside the boundary. In adherence to the natural properties of the Universum class, our method enhances both accuracy and robustness of classification models, demonstrated by improvements on six state-of-the-art works across three different tasks. Our code is available at https://github.com/hzzhou01/Closed-Boundary-Learning.


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Document-Level Event Argument Extraction by Leveraging Redundant Information and Closed Boundary Loss
Hanzhang Zhou | Kezhi Mao
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

In document-level event argument extraction, an argument is likely to appear multiple times in different expressions in the document. The redundancy of arguments underlying multiple sentences is beneficial but is often overlooked. In addition, in event argument extraction, most entities are regarded as class “others”, i.e. Universum class, which is defined as a collection of samples that do not belong to any class of interest. Universum class is composed of heterogeneous entities without typical common features. Classifiers trained by cross entropy loss could easily misclassify the Universum class because of their open decision boundary. In this paper, to make use of redundant event information underlying a document, we build an entity coreference graph with the graph2token module to produce a comprehensive and coreference-aware representation for every entity and then build an entity summary graph to merge the multiple extraction results. To better classify Universum class, we propose a new loss function to build classifiers with closed boundaries. Experimental results show that our model outperforms the previous state-of-the-art models by 3.35% in F1-score.