Jiazhan Feng


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Multi-Granularity Structural Knowledge Distillation for Language Model Compression
Chang Liu | Chongyang Tao | Jiazhan Feng | Dongyan Zhao
Proceedings of the 60th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

Transferring the knowledge to a small model through distillation has raised great interest in recent years. Prevailing methods transfer the knowledge derived from mono-granularity language units (e.g., token-level or sample-level), which is not enough to represent the rich semantics of a text and may lose some vital knowledge. Besides, these methods form the knowledge as individual representations or their simple dependencies, neglecting abundant structural relations among intermediate representations. To overcome the problems, we present a novel knowledge distillation framework that gathers intermediate representations from multiple semantic granularities (e.g., tokens, spans and samples) and forms the knowledge as more sophisticated structural relations specified as the pair-wise interactions and the triplet-wise geometric angles based on multi-granularity representations. Moreover, we propose distilling the well-organized multi-granularity structural knowledge to the student hierarchically across layers. Experimental results on GLUE benchmark demonstrate that our method outperforms advanced distillation methods.

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Reciprocal Learning of Knowledge Retriever and Response Ranker for Knowledge-Grounded Conversations
Jiazhan Feng | Chongyang Tao | Zhen Li | Chang Liu | Tao Shen | Dongyan Zhao
Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

Grounding dialogue agents with knowledge documents has sparked increased attention in both academia and industry. Recently, a growing body of work is trying to build retrieval-based knowledge-grounded dialogue systems. While promising, these approaches require collecting pairs of dialogue context and the corresponding ground-truth knowledge sentences that contain the information regarding the dialogue context. Unfortunately, hand-labeling data to that end is time-consuming, and many datasets and applications lack such knowledge annotations. In this paper, we propose a reciprocal learning approach to jointly optimize a knowledge retriever and a response ranker for knowledge-grounded response retrieval without ground-truth knowledge labels. Specifically, the knowledge retriever uses the feedback from the response ranker as pseudo supervised signals of knowledge retrieval for updating its parameters, while the response ranker also receives the top-ranked knowledge sentences from knowledge retriever for optimization. Evaluation results on two public benchmarks show that our model can significantly outperform previous state-of-the-art methods.


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A Pre-training Strategy for Zero-Resource Response Selection in Knowledge-Grounded Conversations
Chongyang Tao | Changyu Chen | Jiazhan Feng | Ji-Rong Wen | Rui Yan
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)

Recently, many studies are emerging towards building a retrieval-based dialogue system that is able to effectively leverage background knowledge (e.g., documents) when conversing with humans. However, it is non-trivial to collect large-scale dialogues that are naturally grounded on the background documents, which hinders the effective and adequate training of knowledge selection and response matching. To overcome the challenge, we consider decomposing the training of the knowledge-grounded response selection into three tasks including: 1) query-passage matching task; 2) query-dialogue history matching task; 3) multi-turn response matching task, and joint learning all these tasks in a unified pre-trained language model. The former two tasks could help the model in knowledge selection and comprehension, while the last task is designed for matching the proper response with the given query and background knowledge (dialogue history). By this means, the model can be learned to select relevant knowledge and distinguish proper response, with the help of ad-hoc retrieval corpora and a large number of ungrounded multi-turn dialogues. Experimental results on two benchmarks of knowledge-grounded response selection indicate that our model can achieve comparable performance with several existing methods that rely on crowd-sourced data for training.


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Learning a Matching Model with Co-teaching for Multi-turn Response Selection in Retrieval-based Dialogue Systems
Jiazhan Feng | Chongyang Tao | Wei Wu | Yansong Feng | Dongyan Zhao | Rui Yan
Proceedings of the 57th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics

We study learning of a matching model for response selection in retrieval-based dialogue systems. The problem is equally important with designing the architecture of a model, but is less explored in existing literature. To learn a robust matching model from noisy training data, we propose a general co-teaching framework with three specific teaching strategies that cover both teaching with loss functions and teaching with data curriculum. Under the framework, we simultaneously learn two matching models with independent training sets. In each iteration, one model transfers the knowledge learned from its training set to the other model, and at the same time receives the guide from the other model on how to overcome noise in training. Through being both a teacher and a student, the two models learn from each other and get improved together. Evaluation results on two public data sets indicate that the proposed learning approach can generally and significantly improve the performance of existing matching models.