Jiangnan Li


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Multi-level Adaptive Contrastive Learning for Knowledge Internalization in Dialogue Generation
Chenxu Yang | Zheng Lin | Lanrui Wang | Chong Tian | Liang Pang | Jiangnan Li | Qirong Ho | Yanan Cao | Weiping Wang
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Knowledge-grounded dialogue generation aims to mitigate the issue of text degeneration by incorporating external knowledge to supplement the context. However, the model often fails to internalize this information into responses in a human-like manner. Instead, it simply inserts segments of the provided knowledge into generic responses. As a result, the generated responses tend to be tedious, incoherent, and in lack of interactivity which means the degeneration problem is still unsolved. In this work, we first find that such copying-style degeneration is primarily due to the weak likelihood objective, which allows the model to “cheat” the objective by merely duplicating knowledge segments in a superficial pattern matching based on overlap. To overcome this challenge, we then propose a Multi-level Adaptive Contrastive Learning (MACL) framework that dynamically samples negative examples and subsequently penalizes degeneration behaviors at both the token-level and sequence-level. Extensive experiments on the WoW dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach across various pre-trained models and decoding strategies.

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Set Learning for Generative Information Extraction
Jiangnan Li | Yice Zhang | Bin Liang | Kam-Fai Wong | Ruifeng Xu
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Recent efforts have endeavored to employ the sequence-to-sequence (Seq2Seq) model in Information Extraction (IE) due to its potential to tackle multiple IE tasks in a unified manner. Under this formalization, multiple structured objects are concatenated as the target sequence in a predefined order. However, structured objects, by their nature, constitute an unordered set. Consequently, this formalization introduces a potential order bias, which can impair model learning. Targeting this issue, this paper proposes a set learning approach that considers multiple permutations of structured objects to optimize set probability approximately. Notably, our approach does not require any modifications to model structures, making it easily integrated into existing generative IE frameworks. Experiments show that our method consistently improves existing frameworks on vast tasks and datasets.

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Personality Understanding of Fictional Characters during Book Reading
Mo Yu | Jiangnan Li | Shunyu Yao | Wenjie Pang | Xiaochen Zhou | Zhou Xiao | Fandong Meng | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Comprehending characters’ personalities is a crucial aspect of story reading. As readers engage with a story, their understanding of a character evolves based on new events and information; and multiple fine-grained aspects of personalities can be perceived. This leads to a natural problem of situated and fine-grained personality understanding. The problem has not been studied in the NLP field, primarily due to the lack of appropriate datasets mimicking the process of book reading. We present the first labeled dataset PersoNet for this problem. Our novel annotation strategy involves annotating user notes from online reading apps as a proxy for the original books. Experiments and human studies indicate that our dataset construction is both efficient and accurate; and our task heavily relies on long-term context to achieve accurate predictions for both machines and humans.

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Question-Interlocutor Scope Realized Graph Modeling over Key Utterances for Dialogue Reading Comprehension
Jiangnan Li | Mo Yu | Fandong Meng | Zheng Lin | Peng Fu | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

We focus on dialogue reading comprehension (DRC) that extracts answers from dialogues. Compared to standard RC tasks, DRC has raised challenges because of the complex speaker information and noisy dialogue context. Essentially, the challenges come from the speaker-centric nature of dialogue utterances — an utterance is usually insufficient in its surface form, but requires to incorporate the role of its speaker and the dialogue context to fill the latent pragmatic and intention information. We propose to deal with these problems in two folds. First, we propose a new key-utterances-extracting method, which can realize more answer-contained utterances. Second, based on the extracted utterances, we then propose a Question-Interlocutor Scope Realized Graph (QuISG). QuISG involves the question and question-mentioning speaker as nodes. To realize interlocutor scopes, utterances are connected with corresponding speakers in the dialogue. Experiments on the benchmarks show that our method achieves state-of-the-art performance against previous works.


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TAKE: Topic-shift Aware Knowledge sElection for Dialogue Generation
Chenxu Yang | Zheng Lin | Jiangnan Li | Fandong Meng | Weiping Wang | Lanrui Wang | Jie Zhou
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Knowledge-grounded dialogue generation consists of two subtasks: knowledge selection and response generation. The knowledge selector generally constructs a query based on the dialogue context and selects the most appropriate knowledge to help response generation. Recent work finds that realizing who (the user or the agent) holds the initiative and utilizing the role-initiative information to instruct the query construction can help select knowledge. It depends on whether the knowledge connection between two adjacent rounds is smooth to assign the role. However, whereby the user takes the initiative only when there is a strong semantic transition between two rounds, probably leading to initiative misjudgment. Therefore, it is necessary to seek a more sensitive reason beyond the initiative role for knowledge selection. To address the above problem, we propose a Topic-shift Aware Knowledge sElector(TAKE). Specifically, we first annotate the topic shift and topic inheritance labels in multi-round dialogues with distant supervision. Then, we alleviate the noise problem in pseudo labels through curriculum learning and knowledge distillation. Extensive experiments on WoW show that TAKE performs better than strong baselines.

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Target Really Matters: Target-aware Contrastive Learning and Consistency Regularization for Few-shot Stance Detection
Rui Liu | Zheng Lin | Huishan Ji | Jiangnan Li | Peng Fu | Weiping Wang
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Stance detection aims to identify the attitude from an opinion towards a certain target. Despite the significant progress on this task, it is extremely time-consuming and budget-unfriendly to collect sufficient high-quality labeled data for every new target under fully-supervised learning, whereas unlabeled data can be collected easier. Therefore, this paper is devoted to few-shot stance detection and investigating how to achieve satisfactory results in semi-supervised settings. As a target-oriented task, the core idea of semi-supervised few-shot stance detection is to make better use of target-relevant information from labeled and unlabeled data. Therefore, we develop a novel target-aware semi-supervised framework. Specifically, we propose a target-aware contrastive learning objective to learn more distinguishable representations for different targets. Such an objective can be easily applied with or without unlabeled data. Furthermore, to thoroughly exploit the unlabeled data and facilitate the model to learn target-relevant stance features in the opinion content, we explore a simple but effective target-aware consistency regularization combined with a self-training strategy. The experimental results demonstrate that our approach can achieve state-of-the-art performance on multiple benchmark datasets in the few-shot setting.

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Empathetic Dialogue Generation via Sensitive Emotion Recognition and Sensible Knowledge Selection
Lanrui Wang | Jiangnan Li | Zheng Lin | Fandong Meng | Chenxu Yang | Weiping Wang | Jie Zhou
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2022

Empathy, which is widely used in psychological counseling, is a key trait of everyday human conversations. Equipped with commonsense knowledge, current approaches to empathetic response generation focus on capturing implicit emotion within dialogue context, where the emotions are treated as a static variable throughout the conversations. However, emotions change dynamically between utterances, which makes previous works difficult to perceive the emotion flow and predict the correct emotion of the target response, leading to inappropriate response. Furthermore, simply importing commonsense knowledge without harmonization may trigger the conflicts between knowledge and emotion, which confuse the model to choose the correct information to guide the generation process. To address the above problems, we propose a Serial Encoding and Emotion-Knowledge interaction (SEEK) method for empathetic dialogue generation. We use a fine-grained encoding strategy which is more sensitive to the emotion dynamics (emotion flow) in the conversations to predict the emotion-intent characteristic of response. Besides, we design a novel framework to model the interaction between knowledge and emotion to solve the conflicts generate more sensible response. Extensive experiments on the utterance-level annotated EMPATHETICDIALOGUES demonstrate that SEEK outperforms the strong baseline in both automatic and manual evaluations.


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Past, Present, and Future: Conversational Emotion Recognition through Structural Modeling of Psychological Knowledge
Jiangnan Li | Zheng Lin | Peng Fu | Weiping Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2021

Conversational Emotion Recognition (CER) is a task to predict the emotion of an utterance in the context of a conversation. Although modeling the conversational context and interactions between speakers has been studied broadly, it is important to consider the speaker’s psychological state, which controls the action and intention of the speaker. The state-of-the-art method introduces CommonSense Knowledge (CSK) to model psychological states in a sequential way (forwards and backwards). However, it ignores the structural psychological interactions between utterances. In this paper, we propose a pSychological-Knowledge-Aware Interaction Graph (SKAIG). In the locally connected graph, the targeted utterance will be enhanced with the information of action inferred from the past context and intention implied by the future context. The utterance is self-connected to consider the present effect from itself. Furthermore, we utilize CSK to enrich edges with knowledge representations and process the SKAIG with a graph transformer. Our method achieves state-of-the-art and competitive performance on four popular CER datasets.