Hongming Zhang


2024

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A Closer Look at the Self-Verification Abilities of Large Language Models in Logical Reasoning
Ruixin Hong | Hongming Zhang | Xinyu Pang | Dong Yu | Changshui Zhang
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Logical reasoning has been an ongoing pursuit in the field of AI. Despite significant advancements made by large language models (LLMs), they still struggle with complex logical reasoning problems. To enhance reasoning performance, one promising direction is scalable oversight, which requires LLMs to identify their own errors and then improve by themselves. Various self-verification methods have been proposed in pursuit of this goal. Nevertheless, whether existing models understand their own errors well is still under investigation. In this paper, we take a closer look at the self-verification abilities of LLMs in the context of logical reasoning, focusing on their ability to identify logical fallacies accurately. We introduce a dataset, FALLACIES, containing 232 types of reasoning fallacies categorized in a hierarchical taxonomy. By conducting exhaustive experiments on FALLACIES, we obtain comprehensive and detailed analyses of a series of models on their verification abilities. Our main findings suggest that existing LLMs could struggle to identify fallacious reasoning steps accurately and may fall short of guaranteeing the validity of self-verification methods. Drawing from these observations, we offer suggestions for future research and practical applications of self-verification methods.

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Sub-Sentence Encoder: Contrastive Learning of Propositional Semantic Representations
Sihao Chen | Hongming Zhang | Tong Chen | Ben Zhou | Wenhao Yu | Dian Yu | Baolin Peng | Hongwei Wang | Dan Roth | Dong Yu
Proceedings of the 2024 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies (Volume 1: Long Papers)

We introduce sub-sentence encoder, a contrastively-learned contextual embedding model for fine-grained semantic representation of text. In contrast to the standard practice with sentence embeddings, where the meaning of an entire sequence of text is encoded into a fixed-length vector, the sub-sentence encoder learns to produce distinct contextual embeddings corresponding to different atomic propositions, i.e. atomic units of meaning expressed within a text sequence. The sub-sentence embeddings are contrastively learned to recognize (inferred) semantic equivalence between propositions across different text sequences. Our experiments show the effectiveness of sub-sentence encoders in applications, such as retrieving supporting facts for fine-grained text attribution or recognizing the conditional semantic similarity between texts. In practice, we demonstrate that sub-sentence encoders keep the same level of inference cost and space complexity compared to sentence encoders.

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On-the-fly Denoising for Data Augmentation in Natural Language Understanding
Tianqing Fang | Wenxuan Zhou | Fangyu Liu | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Muhao Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2024

Data Augmentation (DA) is frequently used to provide additional training data without extra human annotation automatically.However, data augmentation may introduce noisy data that impairs training.To guarantee the quality of augmented data,existing methods either assume no noise exists in the augmented data and adopt consistency training or use simple heuristics such as training loss and diversity constraints to filter out “noisy” data.However, those filtered examples may still contain useful information, and dropping them completely causes a loss of supervision signals.In this paper, based on the assumption that the original dataset is cleaner than the augmented data, we propose an on-the-fly denoising technique for data augmentation that learns from soft augmented labels provided by an organic teacher model trained on the cleaner original data.To further prevent overfitting on noisy labels, a simple self-regularization module is applied to force the model prediction to be consistent across two distinct dropouts.Our method can be applied to general augmentation techniques and consistently improve the performance on both text classification and question-answering tasks.

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CEO: Corpus-based Open-Domain Event Ontology Induction
Nan Xu | Hongming Zhang | Jianshu Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2024

Existing event-centric NLP models often only apply to the pre-defined ontology, which significantly restricts their generalization capabilities.This paper presents CEO, a novel Corpus-based Event Ontology induction model to relax the restriction imposed by pre-defined event ontologies. Without direct supervision, CEO leverages distant supervision from available summary datasets to detect corpus-wise salient events and exploits external event knowledge to force events within a short distance to have close embeddings. Experiments on three popular event datasets show that the schema induced by CEO has better coverage and higher accuracy than previous methods. Moreover, CEO is the first event ontology induction model that can induce a hierarchical event ontology with meaningful names on eleven open-domain corpora, making the induced schema more trustworthy and easier to be further curated. We anonymously release our dataset, codes, and induced ontology.

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Event Semantic Classification in Context
Haoyu Wang | Hongming Zhang | Kaiqiang Song | Dong Yu | Dan Roth
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2024

In this work, we focus on a fundamental yet underexplored problem, event semantic classification in context, to help machines gain a deeper understanding of events. We classify events from six perspectives: modality, affirmation, specificity, telicity, durativity, and kinesis. These properties provide essential cues regarding the occurrence and grounding of events, changes of status that events can bring about, and the connection between events and time. To this end, this paper introduces a novel dataset collected for the semantic classification tasks and several effective models. By incorporating these event properties into downstream tasks, we demonstrate that understanding the fine-grained event semantics benefits downstream event understanding and reasoning via experiments on event extraction, temporal relation extraction, and subevent relation extraction.

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SocREval: Large Language Models with the Socratic Method for Reference-free Reasoning Evaluation
Hangfeng He | Hongming Zhang | Dan Roth
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2024

To comprehensively gauge the capacity of current models for complex reasoning, it is crucial to assess their step-by-step reasoning in a scalable manner. Established reference-based evaluation metrics rely on human-annotated reasoning chains as references to assess the model-derived chains. However, such “gold-standard” human-written reasoning chains may not be unique and their acquisition is often labor-intensive. Existing reference-free reasoning evaluation metrics, while eliminating the need for human-crafted reasoning chains as references, often require fine-tuning with human-derived chains before evaluation, complicating the process and questioning their adaptability to other datasets. To address these challenges, we harness GPT-4 to automatically evaluate reasoning chain quality, thereby removing the dependency on human-written reasoning chains for both model fine-tuning and evaluative purposes. Leveraging the Socratic method, we develop SocREval (**Soc**ratic Method-Inspired **R**easoning **Eval**uation), a novel approach for prompt design in reference-free reasoning evaluation. Empirical results from four human annotated datasets reveal that SocREval significantly improves GPT-4’s performance, surpassing existing reference-free and reference-based reasoning evaluation metrics. Beyond its demonstrated efficacy, SocREval, proves to be both cost-efficient and robust to prompt writing and example selection, as substantiated by our in-depth analysis.

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Getting Sick After Seeing a Doctor? Diagnosing and Mitigating Knowledge Conflicts in Event Temporal Reasoning
Tianqing Fang | Zhaowei Wang | Wenxuan Zhou | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Muhao Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2024

Event temporal reasoning aims at identifying the temporal relations between two or more events from narratives. However, knowledge conflicts arise when there is a mismatch between the actual temporal relations of events in the context and the prior knowledge or biases learned by the model. In this paper, we propose to detect knowledge-conflict examples in event temporal reasoning using bias indicators, which include event relation prior bias, tense bias, narrative bias, and dependency bias. We define conflict examples as those where event relations are opposite to biased or prior relations. To mitigate event-related knowledge conflicts, we introduce a Counterfactual Data Augmentation (CDA) based method that can be applied to both Pre-trained Language Models (PLMs) and Large Language Models (LLMs) either as additional training data or demonstrations for In- Context Learning. Experiments suggest both PLMs and LLMs suffer from knowledge conflicts in event temporal reasoning, and CDA has the potential for reducing hallucination and improving model performance.

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AbsPyramid: Benchmarking the Abstraction Ability of Language Models with a Unified Entailment Graph
Zhaowei Wang | Haochen Shi | Weiqi Wang | Tianqing Fang | Hongming Zhang | Sehyun Choi | Xin Liu | Yangqiu Song
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2024

Cognitive research indicates that abstraction ability is essential in human intelligence, which remains under-explored in language models. In this paper, we present AbsPyramid, a unified entailment graph of 221K textual descriptions of abstraction knowledge. While existing resources only touch nouns or verbs within simplified events or specific domains, AbsPyramid collects abstract knowledge for three components of diverse events to comprehensively evaluate the abstraction ability of language models in the open domain. Experimental results demonstrate that current LLMs face challenges comprehending abstraction knowledge in zero-shot and few-shot settings. By training on our rich abstraction knowledge, we find LLMs can acquire basic abstraction abilities and generalize to unseen events. In the meantime, we empirically show that our benchmark is comprehensive to enhance LLMs across two previous abstraction tasks.

2023

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Extracting or Guessing? Improving Faithfulness of Event Temporal Relation Extraction
Haoyu Wang | Hongming Zhang | Yuqian Deng | Jacob Gardner | Dan Roth | Muhao Chen
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

In this paper, we seek to improve the faithfulness of TempRel extraction models from two perspectives. The first perspective is to extract genuinely based on contextual description. To achieve this, we propose to conduct counterfactual analysis to attenuate the effects of two significant types of training biases: the event trigger bias and the frequent label bias. We also add tense information into event representations to explicitly place an emphasis on the contextual description. The second perspective is to provide proper uncertainty estimation and abstain from extraction when no relation is described in the text. By parameterization of Dirichlet Prior over the model-predicted categorical distribution, we improve the model estimates of the correctness likelihood and make TempRel predictions more selective. We also employ temperature scaling to recalibrate the model confidence measure after bias mitigation. Through experimental analysis on MATRES, MATRES-DS, and TDDiscourse, we demonstrate that our model extracts TempRel and timelines more faithfully compared to SOTA methods, especially under distribution shifts.

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How do Words Contribute to Sentence Semantics? Revisiting Sentence Embeddings with a Perturbation Method
Wenlin Yao | Lifeng Jin | Hongming Zhang | Xiaoman Pan | Kaiqiang Song | Dian Yu | Dong Yu | Jianshu Chen
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Understanding sentence semantics requires an interpretation of the main information from a concrete context. To investigate how individual word contributes to sentence semantics, we propose a perturbation method for unsupervised semantic analysis. We next re-examine SOTA sentence embedding models’ ability to capture the main semantics of a sentence by developing a new evaluation metric to adapt sentence compression datasets for automatic evaluation. Results on three datasets show that unsupervised discourse relation recognition can serve as a general inference task that can more effectively aggregate information to essential contents than several SOTA unsupervised sentence embedding models.

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CIKQA: Learning Commonsense Inference with a Unified Knowledge-in-the-loop QA Paradigm
Hongming Zhang | Yintong Huo | Yanai Elazar | Yangqiu Song | Yoav Goldberg | Dan Roth
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

We propose a new commonsense reasoning benchmark to motivate commonsense reasoning progress from two perspectives: (1) Evaluating whether models can distinguish knowledge quality by predicting if the knowledge is enough to answer the question; (2) Evaluating whether models can develop commonsense inference capabilities that generalize across tasks. We first extract supporting knowledge for each question and ask humans to annotate whether the auto-extracted knowledge is enough to answer the question or not. After that, we convert different tasks into a unified question-answering format to evaluate the models’ generalization capabilities. We name the benchmark Commonsense Inference with Knowledge-in-the-loop Question Answering (\name). Experiments show that with our learning paradigm, models demonstrate encouraging generalization capabilities. At the same time, we also notice that distinguishing knowledge quality remains challenging for current commonsense reasoning models.

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Global Constraints with Prompting for Zero-Shot Event Argument Classification
Zizheng Lin | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

Determining the role of event arguments is a crucial subtask of event extraction. Most previous supervised models leverage costly annotations, which is not practical for open-domain applications. In this work, we propose to use global constraints with prompting to effectively tackles event argument classification without any annotation and task-specific training. Specifically, given an event and its associated passage, the model first creates several new passages by prefix prompts and cloze prompts, where prefix prompts indicate event type and trigger span, and cloze prompts connect each candidate role with the target argument span. Then, a pre-trained language model scores the new passages, making the initial prediction. Our novel prompt templates can easily adapt to all events and argument types without manual effort. Next, the model regularizes the prediction by global constraints exploiting cross-task, cross-argument, and cross-event relations. Extensive experiments demonstrate our model’s effectiveness: it outperforms the best zero-shot baselines by 12.5% and 10.9% F1 on ACE and ERE with given argument spans and by 4.3% and 3.3% F1, respectively, without given argument spans. We have made our code publicly available.

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On the Dimensionality of Sentence Embeddings
Hongwei Wang | Hongming Zhang | Dong Yu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Learning sentence embeddings is a fundamental problem in natural language processing. While existing research primarily focuses on enhancing the quality of sentence embeddings, the exploration of sentence embedding dimensions is limited. Here we present a comprehensive and empirical analysis of the dimensionality of sentence embeddings. First, we demonstrate that the optimal dimension of sentence embeddings is usually smaller than the default value. Subsequently, to compress the dimension of sentence embeddings with minimum performance degradation, we identify two components contributing to the overall performance loss: the encoder’s performance loss and the pooler’s performance loss. Therefore, we propose a two-step training method for sentence representation learning models, wherein the encoder and the pooler are optimized separately to mitigate the overall performance loss in low-dimension scenarios. Experimental results on seven STS tasks and seven sentence classification tasks demonstrate that our method significantly improves the performance of low-dimensional sentence embeddings.

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PIVOINE: Instruction Tuning for Open-world Entity Profiling
Keming Lu | Xiaoman Pan | Kaiqiang Song | Hongming Zhang | Dong Yu | Jianshu Chen
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

This work considers the problem of Open-world Entity Profiling, a sub-domain of Open-world Information Extraction (Open-world IE). Unlike the conventional closed-world IE, Open-world IE is considered a more general situation where entities and relations could be beyond a predefined ontology. We seek to develop a large language model (LLM) that can perform Open-world Entity Profiling with instruction tuning to extract desirable entity profiles characterized by (possibly fine-grained) natural language instructions. In particular, we construct INSTRUCTOPENWIKI, a substantial instruction-tuning dataset for Open-world Entity Profiling enriched with a comprehensive corpus, extensive annotations, and diverse instructions. We finetune pretrained BLOOM models on INSTRUCTOPENWIKI and obtain PIVOINE, an LLM for Open-world Entity Profiling with strong instruction-following capabilities. Our experiments demonstrate that PIVOINE significantly outperforms traditional methods and ChatGPT-based baselines, displaying impressive generalization capabilities on both unseen instructions and out-of-ontology cases. Consequently, PIVOINE emerges as a promising solution to tackle the open-world challenge of entity profiling.

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OpenFact: Factuality Enhanced Open Knowledge Extraction
Linfeng Song | Ante Wang | Xiaoman Pan | Hongming Zhang | Dian Yu | Lifeng Jin | Haitao Mi | Jinsong Su | Yue Zhang | Dong Yu
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 11

We focus on the factuality property during the extraction of an OpenIE corpus named OpenFact, which contains more than 12 million high-quality knowledge triplets. We break down the factuality property into two important aspects—expressiveness and groundedness—and we propose a comprehensive framework to handle both aspects. To enhance expressiveness, we formulate each knowledge piece in OpenFact based on a semantic frame. We also design templates, extra constraints, and adopt human efforts so that most OpenFact triplets contain enough details. For groundedness, we require the main arguments of each triplet to contain linked Wikidata1 entities. A human evaluation suggests that the OpenFact triplets are much more accurate and contain denser information compared to OPIEC-Linked (Gashteovski et al., 2019), one recent high-quality OpenIE corpus grounded to Wikidata. Further experiments on knowledge base completion and knowledge base question answering show the effectiveness of OpenFact over OPIEC-Linked as supplementary knowledge to Wikidata as the major KG.

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Are All Steps Equally Important? Benchmarking Essentiality Detection in Event Processes
Haoyu Wang | Hongming Zhang | Yueguan Wang | Yuqian Deng | Muhao Chen | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Natural language often describes events in different granularities, such that more coarse-grained (goal) events can often be decomposed into fine-grained sequences of (step) events. A critical but overlooked challenge in understanding an event process lies in the fact that the step events are not equally important to the central goal. In this paper, we seek to fill this gap by studying how well current models can understand the essentiality of different step events towards a goal event. As discussed by cognitive studies, such an ability enables the machine to mimic human’s commonsense reasoning about preconditions and necessary efforts of daily-life tasks. Our work contributes with a high-quality corpus of (goal, step) pairs from a community guideline website WikiHow, where the steps are manually annotated with their essentiality w.r.t. the goal. The high IAA indicates that humans have a consistent understanding of the events. Despite evaluating various statistical and massive pre-trained NLU models, we observe that existing SOTA models all perform drastically behind humans, indicating the need for future investigation of this crucial yet challenging task.

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StoryAnalogy: Deriving Story-level Analogies from Large Language Models to Unlock Analogical Understanding
Cheng Jiayang | Lin Qiu | Tsz Chan | Tianqing Fang | Weiqi Wang | Chunkit Chan | Dongyu Ru | Qipeng Guo | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Yue Zhang | Zheng Zhang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Analogy-making between narratives is crucial for human reasoning. In this paper, we evaluate the ability to identify and generate analogies by constructing a first-of-its-kind large-scale story-level analogy corpus, StoryAnalogy, which contains 24K story pairs from diverse domains with human annotations on two similarities from the extended Structure-Mapping Theory. We design a set of tests on StoryAnalogy, presenting the first evaluation of story-level analogy identification and generation. Interestingly, we find that the analogy identification tasks are incredibly difficult not only for sentence embedding models but also for the recent large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT and LLaMa. ChatGPT, for example, only achieved around 30% accuracy in multiple-choice questions (compared to over 85% accuracy for humans). Furthermore, we observe that the data in StoryAnalogy can improve the quality of analogy generation in LLMs, where a fine-tuned FlanT5-xxl model achieves comparable performance to zero-shot ChatGPT.

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Bridging Continuous and Discrete Spaces: Interpretable Sentence Representation Learning via Compositional Operations
James Y. Huang | Wenlin Yao | Kaiqiang Song | Hongming Zhang | Muhao Chen | Dong Yu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Traditional sentence embedding models encode sentences into vector representations to capture useful properties such as the semantic similarity between sentences. However, in addition to similarity, sentence semantics can also be interpreted via compositional operations such as sentence fusion or difference. It is unclear whether the compositional semantics of sentences can be directly reflected as compositional operations in the embedding space. To more effectively bridge the continuous embedding and discrete text spaces, we explore the plausibility of incorporating various compositional properties into the sentence embedding space that allows us to interpret embedding transformations as compositional sentence operations. We propose InterSent, an end-to-end framework for learning interpretable sentence embeddings that supports compositional sentence operations in the embedding space. Our method optimizes operator networks and a bottleneck encoder-decoder model to produce meaningful and interpretable sentence embeddings. Experimental results demonstrate that our method significantly improves the interpretability of sentence embeddings on four textual generation tasks over existing approaches while maintaining strong performance on traditional semantic similarity tasks.

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Faithful Question Answering with Monte-Carlo Planning
Ruixin Hong | Hongming Zhang | Hong Zhao | Dong Yu | Changshui Zhang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Although large language models demonstrate remarkable question-answering performances, revealing the intermediate reasoning steps that the models faithfully follow remains challenging. In this paper, we propose FAME (FAithful question answering with MontE-carlo planning) to answer questions based on faithful reasoning steps. The reasoning steps are organized as a structured entailment tree, which shows how premises are used to produce intermediate conclusions that can prove the correctness of the answer. We formulate the task as a discrete decision-making problem and solve it through the interaction of a reasoning environment and a controller. The environment is modular and contains several basic task-oriented modules, while the controller proposes actions to assemble the modules. Since the search space could be large, we introduce a Monte-Carlo planning algorithm to do a look-ahead search and select actions that will eventually lead to high-quality steps. FAME achieves advanced performance on the standard benchmark. It can produce valid and faithful reasoning steps compared with large language models with a much smaller model size.

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COLA: Contextualized Commonsense Causal Reasoning from the Causal Inference Perspective
Zhaowei Wang | Quyet V. Do | Hongming Zhang | Jiayao Zhang | Weiqi Wang | Tianqing Fang | Yangqiu Song | Ginny Wong | Simon See
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Detecting commonsense causal relations (causation) between events has long been an essential yet challenging task. Given that events are complicated, an event may have different causes under various contexts. Thus, exploiting context plays an essential role in detecting causal relations. Meanwhile, previous works about commonsense causation only consider two events and ignore their context, simplifying the task formulation. This paper proposes a new task to detect commonsense causation between two events in an event sequence (i.e., context), called contextualized commonsense causal reasoning. We also design a zero-shot framework: COLA (Contextualized Commonsense Causality Reasoner) to solve the task from the causal inference perspective. This framework obtains rich incidental supervision from temporality and balances covariates from multiple timestamps to remove confounding effects. Our extensive experiments show that COLA can detect commonsense causality more accurately than baselines.

2022

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Rare and Zero-shot Word Sense Disambiguation using Z-Reweighting
Ying Su | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Tong Zhang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Word sense disambiguation (WSD) is a crucial problem in the natural language processing (NLP) community. Current methods achieve decent performance by utilizing supervised learning and large pre-trained language models. However, the imbalanced training dataset leads to poor performance on rare senses and zero-shot senses. There are more training instances and senses for words with top frequency ranks than those with low frequency ranks in the training dataset. We investigate the statistical relation between word frequency rank and word sense number distribution. Based on the relation, we propose a Z-reweighting method on the word level to adjust the training on the imbalanced dataset. The experiments show that the Z-reweighting strategy achieves performance gain on the standard English all words WSD benchmark. Moreover, the strategy can help models generalize better on rare and zero-shot senses.

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PCR4ALL: A Comprehensive Evaluation Benchmark for Pronoun Coreference Resolution in English
Xinran Zhao | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Pronoun Coreference Resolution (PCR) is the task of resolving pronominal expressions to all mentions they refer to. The correct resolution of pronouns typically involves the complex inference over both linguistic knowledge and general world knowledge. Recently, with the help of pre-trained language representation models, the community has made significant progress on various PCR tasks. However, as most existing works focus on developing PCR models for specific datasets and measuring the accuracy or F1 alone, it is still unclear whether current PCR systems are reliable in real applications. Motivated by this, we propose PCR4ALL, a new benchmark and a toolbox that evaluates and analyzes the performance of PCR systems from different perspectives (i.e., knowledge source, domain, data size, frequency, relevance, and polarity). Experiments demonstrate notable performance differences when the models are examined from different angles. We hope that PCR4ALL can motivate the community to pay more attention to solving the overall PCR problem and understand the performance comprehensively. All data and codes are available at: https://github.com/HKUST-KnowComp/PCR4ALL.

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CoCoLM: Complex Commonsense Enhanced Language Model with Discourse Relations
Changlong Yu | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Wilfred Ng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Large-scale pre-trained language models have demonstrated strong knowledge representation ability. However, recent studies suggest that even though these giant models contain rich simple commonsense knowledge (e.g., bird can fly and fish can swim.), they often struggle with complex commonsense knowledge that involves multiple eventualities (verb-centric phrases, e.g., identifying the relationship between “Jim yells at Bob” and “Bob is upset”). To address this issue, in this paper, we propose to help pre-trained language models better incorporate complex commonsense knowledge. Unlike direct fine-tuning approaches, we do not focus on a specific task and instead propose a general language model named CoCoLM. Through the careful training over a large-scale eventuality knowledge graph ASER, we successfully teach pre-trained language models (i.e., BERT and RoBERTa) rich multi-hop commonsense knowledge among eventualities. Experiments on multiple commonsense tasks that require the correct understanding of eventualities demonstrate the effectiveness of CoCoLM.

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METGEN: A Module-Based Entailment Tree Generation Framework for Answer Explanation
Ruixin Hong | Hongming Zhang | Xintong Yu | Changshui Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Knowing the reasoning chains from knowledge to the predicted answers can help construct an explainable question answering (QA) system. Advances on QA explanation propose to explain the answers with entailment trees composed of multiple entailment steps. While current work proposes to generate entailment trees with end-to-end generative models, the steps in the generated trees are not constrained and could be unreliable. In this paper, we propose METGEN, a Module-based Entailment Tree GENeration framework that has multiple modules and a reasoning controller. Given a question and several supporting knowledge, METGEN can iteratively generate the entailment tree by conducting single-step entailment with separate modules and selecting the reasoning flow with the controller. As each module is guided to perform a specific type of entailment reasoning, the steps generated by METGEN are more reliable and valid. Experiment results on the standard benchmark show that METGEN can outperform previous state-of-the-art models with only 9% of the parameters.

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Query2Particles: Knowledge Graph Reasoning with Particle Embeddings
Jiaxin Bai | Zihao Wang | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: NAACL 2022

Answering complex logical queries on incomplete knowledge graphs (KGs) with missing edges is a fundamental and important task for knowledge graph reasoning. The query embedding method is proposed to answer these queries by jointly encoding queries and entities to the same embedding space. Then the answer entities are selected according to the similarities between the entity embeddings and the query embedding. As the answers to a complex query are obtained from a combination of logical operations over sub-queries, the embeddings of the answer entities may not always follow a uni-modal distribution in the embedding space. Thus, it is challenging to simultaneously retrieve a set of diverse answers from the embedding space using a single and concentrated query representation such as a vector or a hyper-rectangle. To better cope with queries with diversified answers, we propose Query2Particles (Q2P), a complex KG query answering method. Q2P encodes each query into multiple vectors, named particle embeddings. By doing so, the candidate answers can be retrieved from different areas over the embedding space using the maximal similarities between the entity embeddings and any of the particle embeddings. Meanwhile, the corresponding neural logic operations are defined to support its reasoning over arbitrary first-order logic queries. The experiments show that Query2Particles achieves state-of-the-art performance on the complex query answering tasks on FB15k, FB15K-237, and NELL knowledge graphs.

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MICO: A Multi-alternative Contrastive Learning Framework for Commonsense Knowledge Representation
Ying Su | Zihao Wang | Tianqing Fang | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Tong Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Commonsense reasoning tasks such as commonsense knowledge graph completion and commonsense question answering require powerful representation learning. In this paper, we propose to learn commonsense knowledge representation by MICO, a Multi-alternative contrastIve learning framework on COmmonsense knowledge graphs (MICO). MICO generates the commonsense knowledge representation by contextual interaction between entity nodes and relations with multi-alternative contrastive learning. In MICO, the head and tail entities in an (h,r,t) knowledge triple are converted to two relation-aware sequence pairs (a premise and an alternative) in the form of natural language. Semantic representations generated by MICO can benefit the following two tasks by simply comparing the similarity score between the representations: 1) zero-shot commonsense question answering tasks; 2) inductive commonsense knowledge graph completion tasks. Extensive experiments show the effectiveness of our method.

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PseudoReasoner: Leveraging Pseudo Labels for Commonsense Knowledge Base Population
Tianqing Fang | Quyet V. Do | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Ginny Y. Wong | Simon See
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Commonsense Knowledge Base (CSKB) Population aims at reasoning over unseen entities and assertions on CSKBs, and is an important yet hard commonsense reasoning task. One challenge is that it requires out-of-domain generalization ability as the source CSKB for training is of a relatively smaller scale (1M) while the whole candidate space for population is way larger (200M). We propose PseudoReasoner, a semi-supervised learning framework for CSKB population that uses a teacher model pre-trained on CSKBs to provide pseudo labels on the unlabeled candidate dataset for a student model to learn from. The teacher can be a generative model rather than restricted to discriminative models as previous works.In addition, we design a new filtering procedure for pseudo labels based on influence function and the student model’s prediction to further improve the performance. The framework can improve the backbone model KG-BERT (RoBERTa-large) by 3.3 points on the overall performance and especially, 5.3 points on the out-of-domain performance, and achieves the state-of-the-art. The codes will be made public on acceptance. Codes and data are available at https://github.com/HKUST-KnowComp/PseudoReasoner.

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Efficient Zero-shot Event Extraction with Context-Definition Alignment
Hongming Zhang | Wenlin Yao | Dong Yu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Event extraction (EE) is the task of identifying interested event mentions from text.Conventional efforts mainly focus on the supervised setting. However, these supervised models cannot generalize to event types out of the pre-defined ontology. To fill this gap, many efforts have been devoted to the zero-shot EE problem. This paper follows the trend of modeling event-type semantics but moves one step further. We argue that using the static embedding of the event type name might not be enough because a single word could be ambiguous, and we need a sentence to define the type semantics accurately. To model the definition semantics, we use two separate transformer models to project the contextualized event mentions and corresponding definitions into the same embedding space and then minimize their embedding distance via contrastive learning. On top of that, we also propose a warming phase to help the model learn the minor difference between similar definitions. We name our approach Zero-shot Event extraction with Definition (ZED). Experiments on the MAVEN dataset show that our model significantly outperforms all previous zero-shot EE methods with fast inference speed due to the disjoint design. Further experiments also show that can be easily applied to the few-shot setting when the annotation is available and consistently outperforms baseline supervised methods.

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Towards Open-Domain Topic Classification
Hantian Ding | Jinrui Yang | Yuqian Deng | Hongming Zhang | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: System Demonstrations

We introduce an open-domain topic classification system that accepts user-defined taxonomy in real time. Users will be able to classify a text snippet with respect to any candidate labels they want, and get instant response from our web interface. To obtain such flexibility, we build the backend model in a zero-shot way. By training on a new dataset constructed from Wikipedia, our label-aware text classifier can effectively utilize implicit knowledge in the pretrained language model to handle labels it has never seen before. We evaluate our model across four datasets from various domains with different label sets. Experiments show that the model significantly improves over existing zero-shot baselines in open-domain scenarios, and performs competitively with weakly-supervised models trained on in-domain data.

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Z-LaVI: Zero-Shot Language Solver Fueled by Visual Imagination
Yue Yang | Wenlin Yao | Hongming Zhang | Xiaoyang Wang | Dong Yu | Jianshu Chen
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Large-scale pretrained language models have made significant advances in solving downstream language understanding tasks. However, they generally suffer from reporting bias, the phenomenon describing the lack of explicit commonsense knowledge in written text, e.g., ”an orange is orange”. To overcome this limitation, we develop a novel approach, Z-LaVI, to endow language models with visual imagination capabilities. Specifically, we leverage two complementary types of ”imaginations”: (i) recalling existing images through retrieval and (ii) synthesizing nonexistent images via text-to-image generation. Jointly exploiting the language inputs and the imagination, a pretrained vision-language model (e.g., CLIP) eventually composes a zero-shot solution to the original language tasks. Notably, fueling language models with imagination can effectively leverage visual knowledge to solve plain language tasks. In consequence, Z-LaVI consistently improves the zero-shot performance of existing language models across a diverse set of language tasks.

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SubeventWriter: Iterative Sub-event Sequence Generation with Coherence Controller
Zhaowei Wang | Hongming Zhang | Tianqing Fang | Yangqiu Song | Ginny Wong | Simon See
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In this paper, we propose a new task of sub-event generation for an unseen process to evaluate the understanding of the coherence of sub-event actions and objects. To solve the problem, we design SubeventWriter, a sub-event sequence generation framework with a coherence controller. Given an unseen process, the framework can iteratively construct the sub-event sequence by generating one sub-event at each iteration. We also design a very effective coherence controller to decode more coherent sub-events. As our extensive experiments and analysis indicate, SubeventWriter can generate more reliable and meaningful sub-event sequences for unseen processes.

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MetaLogic: Logical Reasoning Explanations with Fine-Grained Structure
Yinya Huang | Hongming Zhang | Ruixin Hong | Xiaodan Liang | Changshui Zhang | Dong Yu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In this paper, we propose a comprehensive benchmark to investigate models’ logical reasoning capabilities in complex real-life scenarios. Current explanation datasets often employ synthetic data with simple reasoning structures. Therefore, it cannot express more complex reasoning processes, such as the rebuttal to a reasoning step and the degree of certainty of the evidence. To this end, we propose a comprehensive logical reasoning explanation form. Based on the multi-hop chain of reasoning, the explanation form includes three main components: (1) The condition of rebuttal that the reasoning node can be challenged; (2) Logical formulae that uncover the internal texture of reasoning nodes; (3) Reasoning strength indicated by degrees of certainty. The fine-grained structure conforms to the real logical reasoning scenario, better fitting the human cognitive process but, simultaneously, is more challenging for the current models. We evaluate the current best models’ performance on this new explanation form. The experimental results show that generating reasoning graphs remains a challenging task for current models, even with the help of giant pre-trained language models.

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Salience Allocation as Guidance for Abstractive Summarization
Fei Wang | Kaiqiang Song | Hongming Zhang | Lifeng Jin | Sangwoo Cho | Wenlin Yao | Xiaoyang Wang | Muhao Chen | Dong Yu
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Abstractive summarization models typically learn to capture the salient information from scratch implicitly.Recent literature adds extractive summaries as guidance for abstractive summarization models to provide hints of salient content and achieves better performance.However, extractive summaries as guidance could be over strict, leading to information loss or noisy signals.Furthermore, it cannot easily adapt to documents with various abstractiveness.As the number and allocation of salience content pieces varies, it is hard to find a fixed threshold deciding which content should be included in the guidance.In this paper, we propose a novel summarization approach with a flexible and reliable salience guidance, namely SEASON (SaliencE Allocation as Guidance for Abstractive SummarizatiON).SEASON utilizes the allocation of salience expectation to guide abstractive summarization and adapts well to articles in different abstractiveness.Automatic and human evaluations on two benchmark datasets show that the proposed method is effective and reliable.Empirical results on more than one million news articles demonstrate a natural fifteen-fifty salience split for news article sentences, providing a useful insight for composing news articles.

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Multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation with Unified Sense Representation
Ying Su | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Tong Zhang
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

As a key natural language processing (NLP) task, word sense disambiguation (WSD) evaluates how well NLP models can understand the fine-grained semantics of words under specific contexts. Benefited from the large-scale annotation, current WSD systems have achieved impressive performances in English by combining supervised learning with lexical knowledge. However, such success is hard to be replicated in other languages, where we only have very limited annotations. In this paper, based on that the multilingual lexicon BabelNet describing the same set of concepts across languages, we propose to build knowledge and supervised based Multilingual Word Sense Disambiguation (MWSD) systems. We build unified sense representations for multiple languages and address the annotation scarcity problem for MWSD by transferring annotations from rich sourced languages. With the unified sense representations, annotations from multiple languages can be jointly trained to benefit the MWSD tasks. Evaluations of SemEval-13 and SemEval-15 datasets demonstrate the effectiveness of our methodology.

2021

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RESIN: A Dockerized Schema-Guided Cross-document Cross-lingual Cross-media Information Extraction and Event Tracking System
Haoyang Wen | Ying Lin | Tuan Lai | Xiaoman Pan | Sha Li | Xudong Lin | Ben Zhou | Manling Li | Haoyu Wang | Hongming Zhang | Xiaodong Yu | Alexander Dong | Zhenhailong Wang | Yi Fung | Piyush Mishra | Qing Lyu | Dídac Surís | Brian Chen | Susan Windisch Brown | Martha Palmer | Chris Callison-Burch | Carl Vondrick | Jiawei Han | Dan Roth | Shih-Fu Chang | Heng Ji
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies: Demonstrations

We present a new information extraction system that can automatically construct temporal event graphs from a collection of news documents from multiple sources, multiple languages (English and Spanish for our experiment), and multiple data modalities (speech, text, image and video). The system advances state-of-the-art from two aspects: (1) extending from sentence-level event extraction to cross-document cross-lingual cross-media event extraction, coreference resolution and temporal event tracking; (2) using human curated event schema library to match and enhance the extraction output. We have made the dockerlized system publicly available for research purpose at GitHub, with a demo video.

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Exophoric Pronoun Resolution in Dialogues with Topic Regularization
Xintong Yu | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Changshui Zhang | Kun Xu | Dong Yu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Resolving pronouns to their referents has long been studied as a fundamental natural language understanding problem. Previous works on pronoun coreference resolution (PCR) mostly focus on resolving pronouns to mentions in text while ignoring the exophoric scenario. Exophoric pronouns are common in daily communications, where speakers may directly use pronouns to refer to some objects present in the environment without introducing the objects first. Although such objects are not mentioned in the dialogue text, they can often be disambiguated by the general topics of the dialogue. Motivated by this, we propose to jointly leverage the local context and global topics of dialogues to solve the out-of-text PCR problem. Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness of adding topic regularization for resolving exophoric pronouns.

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Learning Constraints and Descriptive Segmentation for Subevent Detection
Haoyu Wang | Hongming Zhang | Muhao Chen | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Event mentions in text correspond to real-world events of varying degrees of granularity. The task of subevent detection aims to resolve this granularity issue, recognizing the membership of multi-granular events in event complexes. Since knowing the span of descriptive contexts of event complexes helps infer the membership of events, we propose the task of event-based text segmentation (EventSeg) as an auxiliary task to improve the learning for subevent detection. To bridge the two tasks together, we propose an approach to learning and enforcing constraints that capture dependencies between subevent detection and EventSeg prediction, as well as guiding the model to make globally consistent inference. Specifically, we adopt Rectifier Networks for constraint learning and then convert the learned constraints to a regularization term in the loss function of the neural model. Experimental results show that the proposed method outperforms baseline methods by 2.3% and 2.5% on benchmark datasets for subevent detection, HiEve and IC, respectively, while achieving a decent performance on EventSeg prediction.

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Benchmarking Commonsense Knowledge Base Population with an Effective Evaluation Dataset
Tianqing Fang | Weiqi Wang | Sehyun Choi | Shibo Hao | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Bin He
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Reasoning over commonsense knowledge bases (CSKB) whose elements are in the form of free-text is an important yet hard task in NLP. While CSKB completion only fills the missing links within the domain of the CSKB, CSKB population is alternatively proposed with the goal of reasoning unseen assertions from external resources. In this task, CSKBs are grounded to a large-scale eventuality (activity, state, and event) graph to discriminate whether novel triples from the eventuality graph are plausible or not. However, existing evaluations on the population task are either not accurate (automatic evaluation with randomly sampled negative examples) or of small scale (human annotation). In this paper, we benchmark the CSKB population task with a new large-scale dataset by first aligning four popular CSKBs, and then presenting a high-quality human-annotated evaluation set to probe neural models’ commonsense reasoning ability. We also propose a novel inductive commonsense reasoning model that reasons over graphs. Experimental results show that generalizing commonsense reasoning on unseen assertions is inherently a hard task. Models achieving high accuracy during training perform poorly on the evaluation set, with a large gap between human performance. We will make the data publicly available for future contributions. Codes and data are available at https://github.com/HKUST-KnowComp/CSKB-Population.

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Back to Square One: Artifact Detection, Training and Commonsense Disentanglement in the Winograd Schema
Yanai Elazar | Hongming Zhang | Yoav Goldberg | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

The Winograd Schema (WS) has been proposed as a test for measuring commonsense capabilities of models. Recently, pre-trained language model-based approaches have boosted performance on some WS benchmarks but the source of improvement is still not clear. This paper suggests that the apparent progress on WS may not necessarily reflect progress in commonsense reasoning. To support this claim, we first show that the current evaluation method of WS is sub-optimal and propose a modification that uses twin sentences for evaluation. We also propose two new baselines that indicate the existence of artifacts in WS benchmarks. We then develop a method for evaluating WS-like sentences in a zero-shot setting to account for the commonsense reasoning abilities acquired during the pretraining and observe that popular language models perform randomly in this setting when using our more strict evaluation. We conclude that the observed progress is mostly due to the use of supervision in training WS models, which is not likely to successfully support all the required commonsense reasoning skills and knowledge.

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Joint Coreference Resolution and Character Linking for Multiparty Conversation
Jiaxin Bai | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Kun Xu
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

Character linking, the task of linking mentioned people in conversations to the real world, is crucial for understanding the conversations. For the efficiency of communication, humans often choose to use pronouns (e.g., “she”) or normal entities (e.g., “that girl”) rather than named entities (e.g., “Rachel”) in the spoken language, which makes linking those mentions to real people a much more challenging than a regular entity linking task. To address this challenge, we propose to incorporate the richer context from the coreference relations among different mentions to help the linking. On the other hand, considering that finding coreference clusters itself is not a trivial task and could benefit from the global character information, we propose to jointly solve these two tasks. Specifically, we propose Cˆ2, the joint learning model of Coreference resolution and Character linking. The experimental results demonstrate that Cˆ2 can significantly outperform previous works on both tasks. Further analyses are conducted to analyze the contribution of all modules in the proposed model and the effect of all hyper-parameters.

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A Brief Survey and Comparative Study of Recent Development of Pronoun Coreference Resolution in English
Hongming Zhang | Xinran Zhao | Yangqiu Song
Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop on Computational Models of Reference, Anaphora and Coreference

Pronoun Coreference Resolution (PCR) is the task of resolving pronominal expressions to all mentions they refer to. Compared with the general coreference resolution task, the main challenge of PCR is the coreference relation prediction rather than the mention detection. As one important natural language understanding (NLU) component, pronoun resolution is crucial for many downstream tasks and still challenging for existing models, which motivates us to survey existing approaches and think about how to do better. In this survey, we first introduce representative datasets and models for the ordinary pronoun coreference resolution task. Then we focus on recent progress on hard pronoun coreference resolution problems (e.g., Winograd Schema Challenge) to analyze how well current models can understand commonsense. We conduct extensive experiments to show that even though current models are achieving good performance on the standard evaluation set, they are still not ready to be used in real applications (e.g., all SOTA models struggle on correctly resolving pronouns to infrequent objects). All experiment codes will be available upon acceptance.

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Zero-shot Event Extraction via Transfer Learning: Challenges and Insights
Qing Lyu | Hongming Zhang | Elior Sulem | Dan Roth
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)

Event extraction has long been a challenging task, addressed mostly with supervised methods that require expensive annotation and are not extensible to new event ontologies. In this work, we explore the possibility of zero-shot event extraction by formulating it as a set of Textual Entailment (TE) and/or Question Answering (QA) queries (e.g. “A city was attacked” entails “There is an attack”), exploiting pretrained TE/QA models for direct transfer. On ACE-2005 and ERE, our system achieves acceptable results, yet there is still a large gap from supervised approaches, showing that current QA and TE technologies fail in transferring to a different domain. To investigate the reasons behind the gap, we analyze the remaining key challenges, their respective impact, and possible improvement directions.

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Event-Centric Natural Language Processing
Muhao Chen | Hongming Zhang | Qiang Ning | Manling Li | Heng Ji | Kathleen McKeown | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing: Tutorial Abstracts

This tutorial targets researchers and practitioners who are interested in AI technologies that help machines understand natural language text, particularly real-world events described in the text. These include methods to extract the internal structures of an event regarding its protagonist(s), participant(s) and properties, as well as external structures concerning memberships, temporal and causal relations of multiple events. This tutorial will provide audience with a systematic introduction of (i) knowledge representations of events, (ii) various methods for automated extraction, conceptualization and prediction of events and their relations, (iii) induction of event processes and properties, and (iv) a wide range of NLU and commonsense understanding tasks that benefit from aforementioned techniques. We will conclude the tutorial by outlining emerging research problems in this area.

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Zero-shot Label-Aware Event Trigger and Argument Classification
Hongming Zhang | Haoyu Wang | Dan Roth
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Leveraging Topic Relatedness for Argument Persuasion
Xinran Zhao | Esin Durmus | Hongming Zhang | Claire Cardie
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

2020

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WinoWhy: A Deep Diagnosis of Essential Commonsense Knowledge for Answering Winograd Schema Challenge
Hongming Zhang | Xinran Zhao | Yangqiu Song
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

In this paper, we present the first comprehensive categorization of essential commonsense knowledge for answering the Winograd Schema Challenge (WSC). For each of the questions, we invite annotators to first provide reasons for making correct decisions and then categorize them into six major knowledge categories. By doing so, we better understand the limitation of existing methods (i.e., what kind of knowledge cannot be effectively represented or inferred with existing methods) and shed some light on the commonsense knowledge that we need to acquire in the future for better commonsense reasoning. Moreover, to investigate whether current WSC models can understand the commonsense or they simply solve the WSC questions based on the statistical bias of the dataset, we leverage the collected reasons to develop a new task called WinoWhy, which requires models to distinguish plausible reasons from very similar but wrong reasons for all WSC questions. Experimental results prove that even though pre-trained language representation models have achieved promising progress on the original WSC dataset, they are still struggling at WinoWhy. Further experiments show that even though supervised models can achieve better performance, the performance of these models can be sensitive to the dataset distribution. WinoWhy and all codes are available at: https://github.com/HKUST-KnowComp/WinoWhy.

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What Are You Trying to Do? Semantic Typing of Event Processes
Muhao Chen | Hongming Zhang | Haoyu Wang | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 24th Conference on Computational Natural Language Learning

This paper studies a new cognitively motivated semantic typing task,multi-axis event process typing, that, given anevent process, attempts to infer free-form typelabels describing (i) the type of action made bythe process and (ii) the type of object the pro-cess seeks to affect. This task is inspired bycomputational and cognitive studies of eventunderstanding, which suggest that understand-ing processes of events is often directed by rec-ognizing the goals, plans or intentions of theprotagonist(s). We develop a large dataset con-taining over 60k event processes, featuring ul-tra fine-grained typing on both the action andobject type axes with very large (10ˆ3∼10ˆ4)label vocabularies. We then propose a hybridlearning framework,P2GT, which addressesthe challenging typing problem with indirectsupervision from glosses1and a joint learning-to-rank framework. As our experiments indi-cate,P2GTsupports identifying the intent ofprocesses, as well as the fine semantic type ofthe affected object. It also demonstrates the ca-pability of handling few-shot cases, and stronggeneralizability on out-of-domain processes.

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Joint Constrained Learning for Event-Event Relation Extraction
Haoyu Wang | Muhao Chen | Hongming Zhang | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Understanding natural language involves recognizing how multiple event mentions structurally and temporally interact with each other. In this process, one can induce event complexes that organize multi-granular events with temporal order and membership relations interweaving among them. Due to the lack of jointly labeled data for these relational phenomena and the restriction on the structures they articulate, we propose a joint constrained learning framework for modeling event-event relations. Specifically, the framework enforces logical constraints within and across multiple temporal and subevent relations of events by converting these constraints into differentiable learning objectives. We show that our joint constrained learning approach effectively compensates for the lack of jointly labeled data, and outperforms SOTA methods on benchmarks for both temporal relation extraction and event hierarchy construction, replacing a commonly used but more expensive global inference process. We also present a promising case study to show the effectiveness of our approach to inducing event complexes on an external corpus.

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Analogous Process Structure Induction for Sub-event Sequence Prediction
Hongming Zhang | Muhao Chen | Haoyu Wang | Yangqiu Song | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Computational and cognitive studies of event understanding suggest that identifying, comprehending, and predicting events depend on having structured representations of a sequence of events and on conceptualizing (abstracting) its components into (soft) event categories. Thus, knowledge about a known process such as “buying a car” can be used in the context of a new but analogous process such as “buying a house”. Nevertheless, most event understanding work in NLP is still at the ground level and does not consider abstraction. In this paper, we propose an Analogous Process Structure Induction (APSI) framework, which leverages analogies among processes and conceptualization of sub-event instances to predict the whole sub-event sequence of previously unseen open-domain processes. As our experiments and analysis indicate, APSI supports the generation of meaningful sub-event sequences for unseen processes and can help predict missing events.

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When Hearst Is not Enough: Improving Hypernymy Detection from Corpus with Distributional Models
Changlong Yu | Jialong Han | Peifeng Wang | Yangqiu Song | Hongming Zhang | Wilfred Ng | Shuming Shi
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

We address hypernymy detection, i.e., whether an is-a relationship exists between words (x ,y), with the help of large textual corpora. Most conventional approaches to this task have been categorized to be either pattern-based or distributional. Recent studies suggest that pattern-based ones are superior, if large-scale Hearst pairs are extracted and fed, with the sparsity of unseen (x ,y) pairs relieved. However, they become invalid in some specific sparsity cases, where x or y is not involved in any pattern. For the first time, this paper quantifies the non-negligible existence of those specific cases. We also demonstrate that distributional methods are ideal to make up for pattern-based ones in such cases. We devise a complementary framework, under which a pattern-based and a distributional model collaborate seamlessly in cases which they each prefer. On several benchmark datasets, our framework demonstrates improvements that are both competitive and explainable.

2019

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SP-10K: A Large-scale Evaluation Set for Selectional Preference Acquisition
Hongming Zhang | Hantian Ding | Yangqiu Song
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Selectional Preference (SP) is a commonly observed language phenomenon and proved to be useful in many natural language processing tasks. To provide a better evaluation method for SP models, we introduce SP-10K, a large-scale evaluation set that provides human ratings for the plausibility of 10,000 SP pairs over five SP relations, covering 2,500 most frequent verbs, nouns, and adjectives in American English. Three representative SP acquisition methods based on pseudo-disambiguation are evaluated with SP-10K. To demonstrate the importance of our dataset, we investigate the relationship between SP-10K and the commonsense knowledge in ConceptNet5 and show the potential of using SP to represent the commonsense knowledge. We also use the Winograd Schema Challenge to prove that the proposed new SP relations are essential for the hard pronoun coreference resolution problem.

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Knowledge-aware Pronoun Coreference Resolution
Hongming Zhang | Yan Song | Yangqiu Song | Dong Yu
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Resolving pronoun coreference requires knowledge support, especially for particular domains (e.g., medicine). In this paper, we explore how to leverage different types of knowledge to better resolve pronoun coreference with a neural model. To ensure the generalization ability of our model, we directly incorporate knowledge in the format of triplets, which is the most common format of modern knowledge graphs, instead of encoding it with features or rules as that in conventional approaches. Moreover, since not all knowledge is helpful in certain contexts, to selectively use them, we propose a knowledge attention module, which learns to select and use informative knowledge based on contexts, to enhance our model. Experimental results on two datasets from different domains prove the validity and effectiveness of our model, where it outperforms state-of-the-art baselines by a large margin. Moreover, since our model learns to use external knowledge rather than only fitting the training data, it also demonstrates superior performance to baselines in the cross-domain setting.

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Multilingual and Multi-Aspect Hate Speech Analysis
Nedjma Ousidhoum | Zizheng Lin | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Dit-Yan Yeung
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Current research on hate speech analysis is typically oriented towards monolingual and single classification tasks. In this paper, we present a new multilingual multi-aspect hate speech analysis dataset and use it to test the current state-of-the-art multilingual multitask learning approaches. We evaluate our dataset in various classification settings, then we discuss how to leverage our annotations in order to improve hate speech detection and classification in general.

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What You See is What You Get: Visual Pronoun Coreference Resolution in Dialogues
Xintong Yu | Hongming Zhang | Yangqiu Song | Yan Song | Changshui Zhang
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Grounding a pronoun to a visual object it refers to requires complex reasoning from various information sources, especially in conversational scenarios. For example, when people in a conversation talk about something all speakers can see, they often directly use pronouns (e.g., it) to refer to it without previous introduction. This fact brings a huge challenge for modern natural language understanding systems, particularly conventional context-based pronoun coreference models. To tackle this challenge, in this paper, we formally define the task of visual-aware pronoun coreference resolution (PCR) and introduce VisPro, a large-scale dialogue PCR dataset, to investigate whether and how the visual information can help resolve pronouns in dialogues. We then propose a novel visual-aware PCR model, VisCoref, for this task and conduct comprehensive experiments and case studies on our dataset. Results demonstrate the importance of the visual information in this PCR case and show the effectiveness of the proposed model.

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Multiplex Word Embeddings for Selectional Preference Acquisition
Hongming Zhang | Jiaxin Bai | Yan Song | Kun Xu | Changlong Yu | Yangqiu Song | Wilfred Ng | Dong Yu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Conventional word embeddings represent words with fixed vectors, which are usually trained based on co-occurrence patterns among words. In doing so, however, the power of such representations is limited, where the same word might be functionalized separately under different syntactic relations. To address this limitation, one solution is to incorporate relational dependencies of different words into their embeddings. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a multiplex word embedding model, which can be easily extended according to various relations among words. As a result, each word has a center embedding to represent its overall semantics, and several relational embeddings to represent its relational dependencies. Compared to existing models, our model can effectively distinguish words with respect to different relations without introducing unnecessary sparseness. Moreover, to accommodate various relations, we use a small dimension for relational embeddings and our model is able to keep their effectiveness. Experiments on selectional preference acquisition and word similarity demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed model, and a further study of scalability also proves that our embeddings only need 1/20 of the original embedding size to achieve better performance.

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Incorporating Context and External Knowledge for Pronoun Coreference Resolution
Hongming Zhang | Yan Song | Yangqiu Song
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Linking pronominal expressions to the correct references requires, in many cases, better analysis of the contextual information and external knowledge. In this paper, we propose a two-layer model for pronoun coreference resolution that leverages both context and external knowledge, where a knowledge attention mechanism is designed to ensure the model leveraging the appropriate source of external knowledge based on different context. Experimental results demonstrate the validity and effectiveness of our model, where it outperforms state-of-the-art models by a large margin.