Huadong Wang


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Recyclable Tuning for Continual Pre-training
Yujia Qin | Cheng Qian | Xu Han | Yankai Lin | Huadong Wang | Ruobing Xie | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Continual pre-training is the paradigm where pre-trained language models (PLMs) continually acquire fresh knowledge from growing data and gradually get upgraded. Before an upgraded PLM is released, we may have tuned the original PLM for various tasks and stored the adapted weights. However, when tuning the upgraded PLM, these outdated adapted weights will typically be ignored and discarded, causing a potential waste of resources. We bring this issue to the forefront and contend that proper algorithms for recycling outdated adapted weights should be developed. To this end, we formulate the task of recyclable tuning for continual pre-training. In pilot studies, we find that after continual pre-training, the upgraded PLM remains compatible with the outdated adapted weights to some extent. Motivated by this finding, we analyze the connection between continually pre-trained PLMs from two novel aspects, i.e., mode connectivity, and functional similarity. Based on the corresponding findings, we propose both an initialization-based method and a distillation-based method for our task. We demonstrate their feasibility in improving the convergence and performance for tuning the upgraded PLM. We also show that both methods can be combined to achieve better performance.

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Won’t Get Fooled Again: Answering Questions with False Premises
Shengding Hu | Yifan Luo | Huadong Wang | Xingyi Cheng | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Pre-trained language models (PLMs) have shown unprecedented potential in various fields, especially as the backbones for question-answering (QA) systems. However, they tend to be easily deceived by tricky questions such as “How many eyes does the sun have?”. Such frailties of PLMs often allude to the lack of knowledge within them. In this paper, we find that the PLMs already possess the knowledge required to rebut such questions, and the key is how to activate the knowledge. To systematize this observation, we investigate the PLMs’ responses to one kind of tricky questions, i.e., the false premises questions (FPQs). We annotate a FalseQA dataset containing 2365 human-written FPQs, with the corresponding explanations for the false premises and the revised true premise questions. Using FalseQA, we discover that PLMs are capable of discriminating FPQs by fine-tuning on moderate numbers (e.g., 256) of examples. PLMs also generate reasonable explanations for the false premise, which serve as rebuttals. Further replaying a few general questions during training allows PLMs to excel on FPQs and general questions simultaneously. Our work suggests that once the rebuttal ability is stimulated, knowledge inside the PLMs can be effectively utilized to handle FPQs, which incentivizes the research on PLM-based QA systems. The FalseQA dataset and code are available at .

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WebCPM: Interactive Web Search for Chinese Long-form Question Answering
Yujia Qin | Zihan Cai | Dian Jin | Lan Yan | Shihao Liang | Kunlun Zhu | Yankai Lin | Xu Han | Ning Ding | Huadong Wang | Ruobing Xie | Fanchao Qi | Zhiyuan Liu | Maosong Sun | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Long-form question answering (LFQA) aims at answering complex, open-ended questions with detailed, paragraph-length responses. The de facto paradigm of LFQA necessitates two procedures: information retrieval, which searches for relevant supporting facts, and information synthesis, which integrates these facts into a coherent answer. In this paper, we introduce WebCPM, the first Chinese LFQA dataset. One unique feature of WebCPM is that its information retrieval is based on interactive web search, which engages with a search engine in real time. Following WebGPT, we develop a web search interface. We recruit annotators to search for relevant information using our interface and then answer questions. Meanwhile, the web search behaviors of our annotators would be recorded. In total, we collect 5,500 high-quality question-answer pairs, together with 15,372 supporting facts and 125,954 web search actions. We fine-tune pre-trained language models to imitate human behaviors for web search and to generate answers based on the collected facts. Our LFQA pipeline, built on these fine-tuned models, generates answers that are no worse than human-written ones in 32.5% and 47.5% of the cases on our dataset and DuReader, respectively. The interface, dataset, and codes are publicly available at

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Plug-and-Play Knowledge Injection for Pre-trained Language Models
Zhengyan Zhang | Zhiyuan Zeng | Yankai Lin | Huadong Wang | Deming Ye | Chaojun Xiao | Xu Han | Zhiyuan Liu | Peng Li | Maosong Sun | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Injecting external knowledge can improve the performance of pre-trained language models (PLMs) on various downstream NLP tasks. However, massive retraining is required to deploy new knowledge injection methods or knowledge bases for downstream tasks. In this work, we are the first to study how to improve the flexibility and efficiency of knowledge injection by reusing existing downstream models. To this end, we explore a new paradigm plug-and-play knowledge injection, where knowledge bases are injected into frozen existing downstream models by a knowledge plugin. Correspondingly, we propose a plug-and-play injection method map-tuning, which trains a mapping of knowledge embeddings to enrich model inputs with mapped embeddings while keeping model parameters frozen. Experimental results on three knowledge-driven NLP tasks show that existing injection methods are not suitable for the new paradigm, while map-tuning effectively improves the performance of downstream models. Moreover, we show that a frozen downstream model can be well adapted to different domains with different mapping networks of domain knowledge. Our code and models are available at


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On Transferability of Prompt Tuning for Natural Language Processing
Yusheng Su | Xiaozhi Wang | Yujia Qin | Chi-Min Chan | Yankai Lin | Huadong Wang | Kaiyue Wen | Zhiyuan Liu | Peng Li | Juanzi Li | Lei Hou | Maosong Sun | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Prompt tuning (PT) is a promising parameter-efficient method to utilize extremely large pre-trained language models (PLMs), which can achieve comparable performance to full-parameter fine-tuning by only tuning a few soft prompts. However, PT requires much more training time than fine-tuning. Intuitively, knowledge transfer can help to improve the efficiency. To explore whether we can improve PT via prompt transfer, we empirically investigate the transferability of soft prompts across different downstream tasks and PLMs in this work. We find that (1) in zero-shot setting, trained soft prompts can effectively transfer to similar tasks on the same PLM and also to other PLMs with a cross-model projector trained on similar tasks; (2) when used as initialization, trained soft prompts of similar tasks and projected prompts of other PLMs can significantly accelerate training and also improve the performance of PT. Moreover, to explore what decides prompt transferability, we investigate various transferability indicators and find that the overlapping rate of activated neurons strongly reflects the transferability, which suggests how the prompts stimulate PLMs is essential. Our findings show that prompt transfer is promising for improving PT, and further research shall focus more on prompts’ stimulation to PLMs. The source code can be obtained from

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Knowledgeable Prompt-tuning: Incorporating Knowledge into Prompt Verbalizer for Text Classification
Shengding Hu | Ning Ding | Huadong Wang | Zhiyuan Liu | Jingang Wang | Juanzi Li | Wei Wu | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Tuning pre-trained language models (PLMs) with task-specific prompts has been a promising approach for text classification. Particularly, previous studies suggest that prompt-tuning has remarkable superiority in the low-data scenario over the generic fine-tuning methods with extra classifiers. The core idea of prompt-tuning is to insert text pieces, i.e., template, to the input and transform a classification problem into a masked language modeling problem, where a crucial step is to construct a projection, i.e., verbalizer, between a label space and a label word space. A verbalizer is usually handcrafted or searched by gradient descent, which may lack coverage and bring considerable bias and high variances to the results. In this work, we focus on incorporating external knowledge into the verbalizer, forming a knowledgeable prompttuning (KPT), to improve and stabilize prompttuning. Specifically, we expand the label word space of the verbalizer using external knowledge bases (KBs) and refine the expanded label word space with the PLM itself before predicting with the expanded label word space. Extensive experiments on zero and few-shot text classification tasks demonstrate the effectiveness of knowledgeable prompt-tuning.

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FPT: Improving Prompt Tuning Efficiency via Progressive Training
Yufei Huang | Yujia Qin | Huadong Wang | Yichun Yin | Maosong Sun | Zhiyuan Liu | Qun Liu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Recently, prompt tuning (PT) has gained increasing attention as a parameter-efficient way of tuning pre-trained language models (PLMs). Despite extensively reducing the number of tunable parameters and achieving satisfying performance, PT is training-inefficient due to its slow convergence. To improve PT’s training efficiency, we first make some novel observations about the prompt transferability of “partial PLMs”, which are defined by compressing a PLM in depth or width. We observe that the soft prompts learned by different partial PLMs of various sizes are similar in the parameter space, implying that these soft prompts could potentially be transferred among partial PLMs. Inspired by these observations, we propose Fast Prompt Tuning (FPT), which starts by conducting PT using a small-scale partial PLM, and then progressively expands its depth and width until the full-model size. After each expansion, we recycle the previously learned soft prompts as initialization for the enlarged partial PLM and then proceed PT. We demonstrate the feasibility of FPT on 5 tasks and show that FPT could save over 30% training computations while achieving comparable performance. The codes are publicly available at


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Token-level Dynamic Self-Attention Network for Multi-Passage Reading Comprehension
Yimeng Zhuang | Huadong Wang
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Multi-passage reading comprehension requires the ability to combine cross-passage information and reason over multiple passages to infer the answer. In this paper, we introduce the Dynamic Self-attention Network (DynSAN) for multi-passage reading comprehension task, which processes cross-passage information at token-level and meanwhile avoids substantial computational costs. The core module of the dynamic self-attention is a proposed gated token selection mechanism, which dynamically selects important tokens from a sequence. These chosen tokens will attend to each other via a self-attention mechanism to model long-range dependencies. Besides, convolutional layers are combined with the dynamic self-attention to enhance the model’s capacity of extracting local semantic. The experimental results show that the proposed DynSAN achieves new state-of-the-art performance on the SearchQA, Quasar-T and WikiHop datasets. Further ablation study also validates the effectiveness of our model components.