Jian Pei


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Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Deep Learning on Graphs for Natural Language Processing (DLG4NLP 2022)
Lingfei Wu | Bang Liu | Rada Mihalcea | Jian Pei | Yue Zhang | Yunyao Li
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Deep Learning on Graphs for Natural Language Processing (DLG4NLP 2022)

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Bridging the Gap between Language Models and Cross-Lingual Sequence Labeling
Nuo Chen | Linjun Shou | Ming Gong | Jian Pei | Daxin Jiang
Proceedings of the 2022 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies

Large-scale cross-lingual pre-trained language models (xPLMs) have shown effective in cross-lingual sequence labeling tasks (xSL), such as machine reading comprehension (xMRC) by transferring knowledge from a high-resource language to low-resource languages.Despite the great success, we draw an empirical observation that there is an training objective gap between pre-training and fine-tuning stages: e.g., mask language modeling objective requires local understanding of the masked token and the span-extraction objective requires understanding and reasoning of the global input passage/paragraph and question, leading to the discrepancy between pre-training and xMRC. In this paper, we first design a pre-training task tailored for xSL named Cross-lingual Language Informative Span Masking (CLISM) to eliminate the objective gap in a self-supervised manner. Second, we present ContrAstive-Consistency Regularization (CACR), which utilizes contrastive learning to encourage the consistency between representations of input parallel sequences via unsupervised cross-lingual instance-wise training signals during pre-training. By these means, our methods not only bridge the gap between pretrain-finetune, but also enhance PLMs to better capture the alignment between different languages. Extensive experiments prove that our method achieves clearly superior results on multiple xSL benchmarks with limited pre-training data. Our methods also surpass the previous state-of-the-art methods by a large margin in few-shot data setting, where only a few hundred training examples are available.


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Learning from Multiple Noisy Augmented Data Sets for Better Cross-Lingual Spoken Language Understanding
Yingmei Guo | Linjun Shou | Jian Pei | Ming Gong | Mingxing Xu | Zhiyong Wu | Daxin Jiang
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Lack of training data presents a grand challenge to scaling out spoken language understanding (SLU) to low-resource languages. Although various data augmentation approaches have been proposed to synthesize training data in low-resource target languages, the augmented data sets are often noisy, and thus impede the performance of SLU models. In this paper we focus on mitigating noise in augmented data. We develop a denoising training approach. Multiple models are trained with data produced by various augmented methods. Those models provide supervision signals to each other. The experimental results show that our method outperforms the existing state of the art by 3.05 and 4.24 percentage points on two benchmark datasets, respectively. The code will be made open sourced on github.

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Modeling Event-Pair Relations in External Knowledge Graphs for Script Reasoning
Yucheng Zhou | Xiubo Geng | Tao Shen | Jian Pei | Wenqiang Zhang | Daxin Jiang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL-IJCNLP 2021

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Reasoning over Entity-Action-Location Graph for Procedural Text Understanding
Hao Huang | Xiubo Geng | Jian Pei | Guodong Long | Daxin Jiang
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)

Procedural text understanding aims at tracking the states (e.g., create, move, destroy) and locations of the entities mentioned in a given paragraph. To effectively track the states and locations, it is essential to capture the rich semantic relations between entities, actions, and locations in the paragraph. Although recent works have achieved substantial progress, most of them focus on leveraging the inherent constraints or incorporating external knowledge for state prediction. The rich semantic relations in the given paragraph are largely overlooked. In this paper, we propose a novel approach (REAL) to procedural text understanding, where we build a general framework to systematically model the entity-entity, entity-action, and entity-location relations using a graph neural network. We further develop algorithms for graph construction, representation learning, and state and location tracking. We evaluate the proposed approach on two benchmark datasets, ProPara, and Recipes. The experimental results show that our method outperforms strong baselines by a large margin, i.e., 5.0% on ProPara and 3.2% on Recipes, illustrating the utility of semantic relations and the effectiveness of the graph-based reasoning model.


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A Graph Representation of Semi-structured Data for Web Question Answering
Xingyao Zhang | Linjun Shou | Jian Pei | Ming Gong | Lijie Wen | Daxin Jiang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

The abundant semi-structured data on the Web, such as HTML-based tables and lists, provide commercial search engines a rich information source for question answering (QA). Different from plain text passages in Web documents, Web tables and lists have inherent structures, which carry semantic correlations among various elements in tables and lists. Many existing studies treat tables and lists as flat documents with pieces of text and do not make good use of semantic information hidden in structures. In this paper, we propose a novel graph representation of Web tables and lists based on a systematic categorization of the components in semi-structured data as well as their relations. We also develop pre-training and reasoning techniques on the graph model for the QA task. Extensive experiments on several real datasets collected from a commercial engine verify the effectiveness of our approach. Our method improves F1 score by 3.90 points over the state-of-the-art baselines.

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Cross-lingual Machine Reading Comprehension with Language Branch Knowledge Distillation
Junhao Liu | Linjun Shou | Jian Pei | Ming Gong | Min Yang | Daxin Jiang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Cross-lingual Machine Reading Comprehension (CLMRC) remains a challenging problem due to the lack of large-scale annotated datasets in low-source languages, such as Arabic, Hindi, and Vietnamese. Many previous approaches use translation data by translating from a rich-source language, such as English, to low-source languages as auxiliary supervision. However, how to effectively leverage translation data and reduce the impact of noise introduced by translation remains onerous. In this paper, we tackle this challenge and enhance the cross-lingual transferring performance by a novel augmentation approach named Language Branch Machine Reading Comprehension (LBMRC). A language branch is a group of passages in one single language paired with questions in all target languages. We train multiple machine reading comprehension (MRC) models proficient in individual language based on LBMRC. Then, we devise a multilingual distillation approach to amalgamate knowledge from multiple language branch models to a single model for all target languages. Combining the LBMRC and multilingual distillation can be more robust to the data noises, therefore, improving the model’s cross-lingual ability. Meanwhile, the produced single multilingual model can apply to all target languages, which saves the cost of training, inference, and maintenance for multiple models. Extensive experiments on two CLMRC benchmarks clearly show the effectiveness of our proposed method.


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Detecting Customer Complaint Escalation with Recurrent Neural Networks and Manually-Engineered Features
Wei Yang | Luchen Tan | Chunwei Lu | Anqi Cui | Han Li | Xi Chen | Kun Xiong | Muzi Wang | Ming Li | Jian Pei | Jimmy Lin
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Industry Papers)

Consumers dissatisfied with the normal dispute resolution process provided by an e-commerce company’s customer service agents have the option of escalating their complaints by filing grievances with a government authority. This paper tackles the challenge of monitoring ongoing text chat dialogues to identify cases where the customer expresses such an intent, providing triage and prioritization for a separate pool of specialized agents specially trained to handle more complex situations. We describe a hybrid model that tackles this challenge by integrating recurrent neural networks with manually-engineered features. Experiments show that both components are complementary and contribute to overall recall, outperforming competitive baselines. A trial online deployment of our model demonstrates its business value in improving customer service.