Ji Zhang


pdf bib
ModelScope-Agent: Building Your Customizable Agent System with Open-source Large Language Models
Chenliang Li | He Chen | Ming Yan | Weizhou Shen | Haiyang Xu | Zhikai Wu | Zhicheng Zhang | Wenmeng Zhou | Yingda Chen | Chen Cheng | Hongzhu Shi | Ji Zhang | Fei Huang | Jingren Zhou
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing: System Demonstrations

Large language models (LLMs) have recently demonstrated remarkable capabilities to comprehend human intentions, engage in reasoning, and design planning-like behavior. To further unleash the power of LLMs to accomplish complex tasks, there is a growing trend to build agent frameworks that equips LLMs, such as ChatGPT, with tool-use abilities to connect with massive external APIs. In this work, we introduce ModelScope-Agent, a general and customizable agent framework for real-world applications, based on open-source LLMs as controllers. It provides a user-friendly system library, with a customizable engine design to support model training on multiple open-source LLMs, while also enabling seamless integration with both model APIs and common APIs in a unified way. To equip the LLMs with tool-use abilities, a comprehensive framework has been proposed spanning tool-use data collection, tool retrieval, tool registration, memory control, customized model training, and evaluation for practical real-world applications. Finally, we showcase ModelScopeGPT, a real-world intelligent assistant of ModelScope Community based on the ModelScope-Agent framework, which is able to connect open-source LLMs with more than 1000 public AI models and localized community knowledge in ModelScope. The ModelScope-Agent online demo, library are now publicly available.

pdf bib
DialoGPS: Dialogue Path Sampling in Continuous Semantic Space for Data Augmentation in Multi-Turn Conversations
Ang Lv | Jinpeng Li | Yuhan Chen | Gao Xing | Ji Zhang | Rui Yan
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In open-domain dialogue generation tasks, contexts and responses in most datasets are one-to-one mapped, violating an important many-to-many characteristic: a context leads to various responses, and a response answers multiple contexts. Without such patterns, models poorly generalize and prefer responding safely. Many attempts have been made in either multi-turn settings from a one-to-many perspective or in a many-to-many perspective but limited to single-turn settings. The major challenge to many-to-many augment multi-turn dialogues is that discretely replacing each turn with semantic similarity breaks fragile context coherence. In this paper, we propose DialoGue Path Sampling (DialoGPS) method in continuous semantic space, the first many-to-many augmentation method for multi-turn dialogues. Specifically, we map a dialogue to our extended Brownian Bridge, a special Gaussian process. We sample latent variables to form coherent dialogue paths in the continuous space. A dialogue path corresponds to a new multi-turn dialogue and is used as augmented training data. We show the effect of DialoGPS with both automatic and human evaluation.

pdf bib
Distinguish Before Answer: Generating Contrastive Explanation as Knowledge for Commonsense Question Answering
Qianglong Chen | Guohai Xu | Ming Yan | Ji Zhang | Fei Huang | Luo Si | Yin Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Existing knowledge-enhanced methods have achieved remarkable results in certain Q&A tasks via obtaining diverse knowledge from different knowledge bases. However, limited by the properties of retrieved knowledge, they still have trouble benefiting from both the knowledge relevance and distinguishment simultaneously. To address the challenge, we propose CPACE, a Concept-centric Prompt-bAsed Contrastive Explanation Generation model, which aims to convert obtained symbolic knowledge into the contrastive explanation for better distinguishing the differences among given candidates. Firstly, following previous works, we retrieve different types of symbolic knowledge with a concept-centric knowledge extraction module. After that, we generate corresponding contrastive explanation using acquired symbolic knowledge and prompt as guidance for better modeling the knowledge distinguishment and interpretability. Finally, we regard the generated contrastive explanation as external knowledge for downstream task enhancement. We conduct a series of experiments on three widely-used question-answering datasets: CSQA, QASC, and OBQA. Experimental results demonstrate that with the help of generated contrastive explanation, our CPACE model achieves new SOTA on CSQA (89.8% on the testing set, 0.9% higher than human performance), and gains impressive improvement on QASC and OBQA (4.2% and 3.5%, respectively).

pdf bib
UReader: Universal OCR-free Visually-situated Language Understanding with Multimodal Large Language Model
Jiabo Ye | Anwen Hu | Haiyang Xu | Qinghao Ye | Ming Yan | Guohai Xu | Chenliang Li | Junfeng Tian | Qi Qian | Ji Zhang | Qin Jin | Liang He | Xin Lin | Fei Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Text is ubiquitous in our visual world, conveying crucial information, such as in documents, websites, and everyday photographs. In this work, we propose UReader, a first exploration of universal OCR-free visually-situated language understanding based on the Multimodal Large Language Model (MLLM). By leveraging the shallow text recognition ability of the MLLM, we only finetuned 1.2% parameters and the training cost is much lower than previous work following domain-specific pretraining and finetuning paradigms. Concretely, UReader is jointly finetuned on a wide range of Visually-situated Language Understanding tasks via a unified instruction format. To enhance the visual text and semantic understanding, we further apply two auxiliary tasks with the same format, namely text reading and key points generation tasks. We design a shape-adaptive cropping module before the encoder-decoder architecture of MLLM to leverage the frozen low-resolution vision encoder for processing high-resolution images. Without downstream finetuning, our single model achieves state-of-the-art ocr-free performance in 8 out of 10 visually-situated language understanding tasks, across 5 domains: documents, tables, charts, natural images, and webpage screenshots. Codes and instruction-tuning datasets will be released.

pdf bib
MCC-KD: Multi-CoT Consistent Knowledge Distillation
Hongzhan Chen | Siyue Wu | Xiaojun Quan | Rui Wang | Ming Yan | Ji Zhang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

Large language models (LLMs) have showcased remarkable capabilities in complex reasoning through chain of thought (CoT) prompting. Recently, there has been a growing interest in transferring these reasoning abilities from LLMs to smaller models. However, achieving both the diversity and consistency in rationales presents a challenge. In this paper, we focus on enhancing these two aspects and propose Multi-CoT Consistent Knowledge Distillation (MCC-KD) to efficiently distill the reasoning capabilities. In MCC-KD, we generate multiple rationales for each question and enforce consistency among their predictions by minimizing the bidirectional KL-divergence between the answer distributions. We conduct comprehensive experiments to investigate the effectiveness of MCC-KD with different model architectures (LLaMA/FlanT5) and various model scales (3B/7B/11B/13B) on both mathematical reasoning and commonsense reasoning benchmarks. The empirical results demonstrate that MCC-KD achieves superior performance on in-distribution datasets and exhibits a strong generalization ability on out-of-distribution datasets.

pdf bib
Improving Seq2Seq Grammatical Error Correction via Decoding Interventions
Houquan Zhou | Yumeng Liu | Zhenghua Li | Min Zhang | Bo Zhang | Chen Li | Ji Zhang | Fei Huang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2023

The sequence-to-sequence (Seq2Seq) approach has recently been widely used in grammatical error correction (GEC) and shows promising performance. However, the Seq2Seq GEC approach still suffers from two issues. First, a Seq2Seq GEC model can only be trained on parallel data, which, in GEC task, is often noisy and limited in quantity. Second, the decoder of a Seq2Seq GEC model lacks an explicit awareness of the correctness of the token being generated. In this paper, we propose a unified decoding intervention framework that employs an external critic to assess the appropriateness of the token to be generated incrementally, and then dynamically influence the choice of the next token. We discover and investigate two types of critics: a pre-trained left-to-right language model critic and an incremental target-side grammatical error detector critic. Through extensive experiments on English and Chinese datasets, our framework consistently outperforms strong baselines and achieves results competitive with state-of-the-art methods.


pdf bib
mPLUG: Effective and Efficient Vision-Language Learning by Cross-modal Skip-connections
Chenliang Li | Haiyang Xu | Junfeng Tian | Wei Wang | Ming Yan | Bin Bi | Jiabo Ye | He Chen | Guohai Xu | Zheng Cao | Ji Zhang | Songfang Huang | Fei Huang | Jingren Zhou | Luo Si
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Large-scale pre-trained foundation models have been an emerging paradigm for building artificial intelligence (AI) systems, which can be quickly adapted to a wide range of downstream tasks. This paper presents mPLUG, a new vision-language foundation model for both cross-modal understanding and generation. Most existing pre-trained models suffer from inefficiency and linguistic signal overwhelmed by long visual sequences in cross-modal alignment. To address both problems, mPLUG introduces an effective and efficient vision-language architecture with novel cross-modal skip-connections.mPLUG is pre-trained end-to-end on large-scale image-text pairs with both discriminative and generative objectives. It achieves state-of-the-art results on a wide range of vision-language downstream tasks, including image captioning, image-text retrieval, visual grounding and visual question answering. mPLUG also demonstrates strong zero-shot transferability on vision-language and video-language tasks. The code and pre-trained models are available at https://github.com/alibaba/AliceMind

pdf bib
Continual Few-shot Intent Detection
Guodun Li | Yuchen Zhai | Qianglong Chen | Xing Gao | Ji Zhang | Yin Zhang
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Intent detection is at the core of task-oriented dialogue systems. Existing intent detection systems are typically trained with a large amount of data over a predefined set of intent classes. However, newly emerged intents in multiple domains are commonplace in the real world. And it is time-consuming and impractical for dialogue systems to re-collect enough annotated data and re-train the model. These limitations call for an intent detection system that could continually recognize new intents with very few labeled examples. In this work, we study the Continual Few-shot Intent Detection (CFID) problem and construct a benchmark consisting of nine tasks with multiple domains and imbalanced classes. To address the key challenges of (a) catastrophic forgetting during continuous learning and (b) negative knowledge transfer across tasks, we propose the Prefix-guided Lightweight Encoder (PLE) with three auxiliary strategies, namely Pseudo Samples Replay (PSR), Teacher Knowledge Transfer (TKT) and Dynamic Weighting Replay (DWR). Extensive experiments demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our method in preventing catastrophic forgetting and encouraging positive knowledge transfer across tasks.

pdf bib
Incorporating Causal Analysis into Diversified and Logical Response Generation
Jiayi Liu | Wei Wei | Zhixuan Chu | Xing Gao | Ji Zhang | Tan Yan | Yulin Kang
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Although the Conditional Variational Auto-Encoder (CVAE) model can generate more diversified responses than the traditional Seq2Seq model, the responses often have low relevance with the input words or are illogical with the question. A causal analysis is carried out to study the reasons behind, and a methodology of searching for the mediators and mitigating the confounding bias in dialogues is provided. Specifically, we propose to predict the mediators to preserve relevant information and auto-regressively incorporate the mediators into generating process. Besides, a dynamic topic graph guided conditional variational auto-encoder (TGG-CVAE) model is utilized to complement the semantic space and reduce the confounding bias in responses. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed model is able to generate both relevant and informative responses, and outperforms the state-of-the-art in terms of automatic metrics and human evaluations.

pdf bib
MGIMN: Multi-Grained Interactive Matching Network for Few-shot Text Classification
Jianhai Zhang | Mieradilijiang Maimaiti | Gao Xing | Yuanhang Zheng | Ji Zhang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Text classification struggles to generalize to unseen classes with very few labeled text instances per class. In such a few-shot learning (FSL) setting, metric-based meta-learning approaches have shown promising results. Previous studies mainly aim to derive a prototype representation for each class. However, they neglect that it is challenging-yet-unnecessary to construct a compact representation which expresses the entire meaning for each class. They also ignore the importance to capture the inter-dependency between query and the support set for few-shot text classification. To deal with these issues, we propose a meta-learning based method MGIMN which performs instance-wise comparison followed by aggregation to generate class-wise matching vectors instead of prototype learning. The key of instance-wise comparison is the interactive matching within the class-specific context and episode-specific context. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the proposed method significantly outperforms the existing SOTA approaches, under both the standard FSL and generalized FSL settings.


pdf bib
Turn-Level User Satisfaction Estimation in E-commerce Customer Service
Runze Liang | Ryuichi Takanobu | Feng-Lin Li | Ji Zhang | Haiqing Chen | Minlie Huang
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on e-Commerce and NLP

User satisfaction estimation in the dialogue-based customer service is critical not only for helping developers find the system defects, but also making it possible to get timely human intervention for dissatisfied customers. In this paper, we investigate the problem of user satisfaction estimation in E-commerce customer service. In order to apply the estimator to online services for timely human intervention, we need to estimate the satisfaction score at each turn. However, in actual scenario we can only collect the satisfaction labels for the whole dialogue sessions via user feedback. To this end, we formalize the turn-level satisfaction estimation as a reinforcement learning problem, in which the model can be optimized with only session-level satisfaction labels. We conduct experiments on the dataset collected from a commercial customer service system, and compare our model with the supervised learning models. Extensive experiments show that the proposed method outperforms all the baseline models.

pdf bib
KACE: Generating Knowledge Aware Contrastive Explanations for Natural Language Inference
Qianglong Chen | Feng Ji | Xiangji Zeng | Feng-Lin Li | Ji Zhang | Haiqing Chen | Yin Zhang
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)

In order to better understand the reason behind model behaviors (i.e., making predictions), most recent works have exploited generative models to provide complementary explanations. However, existing approaches in NLP mainly focus on “WHY A” rather than contrastive “WHY A NOT B”, which is shown to be able to better distinguish confusing candidates and improve data efficiency in other research fields. In this paper, we focus on generating contrastive explanations with counterfactual examples in NLI and propose a novel Knowledge-Aware Contrastive Explanation generation framework (KACE).Specifically, we first identify rationales (i.e., key phrases) from input sentences, and use them as key perturbations for generating counterfactual examples. After obtaining qualified counterfactual examples, we take them along with original examples and external knowledge as input, and employ a knowledge-aware generative pre-trained language model to generate contrastive explanations. Experimental results show that contrastive explanations are beneficial to fit the scenarios by clarifying the difference between the predicted answer and other possible wrong ones. Moreover, we train an NLI model enhanced with contrastive explanations and achieves an accuracy of 91.9% on SNLI, gaining improvements of 5.7% against ETPA (“Explain-Then-Predict-Attention”) and 0.6% against NILE (“WHY A”).

pdf bib
Segment, Mask, and Predict: Augmenting Chinese Word Segmentation with Self-Supervision
Mieradilijiang Maimaiti | Yang Liu | Yuanhang Zheng | Gang Chen | Kaiyu Huang | Ji Zhang | Huanbo Luan | Maosong Sun
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent state-of-the-art (SOTA) effective neural network methods and fine-tuning methods based on pre-trained models (PTM) have been used in Chinese word segmentation (CWS), and they achieve great results. However, previous works focus on training the models with the fixed corpus at every iteration. The intermediate generated information is also valuable. Besides, the robustness of the previous neural methods is limited by the large-scale annotated data. There are a few noises in the annotated corpus. Limited efforts have been made by previous studies to deal with such problems. In this work, we propose a self-supervised CWS approach with a straightforward and effective architecture. First, we train a word segmentation model and use it to generate the segmentation results. Then, we use a revised masked language model (MLM) to evaluate the quality of the segmentation results based on the predictions of the MLM. Finally, we leverage the evaluations to aid the training of the segmenter by improved minimum risk training. Experimental results show that our approach outperforms previous methods on 9 different CWS datasets with single criterion training and multiple criteria training and achieves better robustness.


pdf bib
Target-Guided Structured Attention Network for Target-Dependent Sentiment Analysis
Ji Zhang | Chengyao Chen | Pengfei Liu | Chao He | Cane Wing-Ki Leung
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 8

Target-dependent sentiment analysis (TDSA) aims to classify the sentiment of a text towards a given target. The major challenge of this task lies in modeling the semantic relatedness between a target and its context sentence. This paper proposes a novel Target-Guided Structured Attention Network (TG-SAN), which captures target-related contexts for TDSA in a fine-to-coarse manner. Given a target and its context sentence, the proposed TG-SAN first identifies multiple semantic segments from the sentence using a target-guided structured attention mechanism. It then fuses the extracted segments based on their relatedness with the target for sentiment classification. We present comprehensive comparative experiments on three benchmarks with three major findings. First, TG-SAN outperforms the state-of-the-art by up to 1.61% and 3.58% in terms of accuracy and Marco-F1, respectively. Second, it shows a strong advantage in determining the sentiment of a target when the context sentence contains multiple semantic segments. Lastly, visualization results show that the attention scores produced by TG-SAN are highly interpretable

pdf bib
Keep it Consistent: Topic-Aware Storytelling from an Image Stream via Iterative Multi-agent Communication
Ruize Wang | Zhongyu Wei | Ying Cheng | Piji Li | Haijun Shan | Ji Zhang | Qi Zhang | Xuanjing Huang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Visual storytelling aims to generate a narrative paragraph from a sequence of images automatically. Existing approaches construct text description independently for each image and roughly concatenate them as a story, which leads to the problem of generating semantically incoherent content. In this paper, we propose a new way for visual storytelling by introducing a topic description task to detect the global semantic context of an image stream. A story is then constructed with the guidance of the topic description. In order to combine the two generation tasks, we propose a multi-agent communication framework that regards the topic description generator and the story generator as two agents and learn them simultaneously via iterative updating mechanism. We validate our approach on VIST dataset, where quantitative results, ablations, and human evaluation demonstrate our method’s good ability in generating stories with higher quality compared to state-of-the-art methods.


pdf bib
Semi-Autoregressive Neural Machine Translation
Chunqi Wang | Ji Zhang | Haiqing Chen
Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Existing approaches to neural machine translation are typically autoregressive models. While these models attain state-of-the-art translation quality, they are suffering from low parallelizability and thus slow at decoding long sequences. In this paper, we propose a novel model for fast sequence generation — the semi-autoregressive Transformer (SAT). The SAT keeps the autoregressive property in global but relieves in local and thus are able to produce multiple successive words in parallel at each time step. Experiments conducted on English-German and Chinese-English translation tasks show that the SAT achieves a good balance between translation quality and decoding speed. On WMT’14 English-German translation, the SAT achieves 5.58× speedup while maintaining 88% translation quality, significantly better than the previous non-autoregressive methods. When produces two words at each time step, the SAT is almost lossless (only 1% degeneration in BLEU score).