Hongguang Li


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Natural Response Generation for Chinese Reading Comprehension
Nuo Chen | Hongguang Li | Yinan Bao | Baoyuan Wang | Jia Li
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Machine reading comprehension (MRC) is an important area of conversation agents and draws a lot of attention. However, there is a notable limitation to current MRC benchmarks: The labeled answers are mostly either spans extracted from the target corpus or the choices of the given candidates, ignoring the natural aspect of high-quality responses. As a result, MRC models trained on these datasets can not generate human-like responses in real QA scenarios. To this end, we construct a new dataset called Penguin to promote the research of MRC, providing a training and test bed for natural response generation to real scenarios. Concretely, Penguin consists of 200k training data with high-quality fluent, and well-informed responses. Penguin is the first benchmark towards natural response generation in Chinese MRC on a relatively large scale. To address the challenges in Penguin, we develop two strong baselines: end-to-end and two-stage frameworks. Following that, we further design Prompt-BART: fine-tuning the pre-trained generative language models with a mixture of prefix prompts in Penguin. Extensive experiments validated the effectiveness of this design.

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Orca: A Few-shot Benchmark for Chinese Conversational Machine Reading Comprehension
Nuo Chen | Hongguang Li | Junqing He | Yinan Bao | Xinshi Lin | Qi Yang | Jianfeng Liu | Ruyi Gan | Jiaxing Zhang | Baoyuan Wang | Jia Li
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

The conversational machine reading comprehension (CMRC) task aims to answer questions in conversations, which has been a hot research topic in recent years because of its wide applications. However, existing CMRC benchmarks in which each conversation is assigned a static passage are inconsistent with real scenarios. Thus, model’s comprehension ability towards real scenarios are hard to evaluate reasonably. To this end, we propose the first Chinese CMRC benchmark Orca and further provide zero-shot/few-shot settings to evaluate model’s generalization ability towards diverse domains. We collect 831 hot-topic driven conversations with 4,742 turns in total. Each turn of a conversation is assigned with a response-related passage, aiming to evaluate model’s comprehension ability more reasonably. The topics of conversations are collected from social media platform and cover 33 domains, trying to be consistent with real scenarios. Importantly, answers in Orca are all well-annotated natural responses rather than the specific spans or short phrase in previous datasets. Besides, we implement three strong baselines to tackle the challenge in Orca. The results indicate the great challenge of our CMRC benchmark.


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Robustness Testing of Language Understanding in Task-Oriented Dialog
Jiexi Liu | Ryuichi Takanobu | Jiaxin Wen | Dazhen Wan | Hongguang Li | Weiran Nie | Cheng Li | Wei Peng | Minlie 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)

Most language understanding models in task-oriented dialog systems are trained on a small amount of annotated training data, and evaluated in a small set from the same distribution. However, these models can lead to system failure or undesirable output when being exposed to natural language perturbation or variation in practice. In this paper, we conduct comprehensive evaluation and analysis with respect to the robustness of natural language understanding models, and introduce three important aspects related to language understanding in real-world dialog systems, namely, language variety, speech characteristics, and noise perturbation. We propose a model-agnostic toolkit LAUG to approximate natural language perturbations for testing the robustness issues in task-oriented dialog. Four data augmentation approaches covering the three aspects are assembled in LAUG, which reveals critical robustness issues in state-of-the-art models. The augmented dataset through LAUG can be used to facilitate future research on the robustness testing of language understanding in task-oriented dialog.