Jie Ma


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Simple Yet Effective Synthetic Dataset Construction for Unsupervised Opinion Summarization
Ming Shen | Jie Ma | Shuai Wang | Yogarshi Vyas | Kalpit Dixit | Miguel Ballesteros | Yassine Benajiba
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EACL 2023

Opinion summarization provides an important solution for summarizing opinions expressed among a large number of reviews. However, generating aspect-specific and general summaries is challenging due to the lack of annotated data. In this work, we propose two simple yet effective unsupervised approaches to generate both aspect-specific and general opinion summaries by training on synthetic datasets constructed with aspect-related review contents. Our first approach, Seed Words Based Leave-One-Out (SW-LOO), identifies aspect-related portions of reviews simply by exact-matching aspect seed words and outperforms existing methods by 3.4 ROUGE-L points on Space and 0.5 ROUGE-1 point on Oposum+ for aspect-specific opinion summarization. Our second approach, Natural Language Inference Based Leave-One-Out (NLI-LOO) identifies aspect-related sentences utilizing an NLI model in a more general setting without using seed words and outperforms existing approaches by 1.2 ROUGE-L points on Space for aspect-specific opinion summarization and remains competitive on other metrics.

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Benchmarking Diverse-Modal Entity Linking with Generative Models
Sijia Wang | Alexander Hanbo Li | Henghui Zhu | Sheng Zhang | Pramuditha Perera | Chung-Wei Hang | Jie Ma | William Yang Wang | Zhiguo Wang | Vittorio Castelli | Bing Xiang | Patrick Ng
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2023

Entities can be expressed in diverse formats, such as texts, images, or column names and cell values in tables. While existing entity linking (EL) models work well on per modality configuration, such as text-only EL, visual grounding or schema linking, it is more challenging to design a unified model for diverse modality configurations. To bring various modality configurations together, we constructed a benchmark for diverse-modal EL (DMEL) from existing EL datasets, covering all three modalities including text, image and table. To approach the DMEL task, we proposed a generative diverse-modal model (GDMM) following a multimodal-encoder-decoder paradigm. Pre-training GDMM with rich corpora builds a solid foundation for DMEL without storing the entire KB for inference. Fine-tuning GDMM builds a stronger DMEL baseline, outperforming state-of-the-art task-specific EL models by 8.51 F1 score on average. Additionally, extensive error analyses are conducted to highlight the challenge of DMEL, facilitating future researches on this task.

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Taxonomy Expansion for Named Entity Recognition
Karthikeyan K | Yogarshi Vyas | Jie Ma | Giovanni Paolini | Neha John | Shuai Wang | Yassine Benajiba | Vittorio Castelli | Dan Roth | Miguel Ballesteros
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Training a Named Entity Recognition (NER) model often involves fixing a taxonomy of entity types. However, requirements evolve and we might need the NER model to recognize additional entity types. A simple approach is to re-annotate entire dataset with both existing and additional entity types and then train the model on the re-annotated dataset. However, this is an extremely laborious task. To remedy this, we propose a novel approach called Partial Label Model (PLM) that uses only partially annotated datasets. We experiment with 6 diverse datasets and show that PLM consistently performs better than most other approaches (0.5 - 2.5 F1), including in novel settings for taxonomy expansion not considered in prior work. The gap between PLM and all other approaches is especially large in settings where there is limited data available for the additional entity types (as much as 11 F1), thus suggesting a more cost effective approaches to taxonomy expansion.

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Comparing Biases and the Impact of Multilingual Training across Multiple Languages
Sharon Levy | Neha John | Ling Liu | Yogarshi Vyas | Jie Ma | Yoshinari Fujinuma | Miguel Ballesteros | Vittorio Castelli | Dan Roth
Proceedings of the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing

Studies in bias and fairness in natural language processing have primarily examined social biases within a single language and/or across few attributes (e.g. gender, race). However, biases can manifest differently across various languages for individual attributes. As a result, it is critical to examine biases within each language and attribute. Of equal importance is to study how these biases compare across languages and how the biases are affected when training a model on multilingual data versus monolingual data. We present a bias analysis across Italian, Chinese, English, Hebrew, and Spanish on the downstream sentiment analysis task to observe whether specific demographics are viewed more positively. We study bias similarities and differences across these languages and investigate the impact of multilingual vs. monolingual training data. We adapt existing sentiment bias templates in English to Italian, Chinese, Hebrew, and Spanish for four attributes: race, religion, nationality, and gender. Our results reveal similarities in bias expression such as favoritism of groups that are dominant in each language’s culture (e.g. majority religions and nationalities). Additionally, we find an increased variation in predictions across protected groups, indicating bias amplification, after multilingual finetuning in comparison to multilingual pretraining.

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Few-Shot Data-to-Text Generation via Unified Representation and Multi-Source Learning
Alexander Hanbo Li | Mingyue Shang | Evangelia Spiliopoulou | Jie Ma | Patrick Ng | Zhiguo Wang | Bonan Min | William Yang Wang | Kathleen McKeown | Vittorio Castelli | Dan Roth | Bing Xiang
Proceedings of the 61st Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics (Volume 1: Long Papers)

In this paper, we present a novel approach for data-to-text generation that addresses the limitations of current methods that primarily focus on specific types of structured data. Our proposed method aims to improve performance in multi-task training, zero-shot and few-shot scenarios by providing a unified representation that can handle various forms of structured data such as tables, knowledge graph triples, and meaning representations. We demonstrate that our proposed approach can effectively adapt to new structured forms, and can improve performance in comparison to current methods. For example, our method resulted in a 66% improvement in zero-shot BLEU scores when transferring models trained on table inputs to a knowledge graph dataset. Our proposed method is an important step towards a more general data-to-text generation framework.


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Label Semantics for Few Shot Named Entity Recognition
Jie Ma | Miguel Ballesteros | Srikanth Doss | Rishita Anubhai | Sunil Mallya | Yaser Al-Onaizan | Dan Roth
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: ACL 2022

We study the problem of few shot learning for named entity recognition. Specifically, we leverage the semantic information in the names of the labels as a way of giving the model additional signal and enriched priors. We propose a neural architecture that consists of two BERT encoders, one to encode the document and its tokens and another one to encode each of the labels in natural language format. Our model learns to match the representations of named entities computed by the first encoder with label representations computed by the second encoder. The label semantics signal is shown to support improved state-of-the-art results in multiple few shot NER benchmarks and on-par performance in standard benchmarks. Our model is especially effective in low resource settings.


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Resource-Enhanced Neural Model for Event Argument Extraction
Jie Ma | Shuai Wang | Rishita Anubhai | Miguel Ballesteros | Yaser Al-Onaizan
Findings of the Association for Computational Linguistics: EMNLP 2020

Event argument extraction (EAE) aims to identify the arguments of an event and classify the roles that those arguments play. Despite great efforts made in prior work, there remain many challenges: (1) Data scarcity. (2) Capturing the long-range dependency, specifically, the connection between an event trigger and a distant event argument. (3) Integrating event trigger information into candidate argument representation. For (1), we explore using unlabeled data. For (2), we use Transformer that uses dependency parses to guide the attention mechanism. For (3), we propose a trigger-aware sequence encoder with several types of trigger-dependent sequence representations. We also support argument extraction either from text annotated with gold entities or from plain text. Experiments on the English ACE 2005 benchmark show that our approach achieves a new state-of-the-art.

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When and Who? Conversation Transition Based on Bot-Agent Symbiosis Learning Network
Yipeng Yu | Ran Guan | Jie Ma | Zhuoxuan Jiang | Jingchang Huang
Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Computational Linguistics

In online customer service applications, multiple chatbots that are specialized in various topics are typically developed separately and are then merged with other human agents to a single platform, presenting to the users with a unified interface. Ideally the conversation can be transparently transferred between different sources of customer support so that domain-specific questions can be answered timely and this is what we coined as a Bot-Agent symbiosis. Conversation transition is a major challenge in such online customer service and our work formalises the challenge as two core problems, namely, when to transfer and which bot or agent to transfer to and introduces a deep neural networks based approach that addresses these problems. Inspired by the net promoter score (NPS), our research reveals how the problems can be effectively solved by providing user feedback and developing deep neural networks that predict the conversation category distribution and the NPS of the dialogues. Experiments on realistic data generated from an online service support platform demonstrate that the proposed approach outperforms state-of-the-art methods and shows promising perspective for transparent conversation transition.

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Severing the Edge Between Before and After: Neural Architectures for Temporal Ordering of Events
Miguel Ballesteros | Rishita Anubhai | Shuai Wang | Nima Pourdamghani | Yogarshi Vyas | Jie Ma | Parminder Bhatia | Kathleen McKeown | Yaser Al-Onaizan
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

In this paper, we propose a neural architecture and a set of training methods for ordering events by predicting temporal relations. Our proposed models receive a pair of events within a span of text as input and they identify temporal relations (Before, After, Equal, Vague) between them. Given that a key challenge with this task is the scarcity of annotated data, our models rely on either pretrained representations (i.e. RoBERTa, BERT or ELMo), transfer and multi-task learning (by leveraging complementary datasets), and self-training techniques. Experiments on the MATRES dataset of English documents establish a new state-of-the-art on this task.

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To BERT or Not to BERT: Comparing Task-specific and Task-agnostic Semi-Supervised Approaches for Sequence Tagging
Kasturi Bhattacharjee | Miguel Ballesteros | Rishita Anubhai | Smaranda Muresan | Jie Ma | Faisal Ladhak | Yaser Al-Onaizan
Proceedings of the 2020 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing (EMNLP)

Leveraging large amounts of unlabeled data using Transformer-like architectures, like BERT, has gained popularity in recent times owing to their effectiveness in learning general representations that can then be further fine-tuned for downstream tasks to much success. However, training these models can be costly both from an economic and environmental standpoint. In this work, we investigate how to effectively use unlabeled data: by exploring the task-specific semi-supervised approach, Cross-View Training (CVT) and comparing it with task-agnostic BERT in multiple settings that include domain and task relevant English data. CVT uses a much lighter model architecture and we show that it achieves similar performance to BERT on a set of sequence tagging tasks, with lesser financial and environmental impact.


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Towards End-to-End Learning for Efficient Dialogue Agent by Modeling Looking-ahead Ability
Zhuoxuan Jiang | Xian-Ling Mao | Ziming Huang | Jie Ma | Shaochun Li
Proceedings of the 20th Annual SIGdial Meeting on Discourse and Dialogue

Learning an efficient manager of dialogue agent from data with little manual intervention is important, especially for goal-oriented dialogues. However, existing methods either take too many manual efforts (e.g. reinforcement learning methods) or cannot guarantee the dialogue efficiency (e.g. sequence-to-sequence methods). In this paper, we address this problem by proposing a novel end-to-end learning model to train a dialogue agent that can look ahead for several future turns and generate an optimal response to make the dialogue efficient. Our method is data-driven and does not require too much manual work for intervention during system design. We evaluate our method on two datasets of different scenarios and the experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of our model.