Jianguo Zhang


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DialogStudio: Towards Richest and Most Diverse Unified Dataset Collection for Conversational AI
Jianguo Zhang | Kun Qian | Zhiwei Liu | Shelby Heinecke | Rui Meng | Ye Liu | Zhou Yu | Huan Wang | Silvio Savarese | Caiming Xiong
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2024

Despite advancements in conversational AI, language models encounter challenges to handle diverse conversational tasks, and existing dialogue dataset collections often lack diversity and comprehensiveness. To tackle these issues, we introduce DialogStudio: the largest and most diverse collection of dialogue datasets, unified under a consistent format while preserving their original information. Our collection encompasses data from open-domain dialogues, task-oriented dialogues, natural language understanding, conversational recommendation, dialogue summarization, and knowledge-grounded dialogues, making it an incredibly rich and diverse resource for dialogue research and model training.To further enhance the utility of DialogStudio, we identify the licenses for each dataset, design external knowledge and domain-aware prompts for selected dialogues to facilitate instruction-aware fine-tuning. To improve transparency and support dataset and task-based research, as well as language model pre-training, all datasets, licenses, codes, and models associated with DialogStudio will be made publicly accessible.


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Enhancing Performance on Seen and Unseen Dialogue Scenarios using Retrieval-Augmented End-to-End Task-Oriented System
Jianguo Zhang | Stephen Roller | Kun Qian | Zhiwei Liu | Rui Meng | Shelby Heinecke | Huan Wang | Silvio Savarese | Caiming Xiong
Proceedings of the 24th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

End-to-end task-oriented dialogue (TOD) systems have achieved promising performance by leveraging sophisticated natural language understanding and natural language generation capabilities of pre-trained models. This work enables the TOD systems with more flexibility through a simple cache. The cache provides the flexibility to dynamically update the TOD systems and handle both existing and unseen dialogue scenarios. Towards this end, we first fine-tune a retrieval module to effectively retrieve the most relevant information entries from the cache. We then train end-to-end TOD models that can refer to and ground on both dialogue history and retrieved information during TOD generation. The introduced cache is straightforward to construct, and the backbone models of TOD systems are compatible with existing pre-trained generative models. Extensive experiments demonstrate the superior performance of our framework, with a notable improvement in non-empty joint goal accuracy by 6.7% compared to strong baselines.


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Are Pre-trained Transformers Robust in Intent Classification? A Missing Ingredient in Evaluation of Out-of-Scope Intent Detection
Jianguo Zhang | Kazuma Hashimoto | Yao Wan | Zhiwei Liu | Ye Liu | Caiming Xiong | Philip Yu
Proceedings of the 4th Workshop on NLP for Conversational AI

Pre-trained Transformer-based models were reported to be robust in intent classification. In this work, we first point out the importance of in-domain out-of-scope detection in few-shot intent recognition tasks and then illustrate the vulnerability of pre-trained Transformer-based models against samples that are in-domain but out-of-scope (ID-OOS). We construct two new datasets, and empirically show that pre-trained models do not perform well on both ID-OOS examples and general out-of-scope examples, especially on fine-grained few-shot intent detection tasks.


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HETFORMER: Heterogeneous Transformer with Sparse Attention for Long-Text Extractive Summarization
Ye Liu | Jianguo Zhang | Yao Wan | Congying Xia | Lifang He | Philip Yu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

To capture the semantic graph structure from raw text, most existing summarization approaches are built on GNNs with a pre-trained model. However, these methods suffer from cumbersome procedures and inefficient computations for long-text documents. To mitigate these issues, this paper proposes HetFormer, a Transformer-based pre-trained model with multi-granularity sparse attentions for long-text extractive summarization. Specifically, we model different types of semantic nodes in raw text as a potential heterogeneous graph and directly learn heterogeneous relationships (edges) among nodes by Transformer. Extensive experiments on both single- and multi-document summarization tasks show that HetFormer achieves state-of-the-art performance in Rouge F1 while using less memory and fewer parameters.

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Few-Shot Intent Detection via Contrastive Pre-Training and Fine-Tuning
Jianguo Zhang | Trung Bui | Seunghyun Yoon | Xiang Chen | Zhiwei Liu | Congying Xia | Quan Hung Tran | Walter Chang | Philip Yu
Proceedings of the 2021 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

In this work, we focus on a more challenging few-shot intent detection scenario where many intents are fine-grained and semantically similar. We present a simple yet effective few-shot intent detection schema via contrastive pre-training and fine-tuning. Specifically, we first conduct self-supervised contrastive pre-training on collected intent datasets, which implicitly learns to discriminate semantically similar utterances without using any labels. We then perform few-shot intent detection together with supervised contrastive learning, which explicitly pulls utterances from the same intent closer and pushes utterances across different intents farther. Experimental results show that our proposed method achieves state-of-the-art performance on three challenging intent detection datasets under 5-shot and 10-shot settings.

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Enriching Non-Autoregressive Transformer with Syntactic and Semantic Structures for Neural Machine Translation
Ye Liu | Yao Wan | Jianguo Zhang | Wenting Zhao | Philip Yu
Proceedings of the 16th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Main Volume

The non-autoregressive models have boosted the efficiency of neural machine translation through parallelized decoding at the cost of effectiveness, when comparing with the autoregressive counterparts. In this paper, we claim that the syntactic and semantic structures among natural language are critical for non-autoregressive machine translation and can further improve the performance. However, these structures are rarely considered in the existing non-autoregressive models. Inspired by this intuition, we propose to incorporate the explicit syntactic and semantic structure of languages into a non-autoregressive Transformer, for the task of neural machine translation. Moreover, we also consider the intermediate latent alignment within target sentences to better learn the long-term token dependencies. Experimental results on two real-world datasets (i.e., WMT14 En-De and WMT16 En- Ro) show that our model achieves a significantly faster speed, as well as keeps the translation quality when compared with several state-of-the-art non-autoregressive models.


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Find or Classify? Dual Strategy for Slot-Value Predictions on Multi-Domain Dialog State Tracking
Jianguo Zhang | Kazuma Hashimoto | Chien-Sheng Wu | Yao Wang | Philip Yu | Richard Socher | Caiming Xiong
Proceedings of the Ninth Joint Conference on Lexical and Computational Semantics

Dialog state tracking (DST) is a core component in task-oriented dialog systems. Existing approaches for DST mainly fall into one of two categories, namely, ontology-based and ontology-free methods. An ontology-based method selects a value from a candidate-value list for each target slot, while an ontology-free method extracts spans from dialog contexts. Recent work introduced a BERT-based model to strike a balance between the two methods by pre-defining categorical and non-categorical slots. However, it is not clear enough which slots are better handled by either of the two slot types, and the way to use the pre-trained model has not been well investigated. In this paper, we propose a simple yet effective dual-strategy model for DST, by adapting a single BERT-style reading comprehension model to jointly handle both the categorical and non-categorical slots. Our experiments on the MultiWOZ datasets show that our method significantly outperforms the BERT-based counterpart, finding that the key is a deep interaction between the domain-slot and context information. When evaluated on noisy (MultiWOZ 2.0) and cleaner (MultiWOZ 2.1) settings, our method performs competitively and robustly across the two different settings. Our method sets the new state of the art in the noisy setting, while performing more robustly than the best model in the cleaner setting. We also conduct a comprehensive error analysis on the dataset, including the effects of the dual strategy for each slot, to facilitate future research.

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MultiWOZ 2.2 : A Dialogue Dataset with Additional Annotation Corrections and State Tracking Baselines
Xiaoxue Zang | Abhinav Rastogi | Srinivas Sunkara | Raghav Gupta | Jianguo Zhang | Jindong Chen
Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Conversational AI

MultiWOZ is a well-known task-oriented dialogue dataset containing over 10,000 annotated dialogues spanning 8 domains. It is extensively used as a benchmark for dialogue state tracking. However, recent works have reported presence of substantial noise in the dialogue state annotations. MultiWOZ 2.1 identified and fixed many of these erroneous annotations and user utterances, resulting in an improved version of this dataset. This work introduces MultiWOZ 2.2, which is a yet another improved version of this dataset. Firstly, we identify and fix dialogue state annotation errors across 17.3% of the utterances on top of MultiWOZ 2.1. Secondly, we redefine the ontology by disallowing vocabularies of slots with a large number of possible values (e.g., restaurant name, time of booking). In addition, we introduce slot span annotations for these slots to standardize them across recent models, which previously used custom string matching heuristics to generate them. We also benchmark a few state of the art dialogue state tracking models on the corrected dataset to facilitate comparison for future work. In the end, we discuss best practices for dialogue data collection that can help avoid annotation errors.

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Discriminative Nearest Neighbor Few-Shot Intent Detection by Transferring Natural Language Inference
Jianguo Zhang | Kazuma Hashimoto | Wenhao Liu | Chien-Sheng Wu | Yao Wan | Philip Yu | Richard Socher | Caiming Xiong
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Intent detection is one of the core components of goal-oriented dialog systems, and detecting out-of-scope (OOS) intents is also a practically important skill. Few-shot learning is attracting much attention to mitigate data scarcity, but OOS detection becomes even more challenging. In this paper, we present a simple yet effective approach, discriminative nearest neighbor classification with deep self-attention. Unlike softmax classifiers, we leverage BERT-style pairwise encoding to train a binary classifier that estimates the best matched training example for a user input. We propose to boost the discriminative ability by transferring a natural language inference (NLI) model. Our extensive experiments on a large-scale multi-domain intent detection task show that our method achieves more stable and accurate in-domain and OOS detection accuracy than RoBERTa-based classifiers and embedding-based nearest neighbor approaches. More notably, the NLI transfer enables our 10-shot model to perform competitively with 50-shot or even full-shot classifiers, while we can keep the inference time constant by leveraging a faster embedding retrieval model.


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Multi-Modal Generative Adversarial Network for Short Product Title Generation in Mobile E-Commerce
Jianguo Zhang | Pengcheng Zou | Zhao Li | Yao Wan | Xiuming Pan | Yu Gong | Philip S. Yu
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 2 (Industry Papers)

Nowadays, more and more customers browse and purchase products in favor of using mobile E-Commerce Apps such as Taobao and Amazon. Since merchants are usually inclined to describe redundant and over-informative product titles to attract attentions from customers, it is important to concisely display short product titles on limited screen of mobile phones. To address this discrepancy, previous studies mainly consider textual information of long product titles and lacks of human-like view during training and evaluation process. In this paper, we propose a Multi-Modal Generative Adversarial Network (MM-GAN) for short product title generation in E-Commerce, which innovatively incorporates image information and attribute tags from product, as well as textual information from original long titles. MM-GAN poses short title generation as a reinforcement learning process, where the generated titles are evaluated by the discriminator in a human-like view. Extensive experiments on a large-scale E-Commerce dataset demonstrate that our algorithm outperforms other state-of-the-art methods. Moreover, we deploy our model into a real-world online E-Commerce environment and effectively boost the performance of click through rate and click conversion rate by 1.66% and 1.87%, respectively.