Jianwei Cui


2023

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MoralDial: A Framework to Train and Evaluate Moral Dialogue Systems via Moral Discussions
Hao Sun | Zhexin Zhang | Fei Mi | Yasheng Wang | Wei Liu | Jianwei Cui | Bin Wang | Qun Liu | Minlie Huang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Morality in dialogue systems has raised great attention in research recently. A moral dialogue system aligned with users’ values could enhance conversation engagement and user connections. In this paper, we propose a framework, MoralDial to train and evaluate moral dialogue systems. In our framework, we first explore the communication mechanisms of morality and resolve expressed morality into three parts, which indicate the roadmap for building a moral dialogue system. Based on that, we design a simple yet effective method: constructing moral discussions between simulated specific users and the dialogue system. The constructed discussions consist of expressing, explaining, revising, and inferring moral views in dialogue exchanges, which makes conversational models learn morality well in a natural manner. Furthermore, we propose a novel evaluation method under the framework. We evaluate the multiple aspects of morality by judging the relation between dialogue responses and human values in discussions, where the multifaceted nature of morality is particularly considered. Automatic and manual experiments demonstrate that our framework is promising to train and evaluate moral dialogue systems.

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Bridging the Gap between Synthetic and Natural Questions via Sentence Decomposition for Semantic Parsing
Yilin Niu | Fei Huang | Wei Liu | Jianwei Cui | Bin Wang | Minlie Huang
Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics, Volume 11

Semantic parsing maps natural language questions into logical forms, which can be executed against a knowledge base for answers. In real-world applications, the performance of a parser is often limited by the lack of training data. To facilitate zero-shot learning, data synthesis has been widely studied to automatically generate paired questions and logical forms. However, data synthesis methods can hardly cover the diverse structures in natural languages, leading to a large gap in sentence structure between synthetic and natural questions. In this paper, we propose a decomposition-based method to unify the sentence structures of questions, which benefits the generalization to natural questions. Experiments demonstrate that our method significantly improves the semantic parser trained on synthetic data (+7.9% on KQA and +8.9% on ComplexWebQuestions in terms of exact match accuracy). Extensive analysis demonstrates that our method can better generalize to natural questions with novel text expressions compared with baselines. Besides semantic parsing, our idea potentially benefits other semantic understanding tasks by mitigating the distracting structure features. To illustrate this, we extend our method to the task of sentence embedding learning, and observe substantial improvements on sentence retrieval (+13.1% for Hit@1).

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Submission of USTC’s System for the IWSLT 2023 - Offline Speech Translation Track
Xinyuan Zhou | Jianwei Cui | Zhongyi Ye | Yichi Wang | Luzhen Xu | Hanyi Zhang | Weitai Zhang | Lirong Dai
Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2023)

This paper describes the submissions of the research group USTC-NELSLIP to the 2023 IWSLT Offline Speech Translation competition, which involves translating spoken English into written Chinese. We utilize both cascaded models and end-to-end models for this task. To improve the performance of the cascaded models, we introduce Whisper to reduce errors in the intermediate source language text, achieving a significant improvement in ASR recognition performance. For end-to-end models, we propose Stacked Acoustic-and-Textual En- coding extension (SATE-ex), which feeds the output of the acoustic decoder into the textual decoder for information fusion and to prevent error propagation. Additionally, we improve the performance of the end-to-end system in translating speech by combining the SATE-ex model with the encoder-decoder model through ensembling.

2022

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MISC: A Mixed Strategy-Aware Model integrating COMET for Emotional Support Conversation
Quan Tu | Yanran Li | Jianwei Cui | Bin Wang | Ji-Rong Wen | Rui Yan
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Applying existing methods to emotional support conversation—which provides valuable assistance to people who are in need—has two major limitations: (a) they generally employ a conversation-level emotion label, which is too coarse-grained to capture user’s instant mental state; (b) most of them focus on expressing empathy in the response(s) rather than gradually reducing user’s distress. To address the problems, we propose a novel model MISC, which firstly infers the user’s fine-grained emotional status, and then responds skillfully using a mixture of strategy. Experimental results on the benchmark dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of our method and reveal the benefits of fine-grained emotion understanding as well as mixed-up strategy modeling.

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C3KG: A Chinese Commonsense Conversation Knowledge Graph
Dawei Li | Yanran Li | Jiayi Zhang | Ke Li | Chen Wei | Jianwei Cui | Bin Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

Existing commonsense knowledge bases often organize tuples in an isolated manner, which is deficient for commonsense conversational models to plan the next steps. To fill the gap, we curate a large-scale multi-turn human-written conversation corpus, and create the first Chinese commonsense conversation knowledge graph which incorporates both social commonsense knowledge and dialog flow information. To show the potential of our graph, we develop a graph-conversation matching approach, and benchmark two graph-grounded conversational tasks. All the resources in this work will be released to foster future research.

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The USTC-NELSLIP Offline Speech Translation Systems for IWSLT 2022
Weitai Zhang | Zhongyi Ye | Haitao Tang | Xiaoxi Li | Xinyuan Zhou | Jing Yang | Jianwei Cui | Pan Deng | Mohan Shi | Yifan Song | Dan Liu | Junhua Liu | Lirong Dai
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)

This paper describes USTC-NELSLIP’s submissions to the IWSLT 2022 Offline Speech Translation task, including speech translation of talks from English to German, English to Chinese and English to Japanese. We describe both cascaded architectures and end-to-end models which can directly translate source speech into target text. In the cascaded condition, we investigate the effectiveness of different model architectures with robust training and achieve 2.72 BLEU improvements over last year’s optimal system on MuST-C English-German test set. In the end-to-end condition, we build models based on Transformer and Conformer architectures, achieving 2.26 BLEU improvements over last year’s optimal end-to-end system. The end-to-end system has obtained promising results, but it is still lagging behind our cascaded models.

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The Xiaomi Text-to-Text Simultaneous Speech Translation System for IWSLT 2022
Bao Guo | Mengge Liu | Wen Zhang | Hexuan Chen | Chang Mu | Xiang Li | Jianwei Cui | Bin Wang | Yuhang Guo
Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation (IWSLT 2022)

This system paper describes the Xiaomi Translation System for the IWSLT 2022 Simultaneous Speech Translation (noted as SST) shared task. We participate in the English-to-Mandarin Chinese Text-to-Text (noted as T2T) track. Our system is built based on the Transformer model with novel techniques borrowed from our recent research work. For the data filtering, language-model-based and rule-based methods are conducted to filter the data to obtain high-quality bilingual parallel corpora. We also strengthen our system with some dominating techniques related to data augmentation, such as knowledge distillation, tagged back-translation, and iterative back-translation. We also incorporate novel training techniques such as R-drop, deep model, and large batch training which have been shown to be beneficial to the naive Transformer model. In the SST scenario, several variations of extttwait-k strategies are explored. Furthermore, in terms of robustness, both data-based and model-based ways are used to reduce the sensitivity of our system to Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) outputs. We finally design some inference algorithms and use the adaptive-ensemble method based on multiple model variants to further improve the performance of the system. Compared with strong baselines, fusing all techniques can improve our system by 2 extasciitilde3 BLEU scores under different latency regimes.

2020

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Modeling Discourse Structure for Document-level Neural Machine Translation
Junxuan Chen | Xiang Li | Jiarui Zhang | Chulun Zhou | Jianwei Cui | Bin Wang | Jinsong Su
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Automatic Simultaneous Translation

Recently, document-level neural machine translation (NMT) has become a hot topic in the community of machine translation. Despite its success, most of existing studies ignored the discourse structure information of the input document to be translated, which has shown effective in other tasks. In this paper, we propose to improve document-level NMT with the aid of discourse structure information. Our encoder is based on a hierarchical attention network (HAN) (Miculicich et al., 2018). Specifically, we first parse the input document to obtain its discourse structure. Then, we introduce a Transformer-based path encoder to embed the discourse structure information of each word. Finally, we combine the discourse structure information with the word embedding before it is fed into the encoder. Experimental results on the English-to-German dataset show that our model can significantly outperform both Transformer and Transformer+HAN.

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Infusing Sequential Information into Conditional Masked Translation Model with Self-Review Mechanism
Pan Xie | Zhi Cui | Xiuying Chen | XiaoHui Hu | Jianwei Cui | Bin Wang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Non-autoregressive models generate target words in a parallel way, which achieve a faster decoding speed but at the sacrifice of translation accuracy. To remedy a flawed translation by non-autoregressive models, a promising approach is to train a conditional masked translation model (CMTM), and refine the generated results within several iterations. Unfortunately, such approach hardly considers the sequential dependency among target words, which inevitably results in a translation degradation. Hence, instead of solely training a Transformer-based CMTM, we propose a Self-Review Mechanism to infuse sequential information into it. Concretely, we insert a left-to-right mask to the same decoder of CMTM, and then induce it to autoregressively review whether each generated word from CMTM is supposed to be replaced or kept. The experimental results (WMT14 En ↔ De and WMT16 En ↔ Ro) demonstrate that our model uses dramatically less training computations than the typical CMTM, as well as outperforms several state-of-the-art non-autoregressive models by over 1 BLEU. Through knowledge distillation, our model even surpasses a typical left-to-right Transformer model, while significantly speeding up decoding.

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Focus-Constrained Attention Mechanism for CVAE-based Response Generation
Zhi Cui | Yanran Li | Jiayi Zhang | Jianwei Cui | Chen Wei | Bin Wang
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

To model diverse responses for a given post, one promising way is to introduce a latent variable into Seq2Seq models. The latent variable is supposed to capture the discourse-level information and encourage the informativeness of target responses. However, such discourse-level information is often too coarse for the decoder to be utilized. To tackle it, our idea is to transform the coarse-grained discourse-level information into fine-grained word-level information. Specifically, we firstly measure the semantic concentration of corresponding target response on the post words by introducing a fine-grained focus signal. Then, we propose a focus-constrained attention mechanism to take full advantage of focus in well aligning the input to the target response. The experimental results demonstrate that by exploiting the fine-grained signal, our model can generate more diverse and informative responses compared with several state-of-the-art models.

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Xiaomi’s Submissions for IWSLT 2020 Open Domain Translation Task
Yuhui Sun | Mengxue Guo | Xiang Li | Jianwei Cui | Bin Wang
Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Spoken Language Translation

This paper describes the Xiaomi’s submissions to the IWSLT20 shared open domain translation task for Chinese<->Japanese language pair. We explore different model ensembling strategies based on recent Transformer variants. We also further strengthen our systems via some effective techniques, such as data filtering, data selection, tagged back translation, domain adaptation, knowledge distillation, and re-ranking. Our resulting Chinese->Japanese primary system ranked second in terms of character-level BLEU score among all submissions. Our resulting Japanese->Chinese primary system also achieved a competitive performance.