Irene Li


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A Transfer Learning Pipeline for Educational Resource Discovery with Application in Survey Generation
Irene Li | Thomas George | Alex Fabbri | Tammy Liao | Benjamin Chen | Rina Kawamura | Richard Zhou | Vanessa Yan | Swapnil Hingmire | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 18th Workshop on Innovative Use of NLP for Building Educational Applications (BEA 2023)

Effective human learning depends on a wide selection of educational materials that align with the learner’s current understanding of the topic. While the Internet has revolutionized human learning or education, a substantial resource accessibility barrier still exists. Namely, the excess of online information can make it challenging to navigate and discover high-quality learning materials in a given subject area. In this paper, we propose an automatic pipeline for building an educational resource discovery system for new domains. The pipeline consists of three main steps: resource searching, feature extraction, and resource classification. We first collect frequent queries from a set of seed documents, and search the web with these queries to obtain candidate resources such as lecture slides and introductory blog posts. Then, we process these resources for BERT-based features and meta-features. Next, we train a tree-based classifier to decide whether they are suitable learning materials. The pipeline achieves F1 scores of 0.94 and 0.82 when evaluated on two similar but novel domains. Finally, we demonstrate how this pipeline can benefit two applications: prerequisite chain learning and leading paragraph generation for surveys. We also release a corpus of 39,728 manually labeled web resources and 659 queries from NLP, Computer Vision (CV), and Statistics (STATS).

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HiPool: Modeling Long Documents Using Graph Neural Networks
Irene Li | Aosong Feng | Dragomir Radev | Rex Ying
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 2: Short Papers)

Encoding long sequences in Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a challenging problem. Though recent pretraining language models achieve satisfying performances in many NLP tasks, they are still restricted by a pre-defined maximum length, making them challenging to be extended to longer sequences. So some recent works utilize hierarchies to model long sequences. However, most of them apply sequential models for upper hierarchies, suffering from long dependency issues. In this paper, we alleviate these issues through a graph-based method. We first chunk the sequence with a fixed length to model the sentence-level information. We then leverage graphs to model intra- and cross-sentence correlations with a new attention mechanism. Additionally, due to limited standard benchmarks for long document classification (LDC), we propose a new challenging benchmark, totaling six datasets with up to 53k samples and 4034 average tokens’ length. Evaluation shows our model surpasses competitive baselines by 2.6% in F1 score, and 4.8% on the longest sequence dataset. Our method is shown to outperform hierarchical sequential models with better performance and scalability, especially for longer sequences.


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Surfer100: Generating Surveys From Web Resources, Wikipedia-style
Irene Li | Alex Fabbri | Rina Kawamura | Yixin Liu | Xiangru Tang | Jaesung Tae | Chang Shen | Sally Ma | Tomoe Mizutani | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the Thirteenth Language Resources and Evaluation Conference

Fast-developing fields such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) often outpace the efforts of encyclopedic sources such as Wikipedia, which either do not completely cover recently-introduced topics or lack such content entirely. As a result, methods for automatically producing content are valuable tools to address this information overload. We show that recent advances in pretrained language modeling can be combined for a two-stage extractive and abstractive approach for Wikipedia lead paragraph generation. We extend this approach to generate longer Wikipedia-style summaries with sections and examine how such methods struggle in this application through detailed studies with 100 reference human-collected surveys. This is the first study on utilizing web resources for long Wikipedia-style summaries to the best of our knowledge.

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Variational Graph Autoencoding as Cheap Supervision for AMR Coreference Resolution
Irene Li | Linfeng Song | Kun Xu | Dong Yu
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Coreference resolution over semantic graphs like AMRs aims to group the graph nodes that represent the same entity. This is a crucial step for making document-level formal semantic representations. With annotated data on AMR coreference resolution, deep learning approaches have recently shown great potential for this task, yet they are usually data hunger and annotations are costly. We propose a general pretraining method using variational graph autoencoder (VGAE) for AMR coreference resolution, which can leverage any general AMR corpus and even automatically parsed AMR data. Experiments on benchmarks show that the pretraining approach achieves performance gains of up to 6% absolute F1 points. Moreover, our model significantly improves on the previous state-of-the-art model by up to 11% F1.

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LiGCN: Label-interpretable Graph Convolutional Networks for Multi-label Text Classification
Irene Li | Aosong Feng | Hao Wu | Tianxiao Li | Toyotaro Suzumura | Ruihai Dong
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Deep Learning on Graphs for Natural Language Processing (DLG4NLP 2022)

Multi-label text classification (MLTC) is an attractive and challenging task in natural language processing (NLP). Compared with single-label text classification, MLTC has a wider range of applications in practice. In this paper, we propose a label-interpretable graph convolutional network model to solve the MLTC problem by modeling tokens and labels as nodes in a heterogeneous graph. In this way, we are able to take into account multiple relationships including token-level relationships. Besides, the model allows better interpretability for predicted labels as the token-label edges are exposed. We evaluate our method on four real-world datasets and it achieves competitive scores against selected baseline methods. Specifically, this model achieves a gain of 0.14 on the F1 score in the small label set MLTC, and 0.07 in the large label set scenario.


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Improving Cross-lingual Text Classification with Zero-shot Instance-Weighting
Irene Li | Prithviraj Sen | Huaiyu Zhu | Yunyao Li | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 6th Workshop on Representation Learning for NLP (RepL4NLP-2021)

Cross-lingual text classification (CLTC) is a challenging task made even harder still due to the lack of labeled data in low-resource languages. In this paper, we propose zero-shot instance-weighting, a general model-agnostic zero-shot learning framework for improving CLTC by leveraging source instance weighting. It adds a module on top of pre-trained language models for similarity computation of instance weights, thus aligning each source instance to the target language. During training, the framework utilizes gradient descent that is weighted by instance weights to update parameters. We evaluate this framework over seven target languages on three fundamental tasks and show its effectiveness and extensibility, by improving on F1 score up to 4% in single-source transfer and 8% in multi-source transfer. To the best of our knowledge, our method is the first to apply instance weighting in zero-shot CLTC. It is simple yet effective and easily extensible into multi-source transfer.

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Unsupervised Cross-Domain Prerequisite Chain Learning using Variational Graph Autoencoders
Irene Li | Vanessa Yan | Tianxiao Li | Rihao Qu | Dragomir Radev
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)

Learning prerequisite chains is an important task for one to pick up knowledge efficiently in both known and unknown domains. For example, one may be an expert in the natural language processing (NLP) domain, but want to determine the best order in which to learn new concepts in an unfamiliar Computer Vision domain (CV). Both domains share some common concepts, such as machine learning basics and deep learning models. In this paper, we solve the task of unsupervised cross-domain concept prerequisite chain learning, using an optimized variational graph autoencoder. Our model learns to transfer concept prerequisite relations from an information-rich domain (source domain) to an information-poor domain (target domain), substantially surpassing other baseline models. In addition, we expand an existing dataset by introducing two new domains—-CV and Bioinformatics (BIO). The annotated data and resources as well as the code will be made publicly available.


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R-VGAE: Relational-variational Graph Autoencoder for Unsupervised Prerequisite Chain Learning
Irene Li | Alexander Fabbri | Swapnil Hingmire | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

The task of concept prerequisite chain learning is to automatically determine the existence of prerequisite relationships among concept pairs. In this paper, we frame learning prerequisite relationships among concepts as an unsupervised task with no access to labeled concept pairs during training. We propose a model called the Relational-Variational Graph AutoEncoder (R-VGAE) to predict concept relations within a graph consisting of concept and resource nodes. Results show that our unsupervised approach outperforms graph-based semi-supervised methods and other baseline methods by up to 9.77% and 10.47% in terms of prerequisite relation prediction accuracy and F1 score. Our method is notably the first graph-based model that attempts to make use of deep learning representations for the task of unsupervised prerequisite learning. We also expand an existing corpus which totals 1,717 English Natural Language Processing (NLP)-related lecture slide files and manual concept pair annotations over 322 topics.


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Multi-News: A Large-Scale Multi-Document Summarization Dataset and Abstractive Hierarchical Model
Alexander Fabbri | Irene Li | Tianwei She | Suyi Li | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Automatic generation of summaries from multiple news articles is a valuable tool as the number of online publications grows rapidly. Single document summarization (SDS) systems have benefited from advances in neural encoder-decoder model thanks to the availability of large datasets. However, multi-document summarization (MDS) of news articles has been limited to datasets of a couple of hundred examples. In this paper, we introduce Multi-News, the first large-scale MDS news dataset. Additionally, we propose an end-to-end model which incorporates a traditional extractive summarization model with a standard SDS model and achieves competitive results on MDS datasets. We benchmark several methods on Multi-News and hope that this work will promote advances in summarization in the multi-document setting.

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SParC: Cross-Domain Semantic Parsing in Context
Tao Yu | Rui Zhang | Michihiro Yasunaga | Yi Chern Tan | Xi Victoria Lin | Suyi Li | Heyang Er | Irene Li | Bo Pang | Tao Chen | Emily Ji | Shreya Dixit | David Proctor | Sungrok Shim | Jonathan Kraft | Vincent Zhang | Caiming Xiong | Richard Socher | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We present SParC, a dataset for cross-domainSemanticParsing inContext that consists of 4,298 coherent question sequences (12k+ individual questions annotated with SQL queries). It is obtained from controlled user interactions with 200 complex databases over 138 domains. We provide an in-depth analysis of SParC and show that it introduces new challenges compared to existing datasets. SParC demonstrates complex contextual dependencies, (2) has greater semantic diversity, and (3) requires generalization to unseen domains due to its cross-domain nature and the unseen databases at test time. We experiment with two state-of-the-art text-to-SQL models adapted to the context-dependent, cross-domain setup. The best model obtains an exact match accuracy of 20.2% over all questions and less than10% over all interaction sequences, indicating that the cross-domain setting and the con-textual phenomena of the dataset present significant challenges for future research. The dataset, baselines, and leaderboard are released at


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Spider: A Large-Scale Human-Labeled Dataset for Complex and Cross-Domain Semantic Parsing and Text-to-SQL Task
Tao Yu | Rui Zhang | Kai Yang | Michihiro Yasunaga | Dongxu Wang | Zifan Li | James Ma | Irene Li | Qingning Yao | Shanelle Roman | Zilin Zhang | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

We present Spider, a large-scale complex and cross-domain semantic parsing and text-to-SQL dataset annotated by 11 college students. It consists of 10,181 questions and 5,693 unique complex SQL queries on 200 databases with multiple tables covering 138 different domains. We define a new complex and cross-domain semantic parsing and text-to-SQL task so that different complicated SQL queries and databases appear in train and test sets. In this way, the task requires the model to generalize well to both new SQL queries and new database schemas. Therefore, Spider is distinct from most of the previous semantic parsing tasks because they all use a single database and have the exact same program in the train set and the test set. We experiment with various state-of-the-art models and the best model achieves only 9.7% exact matching accuracy on a database split setting. This shows that Spider presents a strong challenge for future research. Our dataset and task with the most recent updates are publicly available at

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TutorialBank: A Manually-Collected Corpus for Prerequisite Chains, Survey Extraction and Resource Recommendation
Alexander Fabbri | Irene Li | Prawat Trairatvorakul | Yijiao He | Weitai Ting | Robert Tung | Caitlin Westerfield | Dragomir Radev
Proceedings of the 56th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

The field of Natural Language Processing (NLP) is growing rapidly, with new research published daily along with an abundance of tutorials, codebases and other online resources. In order to learn this dynamic field or stay up-to-date on the latest research, students as well as educators and researchers must constantly sift through multiple sources to find valuable, relevant information. To address this situation, we introduce TutorialBank, a new, publicly available dataset which aims to facilitate NLP education and research. We have manually collected and categorized over 5,600 resources on NLP as well as the related fields of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Information Retrieval (IR). Our dataset is notably the largest manually-picked corpus of resources intended for NLP education which does not include only academic papers. Additionally, we have created both a search engine and a command-line tool for the resources and have annotated the corpus to include lists of research topics, relevant resources for each topic, prerequisite relations among topics, relevant sub-parts of individual resources, among other annotations. We are releasing the dataset and present several avenues for further research.