Jian Sun


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Improving Meta-learning for Low-resource Text Classification and Generation via Memory Imitation
Yingxiu Zhao | Zhiliang Tian | Huaxiu Yao | Yinhe Zheng | Dongkyu Lee | Yiping Song | Jian Sun | Nevin Zhang
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Building models of natural language processing (NLP) is challenging in low-resource scenarios where limited data are available. Optimization-based meta-learning algorithms achieve promising results in low-resource scenarios by adapting a well-generalized model initialization to handle new tasks. Nonetheless, these approaches suffer from the memorization overfitting issue, where the model tends to memorize the meta-training tasks while ignoring support sets when adapting to new tasks. To address this issue, we propose a memory imitation meta-learning (MemIML) method that enhances the model’s reliance on support sets for task adaptation. Specifically, we introduce a task-specific memory module to store support set information and construct an imitation module to force query sets to imitate the behaviors of support sets stored in the memory. A theoretical analysis is provided to prove the effectiveness of our method, and empirical results also demonstrate that our method outperforms competitive baselines on both text classification and generation tasks.

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A Slot Is Not Built in One Utterance: Spoken Language Dialogs with Sub-Slots
Sai Zhang | Yuwei Hu | Yuchuan Wu | Jiaman Wu | Yongbin Li | Jian Sun | Caixia Yuan | Xiaojie Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

A slot value might be provided segment by segment over multiple-turn interactions in a dialog, especially for some important information such as phone numbers and names. It is a common phenomenon in daily life, but little attention has been paid to it in previous work. To fill the gap, this paper defines a new task named Sub-Slot based Task-Oriented Dialog (SSTOD) and builds a Chinese dialog dataset SSD for boosting research on SSTOD. The dataset includes a total of 40K dialogs and 500K utterances from four different domains: Chinese names, phone numbers, ID numbers and license plate numbers. The data is well annotated with sub-slot values, slot values, dialog states and actions. We find some new linguistic phenomena and interactive manners in SSTOD which raise critical challenges of building dialog agents for the task. We test three state-of-the-art dialog models on SSTOD and find they cannot handle the task well on any of the four domains. We also investigate an improved model by involving slot knowledge in a plug-in manner. More work should be done to meet the new challenges raised from SSTOD which widely exists in real-life applications. The dataset and code are publicly available via https://github.com/shunjiu/SSTOD.

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S2SQL: Injecting Syntax to Question-Schema Interaction Graph Encoder for Text-to-SQL Parsers
Binyuan Hui | Ruiying Geng | Lihan Wang | Bowen Qin | Yanyang Li | Bowen Li | Jian Sun | Yongbin Li
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

The task of converting a natural language question into an executable SQL query, known as text-to-SQL, is an important branch of semantic parsing. The state-of-the-art graph-based encoder has been successfully used in this task but does not model the question syntax well. In this paper, we propose S2SQL, injecting Syntax to question-Schema graph encoder for Text-to-SQL parsers, which effectively leverages the syntactic dependency information of questions in text-to-SQL to improve the performance. We also employ the decoupling constraint to induce diverse relational edge embedding, which further improves the network’s performance. Experiments on the Spider and robustness setting Spider-Syn demonstrate that the proposed approach outperforms all existing methods when pre-training models are used, resulting in a performance ranks first on the Spider leaderboard.


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Preview, Attend and Review: Schema-Aware Curriculum Learning for Multi-Domain Dialogue State Tracking
Yinpei Dai | Hangyu Li | Yongbin Li | Jian Sun | Fei Huang | Luo Si | Xiaodan Zhu
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)

Existing dialog state tracking (DST) models are trained with dialog data in a random order, neglecting rich structural information in a dataset. In this paper, we propose to use curriculum learning (CL) to better leverage both the curriculum structure and schema structure for task-oriented dialogs. Specifically, we propose a model-agnostic framework called Schema-aware Curriculum Learning for Dialog State Tracking (SaCLog), which consists of a preview module that pre-trains a DST model with schema information, a curriculum module that optimizes the model with CL, and a review module that augments mispredicted data to reinforce the CL training. We show that our proposed approach improves DST performance over both a transformer-based and RNN-based DST model (TripPy and TRADE) and achieves new state-of-the-art results on WOZ2.0 and MultiWOZ2.1.

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DialogueCSE: Dialogue-based Contrastive Learning of Sentence Embeddings
Che Liu | Rui Wang | Jinghua Liu | Jian Sun | Fei Huang | Luo Si
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Learning sentence embeddings from dialogues has drawn increasing attention due to its low annotation cost and high domain adaptability. Conventional approaches employ the siamese-network for this task, which obtains the sentence embeddings through modeling the context-response semantic relevance by applying a feed-forward network on top of the sentence encoders. However, as the semantic textual similarity is commonly measured through the element-wise distance metrics (e.g. cosine and L2 distance), such architecture yields a large gap between training and evaluating. In this paper, we propose DialogueCSE, a dialogue-based contrastive learning approach to tackle this issue. DialogueCSE first introduces a novel matching-guided embedding (MGE) mechanism, which generates a context-aware embedding for each candidate response embedding (i.e. the context-free embedding) according to the guidance of the multi-turn context-response matching matrices. Then it pairs each context-aware embedding with its corresponding context-free embedding and finally minimizes the contrastive loss across all pairs. We evaluate our model on three multi-turn dialogue datasets: the Microsoft Dialogue Corpus, the Jing Dong Dialogue Corpus, and the E-commerce Dialogue Corpus. Evaluation results show that our approach significantly outperforms the baselines across all three datasets in terms of MAP and Spearman’s correlation measures, demonstrating its effectiveness. Further quantitative experiments show that our approach achieves better performance when leveraging more dialogue context and remains robust when less training data is provided.


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Dual Attention Network for Cross-lingual Entity Alignment
Jian Sun | Yu Zhou | Chengqing Zong
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Cross-lingual Entity alignment is an essential part of building a knowledge graph, which can help integrate knowledge among different language knowledge graphs. In the real KGs, there exists an imbalance among the information in the same hierarchy of corresponding entities, which results in the heterogeneity of neighborhood structure, making this task challenging. To tackle this problem, we propose a dual attention network for cross-lingual entity alignment (DAEA). Specifically, our dual attention consists of relation-aware graph attention and hierarchical attention. The relation-aware graph attention aims at selectively aggregating multi-hierarchy neighborhood information to alleviate the difference of heterogeneity among counterpart entities. The hierarchical attention adaptively aggregates the low-hierarchy and the high-hierarchy information, which is beneficial to balance the neighborhood information of counterpart entities and distinguish non-counterpart entities with similar structures. Finally, we treat cross-lingual entity alignment as a process of linking prediction. Experimental results on three real-world cross-lingual entity alignment datasets have shown the effectiveness of DAEA.

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Learning Low-Resource End-To-End Goal-Oriented Dialog for Fast and Reliable System Deployment
Yinpei Dai | Hangyu Li | Chengguang Tang | Yongbin Li | Jian Sun | Xiaodan Zhu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

Existing end-to-end dialog systems perform less effectively when data is scarce. To obtain an acceptable success in real-life online services with only a handful of training examples, both fast adaptability and reliable performance are highly desirable for dialog systems. In this paper, we propose the Meta-Dialog System (MDS), which combines the advantages of both meta-learning approaches and human-machine collaboration. We evaluate our methods on a new extended-bAbI dataset and a transformed MultiWOZ dataset for low-resource goal-oriented dialog learning. Experimental results show that MDS significantly outperforms non-meta-learning baselines and can achieve more than 90% per-turn accuracies with only 10 dialogs on the extended-bAbI dataset.

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Dynamic Memory Induction Networks for Few-Shot Text Classification
Ruiying Geng | Binhua Li | Yongbin Li | Jian Sun | Xiaodan Zhu
Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

This paper proposes Dynamic Memory Induction Networks (DMIN) for few-short text classification. The model develops a dynamic routing mechanism over static memory, enabling it to better adapt to unseen classes, a critical capability for few-short classification. The model also expands the induction process with supervised learning weights and query information to enhance the generalization ability of meta-learning. The proposed model brings forward the state-of-the-art performance significantly by 2~4% improvement on the miniRCV1 and ODIC datasets. Detailed analysis is further performed to show how the proposed network achieves the new performance.


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Improving Cross-Domain Chinese Word Segmentation with Word Embeddings
Yuxiao Ye | Weikang Li | Yue Zhang | Likun Qiu | Jian Sun
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Cross-domain Chinese Word Segmentation (CWS) remains a challenge despite recent progress in neural-based CWS. The limited amount of annotated data in the target domain has been the key obstacle to a satisfactory performance. In this paper, we propose a semi-supervised word-based approach to improving cross-domain CWS given a baseline segmenter. Particularly, our model only deploys word embeddings trained on raw text in the target domain, discarding complex hand-crafted features and domain-specific dictionaries. Innovative subsampling and negative sampling methods are proposed to derive word embeddings optimized for CWS. We conduct experiments on five datasets in special domains, covering domains in novels, medicine, and patent. Results show that our model can obviously improve cross-domain CWS, especially in the segmentation of domain-specific noun entities. The word F-measure increases by over 3.0% on four datasets, outperforming state-of-the-art semi-supervised and unsupervised cross-domain CWS approaches with a large margin. We make our data and code available on Github.

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Induction Networks for Few-Shot Text Classification
Ruiying Geng | Binhua Li | Yongbin Li | Xiaodan Zhu | Ping Jian | Jian Sun
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and the 9th International Joint Conference on Natural Language Processing (EMNLP-IJCNLP)

Text classification tends to struggle when data is deficient or when it needs to adapt to unseen classes. In such challenging scenarios, recent studies have used meta-learning to simulate the few-shot task, in which new queries are compared to a small support set at the sample-wise level. However, this sample-wise comparison may be severely disturbed by the various expressions in the same class. Therefore, we should be able to learn a general representation of each class in the support set and then compare it to new queries. In this paper, we propose a novel Induction Network to learn such a generalized class-wise representation, by innovatively leveraging the dynamic routing algorithm in meta-learning. In this way, we find the model is able to induce and generalize better. We evaluate the proposed model on a well-studied sentiment classification dataset (English) and a real-world dialogue intent classification dataset (Chinese). Experiment results show that on both datasets, the proposed model significantly outperforms the existing state-of-the-art approaches, proving the effectiveness of class-wise generalization in few-shot text classification.


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Learning Visually-Grounded Semantics from Contrastive Adversarial Samples
Haoyue Shi | Jiayuan Mao | Tete Xiao | Yuning Jiang | Jian Sun
Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

We study the problem of grounding distributional representations of texts on the visual domain, namely visual-semantic embeddings (VSE for short). Begin with an insightful adversarial attack on VSE embeddings, we show the limitation of current frameworks and image-text datasets (e.g., MS-COCO) both quantitatively and qualitatively. The large gap between the number of possible constitutions of real-world semantics and the size of parallel data, to a large extent, restricts the model to establish a strong link between textual semantics and visual concepts. We alleviate this problem by augmenting the MS-COCO image captioning datasets with textual contrastive adversarial samples. These samples are synthesized using language priors of human and the WordNet knowledge base, and enforce the model to ground learned embeddings to concrete concepts within the image. This simple but powerful technique brings a noticeable improvement over the baselines on a diverse set of downstream tasks, in addition to defending known-type adversarial attacks. Codes are available at https://github.com/ExplorerFreda/VSE-C.


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A Class-based Language Model Approach to Chinese Named Entity Identification
Jian Sun | Ming Zhou | Jianfeng Gao
International Journal of Computational Linguistics & Chinese Language Processing, Volume 8, Number 2, August 2003


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Chinese Named Entity Identification Using Class-based Language Model
Jian Sun | Jianfeng Gao | Lei Zhang | Ming Zhou | Changning Huang
COLING 2002: The 19th International Conference on Computational Linguistics