Hongyuan Lu


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PCC: Paraphrasing with Bottom-k Sampling and Cyclic Learning for Curriculum Data Augmentation
Hongyuan Lu | Wai Lam
Proceedings of the 17th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Curriculum Data Augmentation (CDA) improves neural models by presenting synthetic data with increasing difficulties from easy to hard. However, traditional CDA simply treats the ratio of word perturbation as the difficulty measure and goes through the curriculums only once. This paper presents PCC: Paraphrasing with Bottom-k Sampling and Cyclic Learning for Curriculum Data Augmentation, a novel CDA framework via paraphrasing, which exploits the textual paraphrase similarity as the curriculum difficulty measure. We propose a curriculum-aware paraphrase generation module composed of three units: a paraphrase candidate generator with bottom-k sampling, a filtering mechanism and a difficulty measure. We also propose a cyclic learning strategy that passes through the curriculums multiple times. The bottom-k sampling is proposed to generate super-hard instances for the later curriculums. Experimental results on few-shot text classification as well as dialogue generation indicate that PCC surpasses competitive baselines. Human evaluation and extensive case studies indicate that bottom-k sampling effectively generates super-hard instances, and PCC significantly improves the baseline dialogue agent.


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Partner Personas Generation for Dialogue Response Generation
Hongyuan Lu | Wai Lam | Hong Cheng | Helen Meng
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Incorporating personas information allows diverse and engaging responses in dialogue response generation. Unfortunately, prior works have primarily focused on self personas and have overlooked the value of partner personas. Moreover, in practical applications, the availability of the gold partner personas is often not the case. This paper attempts to tackle these issues by offering a novel framework that leverages automatic partner personas generation to enhance the succeeding dialogue response generation. Our framework employs reinforcement learning with a dedicatedly designed critic network for reward judgement. Experimental results from automatic and human evaluations indicate that our framework is capable of generating relevant, interesting, coherent and informative partner personas, even compared to the ground truth partner personas. This enhances the succeeding dialogue response generation, which surpasses our competitive baselines that condition on the ground truth partner personas.

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On Controlling Fallback Responses for Grounded Dialogue Generation
Hongyuan Lu | Wai Lam | Hong Cheng | Helen Meng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Dialogue agents can leverage external textual knowledge to generate responses of a higher quality. To our best knowledge, most existing works on knowledge grounded dialogue settings assume that the user intention is always answerable. Unfortunately, this is impractical as there is no guarantee that the knowledge retrievers could always retrieve the desired knowledge. Therefore, this is crucial to incorporate fallback responses to respond to unanswerable contexts appropriately while responding to the answerable contexts in an informative manner. We propose a novel framework that automatically generates a control token with the generator to bias the succeeding response towards informativeness for answerable contexts and fallback for unanswerable contexts in an end-to-end manner. Since no existing knowledge grounded dialogue dataset considers this aim, we augment the existing dataset with unanswerable contexts to conduct our experiments. Automatic and human evaluation results indicate that naively incorporating fallback responses with controlled text generation still hurts informativeness for answerable context. In contrast, our proposed framework effectively mitigates this problem while still appropriately presenting fallback responses to unanswerable contexts. Such a framework also reduces the extra burden of the additional classifier and the overheads introduced in the previous works, which operates in a pipeline manner.

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Grounded Dialogue Generation with Cross-encoding Re-ranker, Grounding Span Prediction, and Passage Dropout
Kun Li | Tianhua Zhang | Liping Tang | Junan Li | Hongyuan Lu | Xixin Wu | Helen Meng
Proceedings of the Second DialDoc Workshop on Document-grounded Dialogue and Conversational Question Answering

MultiDoc2Dial presents an important challenge on modeling dialogues grounded with multiple documents. This paper proposes a pipeline system of “retrieve, re-rank, and generate”, where each component is individually optimized. This enables the passage re-ranker and response generator to fully exploit training with ground-truth data. Furthermore, we use a deep cross-encoder trained with localized hard negative passages from the retriever. For the response generator, we use grounding span prediction as an auxiliary task to be jointly trained with the main task of response generation. We also adopt a passage dropout and regularization technique to improve response generation performance. Experimental results indicate that the system clearly surpasses the competitive baseline and our team CPII-NLP ranked 1st among the public submissions on ALL four leaderboards based on the sum of F1, SacreBLEU, METEOR and RougeL scores.