Huayang Li


2022

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Investigating Data Variance in Evaluations of Automatic Machine Translation Metrics
Jiannan Xiang | Huayang Li | Yahui Liu | Lemao Liu | Guoping Huang | Defu Lian | Shuming Shi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Current practices in metric evaluation focus on one single dataset, e.g., Newstest dataset in each year’s WMT Metrics Shared Task. However, in this paper, we qualitatively and quantitatively show that the performances of metrics are sensitive to data. The ranking of metrics varies when the evaluation is conducted on different datasets. Then this paper further investigates two potential hypotheses, i.e., insignificant data points and the deviation of i.i.d assumption, which may take responsibility for the issue of data variance. In conclusion, our findings suggest that when evaluating automatic translation metrics, researchers should take data variance into account and be cautious to report the results on unreliable datasets, because it may leads to inconsistent results with most of the other datasets.

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Visualizing the Relationship Between Encoded Linguistic Information and Task Performance
Jiannan Xiang | Huayang Li | Defu Lian | Guoping Huang | Taro Watanabe | Lemao Liu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Probing is popular to analyze whether linguistic information can be captured by a well-trained deep neural model, but it is hard to answer how the change of the encoded linguistic information will affect task performance. To this end, we study the dynamic relationship between the encoded linguistic information and task performance from the viewpoint of Pareto Optimality. Its key idea is to obtain a set of models which are Pareto-optimal in terms of both objectives. From this viewpoint, we propose a method to optimize the Pareto-optimal models by formalizing it as a multi-objective optimization problem. We conduct experiments on two popular NLP tasks, i.e., machine translation and language modeling, and investigate the relationship between several kinds of linguistic information and task performances. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed method is better than a baseline method. Our empirical findings suggest that some syntactic information is helpful for NLP tasks whereas encoding more syntactic information does not necessarily lead to better performance, because the model architecture is also an important factor.

2021

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Data Augmentation for Text Generation Without Any Augmented Data
Wei Bi | Huayang Li | Jiacheng Huang
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Data augmentation is an effective way to improve the performance of many neural text generation models. However, current data augmentation methods need to define or choose proper data mapping functions that map the original samples into the augmented samples. In this work, we derive an objective to formulate the problem of data augmentation on text generation tasks without any use of augmented data constructed by specific mapping functions. Our proposed objective can be efficiently optimized and applied to popular loss functions on text generation tasks with a convergence rate guarantee. Experiments on five datasets of two text generation tasks show that our approach can approximate or even surpass popular data augmentation methods.

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GWLAN: General Word-Level AutocompletioN for Computer-Aided Translation
Huayang Li | Lemao Liu | Guoping Huang | Shuming Shi
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Computer-aided translation (CAT), the use of software to assist a human translator in the translation process, has been proven to be useful in enhancing the productivity of human translators. Autocompletion, which suggests translation results according to the text pieces provided by human translators, is a core function of CAT. There are two limitations in previous research in this line. First, most research works on this topic focus on sentence-level autocompletion (i.e., generating the whole translation as a sentence based on human input), but word-level autocompletion is under-explored so far. Second, almost no public benchmarks are available for the autocompletion task of CAT. This might be among the reasons why research progress in CAT is much slower compared to automatic MT. In this paper, we propose the task of general word-level autocompletion (GWLAN) from a real-world CAT scenario, and construct the first public benchmark to facilitate research in this topic. In addition, we propose an effective method for GWLAN and compare it with several strong baselines. Experiments demonstrate that our proposed method can give significantly more accurate predictions than the baseline methods on our benchmark datasets.

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Neural Machine Translation with Monolingual Translation Memory
Deng Cai | Yan Wang | Huayang Li | Wai Lam | Lemao Liu
Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics and the 11th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Prior work has proved that Translation Memory (TM) can boost the performance of Neural Machine Translation (NMT). In contrast to existing work that uses bilingual corpus as TM and employs source-side similarity search for memory retrieval, we propose a new framework that uses monolingual memory and performs learnable memory retrieval in a cross-lingual manner. Our framework has unique advantages. First, the cross-lingual memory retriever allows abundant monolingual data to be TM. Second, the memory retriever and NMT model can be jointly optimized for the ultimate translation goal. Experiments show that the proposed method obtains substantial improvements. Remarkably, it even outperforms strong TM-augmented NMT baselines using bilingual TM. Owning to the ability to leverage monolingual data, our model also demonstrates effectiveness in low-resource and domain adaptation scenarios.

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Assessing Dialogue Systems with Distribution Distances
Jiannan Xiang | Yahui Liu | Deng Cai | Huayang Li | Defu Lian | Lemao Liu
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

2020

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Evaluating Explanation Methods for Neural Machine Translation
Jierui Li | Lemao Liu | Huayang Li | Guanlin Li | Guoping Huang | Shuming Shi
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Recently many efforts have been devoted to interpreting the black-box NMT models, but little progress has been made on metrics to evaluate explanation methods. Word Alignment Error Rate can be used as such a metric that matches human understanding, however, it can not measure explanation methods on those target words that are not aligned to any source word. This paper thereby makes an initial attempt to evaluate explanation methods from an alternative viewpoint. To this end, it proposes a principled metric based on fidelity in regard to the predictive behavior of the NMT model. As the exact computation for this metric is intractable, we employ an efficient approach as its approximation. On six standard translation tasks, we quantitatively evaluate several explanation methods in terms of the proposed metric and we reveal some valuable findings for these explanation methods in our experiments.

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On the Branching Bias of Syntax Extracted from Pre-trained Language Models
Huayang Li | Lemao Liu | Guoping Huang | Shuming Shi
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Many efforts have been devoted to extracting constituency trees from pre-trained language models, often proceeding in two stages: feature definition and parsing. However, this kind of methods may suffer from the branching bias issue, which will inflate the performances on languages with the same branch it biases to. In this work, we propose quantitatively measuring the branching bias by comparing the performance gap on a language and its reversed language, which is agnostic to both language models and extracting methods. Furthermore, we analyze the impacts of three factors on the branching bias, namely feature definitions, parsing algorithms, and language models. Experiments show that several existing works exhibit branching biases, and some implementations of these three factors can introduce the branching bias.